President Barack Obama signed a $600 million border security bill Friday designed to beef up armed patrols and increase funding for unmanned drones hunting for illegal immigrants crossing the border between Mexico and the U.S.

Obama had pushed for the measure, which he hopes will blunt the concerns of critics who are angry about rampant illegal border crossings and rising drug-related crime encroaching into Arizona and Texas.

"The resources made available through this legislation will build upon our successful efforts to protect communities along the Southwest border and across the country," Obama said in a statement. "And this new law will also strengthen our partnership with Mexico in targeting the gangs and criminal organizations that operate on both sides of our shared border."

Signing Follows Senate Passage

The bill, which passed the Senate by a voice vote of two Senators, Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Ben Cardin (D-Md.), will add 1,500 new border patrol agents and customs officials. It will also add two new unmanned drones to police the border.

The Senate is technically in the middle of its summer recess, and Republicans did not return to address the measure, but they agreed to the bill's passage by voice vote. Sen. Cardin presided over the vote, Schumer voted yes, and without objection, the bill passed.

The measure aims to give the administration the resources it needs to "combat drug smugglers, gun runners, human traffickers, money launderers and other organized criminals that seek to do harm" along the border, Schumer said in comments cited by Reuters. Some Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), say the bill doesn't go far enough in securing the border.

Cracking Down on "Transnational Criminal Organizations"

The bill's passage comes just over one month after the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Arizona aiming to block the state's controversial new immigration law, which says local law-enforcement authorities can detain people suspected of being in the country illegally.

Two weeks ago, a federal judge blocked parts of the Arizona law, ruling that it unconstitutionally preempted the federal government's authority to enforce the nation's immigrations laws.

The Obama administration supported the border security bill, which Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said last week is "critical to bringing additional capabilities to crack down on transnational criminal organizations and reduce the illicit trafficking of people, drugs, currency and weapons."

There are an estimated 10 million to 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S.

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eversharp57

Have you heard there's a bounty on Sheriff Joe's head?

August 14 2010 at 12:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eversharp57's comment
eversharp57

Our national news doesn't tell about the bodies they find. Some are in huge groups and have been shot execution style. Some have even been beheaded. Now we need more than promises of money, we need to see some action from the Federal Government if they're not going to let the States protect themselves.

August 14 2010 at 12:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eversharp57's comment
eversharp57

Look at the crime rate in AZ and who's committing them. The drugs being smuggled in and people to be sold as slaves. One of my big concerns is terrorism, we know that Asian terrorists are going to South America, learning Spanish and then coming across the border illegally like Mexicans. They could be from anywhere.

August 14 2010 at 12:44 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to eversharp57's comment
eversharp57

yeah there are a lot on the border states, but they don't all stay there, they seem to be pretty far north too. Seattle is bad, and look at Michigan, around Detroit.

August 14 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
eversharp57

We aren't hearing enough about the illegal border crossings on the news. It goes on every day. Its happening on the lakes between TX and Mexico. There will be even more killings. So how long is it going to take to see something done with this money finally allocated to fight illegal immigration? So far it's just words.

August 14 2010 at 12:38 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eversharp57's comment
eversharp57

Is this action just a way to validate their lawsuit against AZ? Trying to look busy and on top of it when we know they just did this?

August 14 2010 at 12:34 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to eversharp57's comment
eversharp57

No bloggers tonight? Anyone want to talk about the topic of this blog?

August 14 2010 at 12:27 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
telebob52

uh oh..i wondered down the wrong alley

August 13 2010 at 9:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
onemightylight

beuf---have you already lost one screen name? Are you trying to lose another one?

August 13 2010 at 8:11 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to onemightylight's comment
pissedoffkenyan

$600 million is not even close to being enough. It is only political window dressing.

August 13 2010 at 7:44 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
jtonkins

Obama refuses to get serious about border security or existing immigration law enforcement, and instead sues Arizona for trying to enforce the law, and then only comes up with a measly $600 million... Yep, "Obama - Going against the will of 'We The People' on a daily basis"

August 13 2010 at 7:38 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply