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Border Czar – Alan Bersin

Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs (Source)

Attorney General’s Southwest Border Representative, 1995-1998 (Source)

Secretary of Education for California (Source)

Superintendent of San Diego City Schools (Source)

Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA)(Source)

United States Attorney for the United States District Court for the Southern District of California (Source)

Chair of the executive committee of the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority (Source)

Superintendent of Public Education in San Diego City Schools, 1998-? (Source)

California’s Education Secretary, 2005-? (Source)

Affiliated Scholar, Center for American Progress


  • Bersin to be state education secretary
  • Bersin Considering a Run for City Attorney
  • Obama poised to nominate border czar for Customs commissioner
  • Alan Bersin: Obama’s ‘Border Czar’

    As border czar under Janet Reno in the mid-1990s, implemented “Operated Gatekeeper,” which fortified the border closest to San Diego, but effectively only shifted illegal immigrant crossings east. Immigrant advocacy groups blamed his policies for increased border-crossing deaths.

  • Secretary Napolitano Highlights Illegal Immigration Enforcement, Appoints Alan Bersin as Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative For Border Affairs
  • Bersin to focus on violence in 2nd tour as border czar
  • Collection of all coverage of Alan Bersin
  • Who Runs Government profile
  • From Glenn Beck:

    Title: Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs
    Salary: unknown
    Reports to: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
    Appointed: April 2009
    Agencies that might have handled similar issues: Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)

    • Will coordinate all of the department’s border security and law-enforcement efforts.
    • Essentially had the same job under President Clinton; served as Attorney General Janet Reno’s special representative on border issues, a job that he held while retaining the position of U.S. attorney for San Diego.
    • This time, boss will be Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, who will expect him to handle illegal immigration and drug violence issues along the Mexican-American border
    • Previous experience: Chairman of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority (2006 to 2009); Secretary of Education for California (2005 to 2006); Superintendent of San Diego Public Schools (1998 to 2005); U.S. Attorney for San Diego (1993 to 1998)
    • Graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School
    • Talking about border security shortly before he was named Clinton border czar in 1995, said he wanted to focus on suspected smugglers of both drugs and people and was not interested in prosecuting “economic migrants.”
    • Often tied to the 1994 border policy called “Operation Gatekeeper.” The policy shifted the U.S. focus from the arresting of immigrants who actually crossed the border to an increased border presence designed to stop border crossing in the first place. When Bersin left the position in 1998, border arrests were on pace for an 18-year low of just more than 200,000. Latino groups complained that Operation Gatekeeper was immoral, saying the program monitored the border near San Diego but simply forced illegal immigrants to other, more dangerous areas.
    • Has given more than $50,000 to political campaigns since 1999, almost all of it to Democrats.


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