Federal officials meet with Indian tribes on securing borders

Officials with the Border Patrol, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, the White House Office of Homeland Security and the Interior Department are meeting with American Indian leaders and law enforcement officials explore to ways to strength security along the Southwest and Northern U.S. borders.

The two-day conference began Thursday.

Eleven of the United States' 21 border-patrol sectors encompass American Indian lands and are adjacent to the border.

"If there was any question about the need to maximize cooperation and coordination, it was answered by the terrorist attacks [of Sept. 11]," said INS Commissioner James Ziglar.

The meetings are aimed at building on a national border-control strategy begun in 1994 in an effort to stop drug smuggling and prevent undocumented migrants from entering the country.

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