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Alan Bersin is the "Border Czar" in the administration of Barack Hussein Obama, as the Department of Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for International Affairs and Special Representative for Border Affairs. He was appointed to the position in April 2009, and he reports directly to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. His job entails that he coordinates all of the department's border security and law-enforcement efforts. His position in the Obama administration is essentially the same job he held under President Clinton; Bersin 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 from 1993 to 1998. Alan Bersin is a graduate of Harvard and Yale Law School.
Alan Bersin held the position of U.S. Attorney for San Diego from 1993 to 1998. Shortly before he worked for the Clinton administration in 1995, Bersin said he wanted to focus on suspected smugglers of both drugs and people but was not interested in prosecuting "economic migrants." His border policy, often called "Operation Gatekeeper," shifted the U.S. focus from the arresting of immigrants who were actually crossing the border to a more focused 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.
Bersin was Superintendent of San Diego Public Schools from 1998 to 2005. He was previously the Secretary of Education of California under Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2005 to 2006, and the head of the large San Diego city school district. As Secretary of Education and district head, Bersin took little action against the numerous illegal immigrants in schools under his supervision. As a result, it seems unlikely that Bersin will take strong action against illegal crossers in his role as border czar, and that he will probably support the liberal amnesty programs endorsed by President Obama.
From 2006 to 2009, Alan Bersin was Chairman of the San Diego Regional Airport Authority.