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The Border Patrol has rapidly expanded over the last five years, doubling from 10,000 agents to about 20,000, and this new measure will go further still.

Mr. Obama had actually called for cutting the number of agents in his 2011 budget, but facing a backlash from Congress earlier this year he proposed the 1,000-agent increase and submitted an emergency funding request, which became the basis for the bill Congress just passed.