WASHINGTON -- "America's Mayor" Rudy Giuliani says securing the U.S.' southern border should be a walk in Central Park compared to the job he had cutting crime in Gotham.
"When I look at this size of the border, I think of how I reorganized the police department to reduce crime in New York City," Giuliani told lawmakers Wednesday at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing on preventing terrorism.
"I know this sounds like a strange statement, but I think it would be easier to control the southern border than reduce crime by 50 or 60 percent in New York City," said Giuliani, who was best known as a crime fighter before terrorists struck his city on 9/11.
The mayor said the scale was "about the same," and estimated the nation would need "50 border patrol stations" and "20 to 30,000 border patrol agents" to complete the task of securing the border. The recently passed Senate immigration reform bill would add about that many agents to the border, on top of the 20,000-strong force already on the job.
Giuliani said he always thought that controlling the southern border was "much easier" than people think. "It's not as impossible a task as people make it out to be," he said.
The mayor also said there was "no question" that the immigration system needs to be fixed, and stressed that a "civilized country" is able to control its borders.
"There's nothing unfair about that. There's nothing inhumane about that," Giuliani said. "It's actually humane to the citizens that are here that we make a good faith effort to figure out who ... is in this country and identify themselves when they come in."
Giuliani said he believes the current Senate bill provides the resources necessary to enhance border security.
"I think if you properly deploy the border patrol, and use modern technology, you can reduce illegal entries from the southern border to something like a very, very small percentage," Giuliani told The Huffington Post after the hearing. "It's not an impossible task, it's just a question of, do you have enough people and do you get them there in time to stop people from coming in. That is a solvable problem."
Coincidentally, Giuliani isn't the only person to see a comparison between policing the border and policing New York. But in a Senate floor speech last month, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) suggested the NYPD had it easier.
Cruz argued that while New York has more than 34,000 police officers covering 468 square miles, there are only 18,500 border patrol agents guarding against entry from Mexico. "Instead of policing 468 square miles, they're policing approximately 200,000 square miles," Cruz said. "That's a density of zero-point-one agent per square mile."
Though it is unclear where Cruz got his 200,000 square mile number, the Senate immigration reform bill, if passed, would result in 40,000 total Border Patrol agents. That would mean one agent for roughly every 264 feet of the some 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.