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Archive for October 11, 2012


Following the shooting death of Robert Krentz along the US-Mexico Border residents ask government to protect their families, friends and homes.

US-Mexico Border Security in the 1970s was the key in Father Lambert Frembling’s pocket, it opened Mexico from the US and it opened the US from Mexico, it was the typical swinging gate for which US Customs had given him a key to the lock so he could shuttle between his flock as he held mass, funerals, baptisms and wedding in the small Tohono Oodham villages and outlaying chapels. Some of these small chapels were first started by Padre Kino or the early Spanish but today many are on Tohono O’odham Land that spans both sides of the US-Mexico Border.

Spent his life ministering to the Tohono O’odham on both sides of the US-Mexico Border.

The beloved German-born Catholic priest had stopped in Pisinemo on his way to California and he never left! Today Star Wars virtual sentries have been installed to monitor for crossers. Ground sensors, trackers on horseback, overhead drones, helicopters, planes, satellites all fly by, game cameras on popular trails beam up images to satellites who download to Fort Huachuca. The Tethered Aerostat Radar System, or TARS, uses the Aerostat as a stationary airborne platform for a surveillance radar, the system is capable of detecting low altitude aircraft at the radar’s maximum range by mitigating curvature of the earth and terrain masking limitations. TARS provides a detection and monitoring capability along the United States-Mexico border, the Florida Straits, and a portion of the Caribbean in support of the Department of Defense Counterdrug Program.

The Tethered Aerostat Radar uses the aerostat as a stationary airborne platform for surveillance.

The Eye-in-the-Sky peeking over the mountains from Fort Huachuca made famous by chasing Geronimo into Mexico, today Aerostat can see over the horizon and it is constantly getting better. In spite of early, expensive virtual fence ($1 Billion wasted) failures (the fence-ware couldn’t see the difference between a crosser and a wind-blown bush) and if it did see someone, it didn’t know who to call. As a public relations tool HomeLand Security now has placed a (1-877-USBP-HELP) phone number on the back of all new HomeLand Secuirty vehicles.

The Lochiel Arizona crossing was closed in 1983 due to budget retraints.

Back in the day the US-Mexico Border was four strains of barbed wire and with some artfully poured concrete markers. In those days, ranchers dropped the fence to work their land and fields, places like Lochiel, Arizona where the San Rafael Valley links to Mexico, pioneering families like the De La Ossa Family who settled on the line between the two countries around 1886.

Vehicles with visas or Sonoran plates could access the area east of Nogales without going to Nogales first.

For decades the Naco, Az gate was this low tech relic of the 20th Century, since the National Border Industrial Complex has become fully engaged, billions of dollars have changed everything about the US-Mexico Border. At the new Naco Border Patrol Station numerous agents watch monitors showing folks in the darken rooms who and what is hanging out on the Border. If you drive past one, be friendly and wave.

The De La Ossa pioneer family settled on the US-Mexico Border from Spain and for generations they have ranched on both sides of the fence.

East of Nogales, AZ the Lochiel Gate was open from 10am to 4pm daily during the 1970-80’s allowing residents of Santa Cruz (headwaters of the river) Sonora access to the US and hospitals without going to Nogales first and then crossing.

Over the decades settlers found the sleepy valley nirvana, they even had their own border gate that was open daily and their children wandered into the U.S. every day to attend their one-room school and then walked 200 yards back home to Mexico but the gate was closed in 1983 due to budget constraints. Today the US-Mexico Border is an armed camp.

MEXICO-US BORDER FENCE runs east from Lochiel and served as a geological border and each evening this fence was often cut and penetrated at will by smugglers, mules (men carrying backpacks of contraband) and coyotes (guides who escort undocumented crossers and either deliver their cargo or dump them in the desert.

Today it has been militarized and stands as an armed barrier which inspects every vehicle that enters or exits the United States. Smuggling has always existed and folks who grew up along the border, they know the people who profit on both sides of the border, they grew up with them. But in recent years Mexican Drug Cartels have militarized their approach to smuggling by hiring ex-military elite, who have trained load bearing drug smugglers to walk with a shotgun backing them up to negotiate any

First time I crossed at the Sasabe, I drove past the small shack on the US side and as I approached the Mexican one-room entry post I heard gun shots. Ahead of me standing in the entry lane my Mexican border agent was target-practicing while on duty. But as I approached he holstered his pistol and reloaded as I departed. On the US side, the small shack is now this lovely compound with all the 21st century Customs technology.

difficulties incurred along the way. Border bandits have been always a huge issue, ruthless people who prey upon anyone who comes along, robbing folks of whatever cash they carry, rape and kidnapping has always been a risk. The Zeta shotgun always cuts through that red tape. In recent years, cartels have created their own trails walking mountain ridges skirting around ground senors laid out there and go around all the boots now on the ground there. Many tools have been deployed by Homeland Security who spent millions on border surveillance systems that were set off by the movement of animals, trains and wind. Driving the Sasabe stretch of the border where the virtual fence employs silent sentinels to watch your every move I met a deer hunter who has hunted those same canyons for the past dozen years and usually hides in his blind and waits for his deer. In the past, from his blind he often watched as between 100-150 illegal crossers daily walked into the U.S. and just keep going… but not today. When I meet him he had been out three days and had not seen a soul.

The US National Guard takes a forward operating position on Coronado Peak to Monitor smuggling routes to the east and illegal immigration toward the west. “They know we are here, says one Guard member, “we’re just a deterrent !” “They pay me $5000 a month to sit on a rock, for that kinda money I can do that all year-long.”


This virtual fence watches more than 50 miles east and west of Sasabe, AZ

If the new virtual fence doesn’t work! It is a well kept secret in Mexico. One additional deterrent, the National Guard, has established forward operating positions to monitor smuggling and crossing trails and at least in the remote Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, the Altar Valley which is encircled by seven mountain ranges, is the only place in the United States where the Sonoran-savanna grasslands that once spread over the entire region can still be seen. The fragile ecosystem was almost completely destroyed by overgrazing, and a program to restore native grasses is currently in progress. In 1985 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the Buenos Aires Ranch—now headquarters for the 115,000-acre preserve—to establish a reintroduction program for the endangered masked bobwhite quail. At the same time Border crossers and smugglers were moving large groups of crossers who would begin their journey from the village of Altar, Sonora across the flat, friendly, grasslands and into the U.S. where their endless foot traffic was crushing the fragile habitat where bird-watchers considered Buenos Aires unique because it’s the only place in the United States where they can see a “grand slam” (four species) of quail: Montezuma quail, Gambel’s quail, scaled quail, and masked bobwhite. Unlike quail, however, undocumented border crosser are usually unseen keeping to themselves and hoofing it to their destinations and seldom bothering the ranchers and residents who have chosen to live along the line between two countries. In 1976, three Mexicans were tortured and robbed after they illegally crossed a ranchers land to look for work in the U.S..

Tucson’s Tom Miller has written about Life along the U.S. Border for more than 30 years. Miller, a veteran of the underground press of the 1960s, has appeared in Smithsonian, The New Yorker, LIFE, The New York Times, Natural History, and many other publications. He wrote the introduction to Best Travel Writing – 2005, and has led educational tours through Cuba for the National Geographic Society and other organizations. His collection of some eighty versions of “La Bamba” led to his Rhino Records release, “The Best of La Bamba.” His book On the Border has been optioned by Productvision for a theatrical film.

“All right, you fucking wetbacks. You’re not going anywhere.” The gringos built a mesquite fire near the naked migrants, burning their clothes and sacks of food while threatening and taunting the men. “Let’s see if your Virgin of Guadalupe can help you now,” George Hanigan sneered. One of the Hanigan boys pulled a long iron out of the fire and dangled its hot end over the naked men’s bodies. The other young Hanigan allegedly took it from him and touched it to one of the men’s feet, again and again, until the stink of burning flesh mingled with the mesquite. The old man grabbed a knife and threatened to cut off one of the men’s testicles. One of the men had a rope tied around his neck and was dragged through the scorching desert sand. “When they’d had their fun,” recalls long-time community activist Max Torres, “they cut them free one at a time, pointing them to Mexico and opening fire with birdshot.” One of the men ended up with a back full of 47 pellets; another had 125. Brothers Tom and Pat Hanigan were arrested and charged with 11 counts in the kidnapping and torture. Both ranchers were acquitted by an all-white jury in Cochise County Superior Court but then later indicted in federal court, and eventually, one was convicted and the other acquitted. Racism is not their friend and most fear everyone they meet because they have no idea who they can trust. For the next two decades, vigilantism broke out sporadically in Southeast Arizona. In 1980, a local rancher captured and chained a 16-year-old Mexican immigrant by the neck to an outhouse toilet, torturing and starving him for four days. More recently, militia have taken positions on the border, capturing those crossers who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, having their fun, and passing them along to Border Patrol when they were done. Today, the state of Arizona, has now the clout to field a militia to backup law enforcement and utube shows at numerous groups working independently of the state of Arizona. One is out of California, another hails from Cochise County and another can be found in Scottsdale, Arizona-in a state whose legislature passed the controversial SB10-70 “show your papers law” and that recently tossed the Mexican-American Studies Program out of Tucson high schools. For decades, folks I met living on the line often reported hearing noise in the night, perhaps a water faucet was taped to top off the tradition gallon water jug carried by most border crossers. Some might come to the back door and ask for food, many residents said they helped, others say they reported the visit, most didn’t because they found these folks to be honest hard-working people down on their luck in a land they didn’t understand.

After the shooting ranchers and residents of the four corners region of Southeast Arizona, Southwest New Mexico, and the Mexican States of Sonora and Chichuahua meet at the Apache, Arizona one room school house after Congress women Gabby Giffords brought in media from Tucson, Phoenix and the New York Times to hear the needs and concerns of these folk living on the Border. Before the meeting, everyone bowed their heads and paid tribute to their dead friend and fellow rancher Robert Krentz, who like themselves, had tried to make the best of this difficult situation and Krentz and his dog died trying.

Many residents complained to the Border Patrol that they had called and called, reported and reported and no one ever came. Congress Women Gabbie Giffords (far right) brought in media from Tucson and Phoenix “what good is Homeland Security if no one ever shows up when you need them”? Customs vehicles now carry this phone number 1-877-USBP-HELP painted on the back of all vehicles.

On Saturday, March 27th, 2010 the body of Robert Krentz, a longtime rancher, was found on his property near the border with Mexico on Saturday, March 27, 2010. Krentz and his dog were gunned down shortly after he reported spotting someone who appeared to be in trouble.


Foot tracks were followed from the shooting scene about 20 miles south, to the Mexico border, and authorities suspect an illegal immigrant. The killing of the third-generation rancher has become a flashpoint in the immigration debate as politicians cite the episode as further proof that the U.S. must do more to secure the violent U.S.-Mexico border.

Today smugglers have moved off the flats and into the rugged mountain ranges where smugglers now carry their large backpacks and the crossers have moved further west onto the Tohono Oodham Reservation where the desert is less hospitable and where many unprepared for the desert have perished. Homeland Security has now deported more people this year than any year in the past decade. Homeland detained 212,000 in 2010, 120,000 in 2011 and less than 100,000 is expected to be picked up and detained in 2012. Death from failed summer crossing have dropped from 212 in July, 2010, 138 were reported in 2011 and in 2012 the numbers continues to drop but the proportion of those dying trying to cross into the U.S. continue to increase because of the increased difficulty. Border deaths were sparse throughout the 1990s. But in 2000, the numbers jumped drastically, increased border enforcement in California has moved migration routes east into some of Arizona’s most remote and inhospitable terrain. Unusually hot weather, even by Arizona standards, also may be contributing to the large number of deaths this year. Some migrants try to time their journeys to the summer monsoon season with its cooling rains, Kat Rodriguez told the Huffington Post. Rodriguez works with the human rights group Coalicion de Derechos Humanos who supply water stations in the desert to keep crossers alive who lack enough water to survive their journey. “The border experience 10 years ago is completely different than now,” Rodriguez said. (Today) “It’s brutal and ruthless.”

Total border deaths by calendar year: 2001: 77…..2002: 147…..2003: 196…..2004: 219…..2005: 246…..2006: 224…..2007: 250…….2008: 190….2009: 224…..2010: 249…..2011: 182

The 182 bodies of illegal border crossers recovered in fiscal year 2011 from New Mexico to Yuma County (the area within the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector) are the fewest since fiscal 2002 when 147 bodies were found, indicates the Arizona Daily Star’s border death database.

WATER STATIONS are a political hot potato along the US-Mexico Borderlands but volunteers backing up southwest humanitarian groups walk a fine line helping out undocumented crossers and some have been arrested for their troubles. photo by Francisco Medina

Conservative critics of the water stations maintained by Tucson-based Coalicion de Derechos Humanos say the water stations enable “successful crossings” instead of “unsuccessful border crossings” where crossers are either picked up or turn themselves in to avoid death, or die in the desert. Conservatives say knowing the water is there encourage crossers to attempt the journey and without water stations–fewer people would attempt to cross the border–their deaths are their fault for trying and a deterrent to others attempting the trip. Some say many who cross have no idea of what lies before them, many are from the jungles of southern Mexico and South America, and have never seen a desert, let alone, crossed one.

Customs helicopter tracked these crossers, called in ground support and all where taken to holding pins where they await buses to take them back to the border.

Three Border Patrol agents guide 78 illegal immigrants through the desert near Arivaca after they were found when helicopter pilots followed fresh tire tracks to trees in wash where they were hiding. PHOTOS BY GARY GAYNOR

As the U.S. Customs and Border Protection continues to secure the border, the number of border crossings has declined dramatically in the last five years, the number of deaths has not decreased at the same pace. Human rights organizations say the increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border and the absence of government policy addressing the motivations that prompt migrants to cross, despite the dangers. “We never thought that we’d be in the business of helping to identify remains like in a war zone, and here we are,” said Isabel Garcia, co-chair and founder of the Coalicion de Derechos Humanos. While the precise number of individuals crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without authorization is impossible to tally, Border Patrol’s apprehensions and death data offer the most accurate picture available. Each year the Border Patrol reports the number of bodies found along the Southwest border and the number of migrants that agents bring into custody. In 2011, 327,577 migrants attempted to cross the border illegally, down from 858,638 in 2007 — a nearly 62 percent drop. A close look at the numbers reveals that illegal border traffic has slowed and deaths have slightly declined, but the proportion of people dying in an attempt to cross has continued to rise. With no official record-keeping system, the exact number of illegal border crossers who died along Arizona’s stretch of U.S.-Mexican border will never be known. In the summer of 2004, the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson started compiling border deaths recorded by Pima, Cochise and Yuma County medical examiners in an effort to present an accurate tally of the numbers of people who die coming into the United States illegally through Southern Arizona. The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office handles bodies found in Santa Cruz and Pinal Counties as well.

To report somebody who is missing who tried crossing the border through Arizona or for help trying to locate them, contact:
• Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office: 520-243-8600
• Mexican Consulate Call Center: 1-877-632-6678
• Coalición de Derechos Humanos: 520-770-1373
• National Missing and Unidentified Persons System website: http://www.namus.gov

This new wall was suck almost 10′ under ground to deter tunneling. With two months following its completion. Customs found two tunnels to parking spots on the US side, the driver of a car with a false bottom would park and go to lunch and when he returned. He had a fresh load of contraband for the drive home.

Traffic awaits their turn at customs at the DeConcini Border Crossing…

Even after he said it twice, Arizona Senator Lori Klein still insists “Joe the Plumber”– a.k.a. Sam Wurzelbacher — was “joking” about shooting people who illegally cross the U.S./Mexico border.”Put troops on the border, start shootin’;

Sam Wurzelbacher, aka Joe the Plumber

I bet that solves our illegal immigration problem real quick,” he said at a rally for Klein’s campaign. “It’s not because I’m blood-thirsty; it’s not because I want to kill illegal — illegal — immigrants. It’s because I want my border secure, that’s all it comes down to” said the conservative pundit made famous by Arizona’s Senator John McCain who believe his Arizona border is open and recently offered a 10 point plan to stop illegal traffic.

McCain has a 10 Point Plan to secure the southern Border…

“While our border with Mexico has always seen some level of illegal immigration, McCain said, it has not seen the powerful threat of deadly violence that exists today as a result of Mexico’s ongoing war against its drug cartels.”. “I recently returned from a visit to our southern border and we are seeing progress along our land borders, but progress is not success. We must remain vigilant and continue to make every effort to secure our border.” “While Senator McCain and I have successfully fought to increase funding for border security efforts, most in Washington have yet to appreciate that a whole lot more still needs to be done. The Obama Administration claims that the border is ‘more secure than ever,’” said Senator Jon Kyl. “With hundreds of thousands of people illegally crossing the border every year and record drug smuggling and violence, shouldn’t the government be working to completely secure the border? Our plan is a straightforward approach that will actually achieve a secure border.”

Senators McCain and Kyl’s Enhanced Ten Point Border Security Action Plan:

1) Deploy up to 6,000 National Guard troops to the United States-Mexico border.
2) Deploy 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents to the United States-Mexico border by 2016 and Offer Hardship Duty Pay to Border Patrol agents assigned to rural, high-trafficked areas. Provides funding for 500 more customs inspectors for the sw border.
3) Provide increased funding for Operation Streamline. A costly initiative aimed at criminally prosecuting and imprisoning every immigrant who crosses the U.S.-Mexico border unlawfully.
4) Provide increased funding for the Southwest Border Prosecutors Initiative. (Public Law 108-447) $30,000,000 is for the Southwest Border Prosecutor Initiative to reimburse State, county, parish, tribal, or municipal governments only for costs associated with the prosecution of criminal cases declined by local United States Attorneys offices.
5) Provide increased funding for Operation Stonegarden. “Operation Stonegarden grants direct critical funding to state, local and tribal law enforcement operations across the country,” The 2009 allocations reflects President Obama’s increased emphasis on the Southwest border in response to cartel violence along the U.S.-Mexico border. Based on greater risk, heavy cross-border traffic and border-related threat intelligence, nearly 76 percent of the $60 million Operation Stonegarden funds will go to Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas—up from 59 percent in fiscal year 2008.
6) Construct double-layer fencing at needed locations along the United States-Mexico border and replace outdated and ineffective landing-mat fencing along the southwest border.
7) Increase the number of mobile and other surveillance systems and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) along the United States-Mexico border. Send additional fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to the United States-Mexico border.
8) Provide funding for vital radio communications and interoperability between Customs and Border Patrol and state, local, and tribal law enforcement.
9) Provide funding for additional Border Patrol stations along the southwest border and explore the creation of an additional Border Patrol sector in Arizona. Create six more permanent Border Patrol Forward Operating Bases and upgrade existing bases.
10) Complete construction of the planned permanent checkpoint in Arizona. Deploy additional temporary roving checkpoints and increase horse patrols throughout the Tucson Sector.

All traffic from the US-Mexico Frontier is funneled through road check points scattered all over Southern Arizona. New roads has been graded parallel to the Border so Homeland Security is able to access the entire region rapidly.



This new wall was installed in Nogales on the Arizona and Sonora line.

To help the country out the conservative left has tried to raise enough money to build a second border wall to backstop the present wall. One hysterical conservative fund initially raised $265,00 for the second wall, but six months later money for the project has dried up and the existing funds will not construct one mile of border wall. Still advocates say start the construction and more money will begin to flow in to preserve our democracy. The new wall just installed this year in Nogales is designed to halt a 10 ton truck going 40 mph. But it fails to keep out people who can quickly scale the fence, some fall and break bones but many more find a way over the wall. Every night border fence is cut and repaired the next day, critics say Mexican smugglers are able to cut the fence at its base bend it flat and use it as a ramp for trucks to enter the U.S., all in five minutes. The wall will not stop people unless you watch it and if you watch it–you don’t need a wall. One utube video shows two girls climbing the wall in less than 18 seconds! Is this really worth $4 million a mile ?

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s plans didn’t take notice of what’s already been done along the U.S-Mexico, including record-high staffing levels along the border and the failure of a Bush-era virtual-fence plan. Today the Border Patrol has more than 18,500 agents working on the southern border. In the year budget ending last September, agents apprehended about 340,000 illegal immigrants, the fewest in nearly 40 years – an average of 18 apprehensions per agent. The decrease in apprehensions has been linked to a weak economy producing fewer jobs in the U.S. and to more law-enforcement agents and technology being deployed along the border. Under the Bush administration, the government built hundreds of miles of fencing along the Mexican border. A planned virtual fence was also started, but was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2010 after the project was deemed a failure. About 53 miles of virtual fencing is in place near Sasabe, Az, at a cost of about $1 Billion. An exit-verification system has been sought since after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but efforts to build one have been repeatedly stymied, most often because of the projected costs. Earlier this year, John Cohen, deputy counter terrorism coordinator for the Homeland Security Department, told a congressional panel that the agency was finalizing plans for a biometric data system to track who leaves the country and when. He didn’t give any details. Arizona’s unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor however does have some very specific ideas how best to secure the border…

If the United States wants effective border security and not just a political punching bag, where symbolism trumps common sense, then more effective law‐enforcement measures must be taken. By attacking money laundering and making bi‐national criminal investigation and prosecution of the cartel bosses a priority, the border can be made significantly more secure. In the process, the mayhem in Mexico and the smuggling of drugs and people into the United States will be reduced. There must be a unified focus. All agencies must get on the same page to succeed. State and local law enforcement, with the coordinated efforts of all relevant federal agencies, can win this.</a>

The United States’ southern border today bristles with technology and manpower designed to catch illegal immigrants and drug smugglers. Since 1986, the government has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on fences, aircraft, detention centers and agents. But even as federal budgets shrink and illegal immigration ebbs, experts say that there’s no end in sight for the growth of the border-industrial complex. A growing investment on the border stocked with equipment like Blackhawk helicopters — hundreds of aircraft fly daily missions — much of the southern border has grown into an industrial complex that is fed by the government and supplied by defense contractors and construction companies. The infrastructure includes a border fence that in some places has been built and rebuilt several times. And up to 25 miles north of the border, towers, sensors and permanent checkpoints spread across the landscape.

The government spends an estimated $5 million each day to house detainees awaiting deportation. All this takes manpower. Roughly 80,000 federal employees work in immigration enforcement and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano…believes it is safe to say that there has been more money, manpower, infrastructure technology, invested in the border protection mission in the last three years than ever before.

Hernan Lopez, a U.S. Border Patrol camera monitor watching our border with Mexico. Photo by Tricia McInroy

Janet Napolitano

“NOW IS THE TIME FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM SAYS JANET NAPOLITANO”… Since the last comprehensive immigration reform was passed by Congress in 1986, creating the border industrial complex which has been a bipartisan affair. It really picked up after 9/11. Nearly every piece of security legislation since then has contained add-ons for immigration enforcement. If you add up the budgets of the responsible agencies since 1986, the bill is $219 billion in today’s dollars. That’s roughly the entire cost of the space shuttle program. Unlike the space shuttle program, there’s no end in sight. Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, Kentucky Republican Hal Rogers, agrees it’s going to be hard to pull back spending and says DHS is now dealing with the challenge the entire government is facing and that is that our budget is hemorrhaging red ink and we’ve got to cut spending before it’s too late. For the first time in its history, the Department of Homeland Security will get less money in its upcoming budget than it did the year before.

Raul Grijalva

But Arizona Democratic Representative Raul Grijalva says there’s a lot of pressure from Congress and lobbyists to maintain and even move forward with programs. Representative Raul Grijalva says “here’s a mutual dependency that’s been created in the industries and Homeland Security. And that industry is going to, and is starting to become, a very, very powerful lobby here.”

Politicans turned out to shake hands on Labor Day in Eloy, Az after the parade through downtown. The controversial Sheriff of Pinal County Paul Babeu shook hands with his constituents asking each for their vote. Babeu has recently drawn attention and criticism for his use of military equipment for a slush fund and was just told to return the equipment …

NEWS FLASH: Sheriff Paul Babeu announced the creation of an armed Anti-Smuggling Posse to assist our Pinal’s tactical team and narcotics task force as they track, attempt to identify and arrest those responsible for drug and human trafficking in Pinal County. Babeu stated “the cartels of Mexico have between 75 to 100 lookout posts through this known drug and human smuggling corridor. They use these high vantage points to ensure their loads, whether they are humans or drugs, make it through. The armed Anti-Smuggling Posse with help provide additional strength to our operations to ensure the safety of our citizens and our members. We will continue to bring the heavy hand of enforcement to those who think they can smuggle drugs or humans through Pinal County.”</a>

<a href=”http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/longley-industry-of-border-security-creates-extra-/nRjsP/” title=”NATIONAL BORDER INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX” target=”_blank”>During the past 40 years, a multi-billion-dollar border industrial complex has sprouted up, bearing a striking resemblance to the military industrial complex that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about in 1960. These large institutions have a vested interest in short circuiting immigration reform and absorbing huge quantities of national security funds. What are the foundations of the complex? An obvious one is the private sector writes Kyle Longley, a history professor at Arizona State University
and the author of four books.


Many businesses long dependent on military spending have expanded into border security. The efforts of Boeing to build a high-tech fence along the border provide one example. It spent $1 billion of a proposed $8 billion budget before Homeland Security pulled the contract after Boeing produced only 53 miles of a flawed virtual fence. Not all businesses have defense industry ties. In fact, one of the biggest beneficiaries remains the private prison system. Huge companies, including Corrections Corporation and GEO Group, incarcerate large numbers of illegal immigrants for the government. Understanding the potential, the company’s lobbyists have backed hardline security-first leaders, such as Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who championed the Senate Bill 1070 immigration law. Many others in the private sector benefit, from airlines that rent planes to ICE to deport immigrants, to the local business people who provide food and gas to Border Patrol agents. It is a lucrative industry that ensures private businesses employ armies of lobbyists to push their agendas.

Lots of vehicles need lots of gas…

The border security industrial complex has strong political boosters, particularly members of Congress from the Southwest. With poverty high in many areas, groups such as the Border Patrol provide employment and pump in billions of dollars. Drive through Ajo, Arizona, where copper mining dried up in the 1980s, and you find a town that relies heavily on an extremely visible presence of the Border Patrol. The scene is replicated from San Diego to Brownsville. Local officials (mayors, sheriffs, police chiefs) have proved to be stalwart supporters of the complex. The federal government pours billions of dollars into border security, and these officials compete for the monies to supplement their law enforcement budgets. Municipalities throughout the Southwest have become dependent on the federal money to survive during hard times.


The NICHOLAS IVIE, the U.S. Border Patrol agent killed in a shooting in Southern Arizona apparently opened fire on two fellow agents thinking they were armed smugglers and was killed when they returned fire, the head of the Border Patrol agents union said. The two sets of agents approached an area where a sensor had been activated early Tuesday from different directions and encountered each other in an area of heavy brush, National Border Patrol Council President George McCubbin told the Associated Press in Phoenix.”It’s happened and it’s a horrible tragedy for the agents involved and their families and the agency,” McCubbin said. “We can come up with some reasons as to how this happened, but that doesn’t fix anything. All we can do is send prayers to the families and all the agents involved that somehow they can find some peace with this someday.”Ivie’s death marked the first fatal shooting of an agent since a deadly 2010 firefight with Mexican bandits that killed U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December 2010 and spawned congressional probes of a botched government gun-smuggling investigation.

National Geographic has produced a”Border Wars” website produced from Nogales, Arizona, where the men and women of U.S. Customs and Border Protection are at ground zero in the war against drug trafficking, illegal immigration, and terrorism. Officers and agents work around the clock patrolling 1100 square miles of terrain, including some 32 miles of international border between the U.S. and Mexico. Border Wars follows these men and women as they fight a daily battle at one of the busiest border crossings in the U.S. The cameras were there as officers raced to save suffering migrants in the desert, uncovered a shocking cartel smuggling strategy, rescued two little girls as they were smuggled into the United States, and broke a port record for a single seizure. They also captured video of a drug-ladden ultralight airplace dropping his load in the U.S and flying back into Mexico. These agents’ and officers’ work goes on 24/7 as they protect the nation from the front lines, click here to see them work.</a>

<a href=”http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/videos/ultralight-drug-drop/embed/” title=”DRUG DROP” target=”_blank”>CLICK HERE TO SEE ULTRA-LIGHT AIRPLANE DROP HIS LOAD OF DRUGS…

Congress women Gabby Giffords shortly before being shot a a townhall meeting in Tucson Arizona, the Tucson lawmaker passed legislation making ultralight flights over the US-Mexico Border illegal. This new law handed local law enforcement a new weapon against illegal drug smuggling for border bound law enforcement agencies.

“Ten Years of Waste, Immigrant Crackdowns and New Drug Wars” written by Tom Berry on his Friends of Justice blog …CLICK HERE

Just as the Bush administration launched the “global war against terrorism” and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in a burst of misguided patriotism, the administration also thrust us into a new era of “homeland” and border security with little reflection about costs and consequences. Without a clear and steady focus on the actual security threats, “homeland” and border security have devolved into wars against immigrants and drugs. Instead of prioritizing intelligence and interagency communication – the failures of which made 9/11 possible – the Bush administration, and now the Obama administration, have mounted security-rationalized crackdowns on the border and in the interior of the “homeland.”

As a result, the criminal justice system is overwhelmed, our prisons are crowded with immigrants and the flagging “war on drugs” has been given new life at home and abroad. Absent necessary strategic reflection and reform, the rush to achieve border security has bred dangerous insecurities about immigration and the integrity of our border.

Tightened control has made illegal crossings more difficult and more expensive. It has also turned what were previously routine, nonviolent crossings into dangerous undertakings that regularly involve dealings with criminal organizations. An indirect and certainly unintended consequence of the US border security buildup has been the increasingly violent competition between criminal organizations and gangs as they both struggle to maintain markets and trafficking corridors. Despite the border security buildups and $100 billion spent along the southwestern border, no terrorists or terrorist weapons have been seized. DHS does point out, however, that every year it regularly apprehends illegal border crossers from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. Those apprehended are mostly from Cuba, with single digit numbers from Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. Border security hawks point to these arrests of citizens from “special interest countries” as evidence that the “broken border” keeps Americans vulnerable and that the border should be completely sealed.

Ten years after the federal government undertook a new commitment to domestic and border security, the nation deserves to know what the tens of millions of dollars spent on securing the southwestern border have accomplished. Before more tax dollars are dedicated to border security, we need new policy frameworks for immigration and illegal drugs that disaggregate these issues from homeland and national security.

The post-9/11 imperative of securing “the homeland” set off a widely played game of one-upmanship that has had Washington, border politicians and sheriffs, political activists and vigilantes competing to be regarded as the most serious and hawkish on border security. The emotions and concerns unleashed by the 9/11 attacks exacerbated the long-running practice of using the border security issue to further an array of political agendas – immigration crackdowns, border pork-barrel projects, drug wars, states’ rights and even liberal immigration reform.

Janet Napolitano noted that there are more U.S. Border Patrol agents now than ever before, that deportations of illegal immigrants hit a record high last year and that there are higher rates of drug and gun seizures. That is proof of a tighter border, she said. “Too often, the ‘border security first’ refrain has served as an excuse for failing to address overall immigration reform,” Napolitano said.









Nicholas Ivie, a 30-year-old father of two, was shot and killed in the sparse desert in SE ARIZONA




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