Southern Border Security Crisis
by MICHAEL CUTLER
December 18, 2010
Two news reports that appeared in the Washington Times a couple of days ago.Both articles are related because both articles report on the failures of our nation to secure the borders of the United States - with devastating results.
The first of the news reports deals with how members of the extremely dangerous Mexican-based drug cartel known as "La Familia" (The Family) have set up shop in the Washington, DC area.
Here is the excerpt from that news report I want you to pay particular attention to:
The indictment says the drug operation was tied to La Familia, a violent Mexico-based gang that has killed 20 Mexican federal police and military officers in attacks this year. According to an affidavit in the case, the cartel is known to distribute large quantities of cocaine, marijuana and crystal methamphetamine.
Based in the Mexican state of Michoacan, about 100 miles southeast of Guadalajara, La Familia has quietly moved its drug operations into the United States. It is one of the Mexican government's highest priorities in its often deadly war against drug-trafficking gangs. Formerly allied with the infamous Gulf cartel, it split off on its own in 2006.
In highly publicized incidents last year, La Familia members launched a series of attacks against Mexican federal police officers and military members after the arrest of some of the gang's high-level members.
In one incident, the gang killed a dozen federal anti-drug agents in an ambush and dumped their bodies on a mountain highway with a note saying, "We will be waiting for you here." Six federal police officers and two soldiers also have died in cartel attacks on police stations and at hotels where the agents were staying.
Last week I watched the Fox News program, "Geraldo at Large" when JD Hayworth, the former Arizona member of the House of Representatives ran, unsuccessfully to unseat Arizona's Senator John McCain, debated Silvestre Reyes, the outgoing Democrat Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on the Issue of the violence along the border that is supposed to separate the United States from Mexico. Reyes will lose his chairmanship of the Subcommittee on Intelligence when the House of Representatives comes under the control of the Republican Party. Reyes was a Border Patrol Chief and often sounds more like an apologist for our nation's failures to secure our nation's borders than someone who had once been sworn to make certain that the border has real security!
A border guard at Nogales, on the Mexican border. Photograph by Tom McLaughlin.
What was interesting about the debate is that Geraldo managed to keep the focus of the debate on the border region- showing that the violence from Mexico has not crossed into the United States. To bolster this point, the extremely low homicide rate of El Paso, Texas was contrasted with the incredible violence to be found on the other side of the border in the Mexican city of Juarez.
What was not discussed was that the violence from Mexico does not only have a direct impact only on border cities of the United States but impacts our entire nation! (Of course it was certainly disconcerting to read that several weeks ago, bullet fired from Mexico struck City Hall in El Paso!)
As I have noted on many previous occasions, when you pay a visit to the border region, you will not find any tents. Illegal aliens and smugglers do not conduct themselves the way that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin did when they landed on the moon back in July of 1969. Our astronauts landed on the moon, set up an American flag and several science experiments, grabbed some lunar rocks, never having wandered more than a few hundred yards from the lunar lander and then quickly blasted off to rendezvous with the command module left in orbit around the moon with Astronaut Mike Collins on board and then headed back to a successful splashdown on planet earth.
The illegal aliens and the criminals among them, are not seeking to simply cross the border, grab some rocks and be photographed on the United States side of the border and head back to Mexico! They head for the rest of our country and the criminals, like those members of La Familia seek to establish themselves in cities clear across our nation!
Janet "The system worked" Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Surrender, has conceded that some 230 American cities from coast to coast and border to border have been infested by the members of the La Familia cartel. Other cities now play "host" to members of MS 13, Jamaican drug posses, members of Asian Organized Crime, Traditional Organized Crime and other criminals and terrorists from the four corners of the globe!
It has been estimated that 75% of crime in the United States is directly or indirectly linked to the drug trade. The issue is not whether or not the violence from Mexico has spilled into the United States into border cities but rather whether or not the violence has spread into the United States into every one of our nation's 50 states!
When I was assigned to the Unified Intelligence Division of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City from 1988 until 1991 I decided to do an analysis of the arrest records of the DEA and the DEA Task Force. I found that nationally some 30% of the individuals that were arrested by the DEA for drug trafficking and related crimes, were identified as being "foreign born" while in New York City, some 60% of those arrested for those crimes were identified as being "foreign born."
Yet ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that is supposed to enforce the immigration laws from within the interior of the United States has about 6,500 special agents for the entire United States of America and it is estimated that at least half of those agents are dedicated to enforcing the customs laws and not the immigration laws! I have been told that there is greater concern at ICE about those who produce counterfeit Gucci wallets then counterfeit passports!
To put that number of ICE agents into perspective, the NYPD has about 35,000 police officers just to protect the City of New York and its residents!
Perhaps the outgoing Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee was comfortable in claiming that there was no violence spilling into the United States from Mexico. I am, however, comforted by the knowledge that Mr. Reyes will no longer be chairing the House Intelligence Committee in just a couple of weeks!
Brian A. Terry, the murdered border guard.
Now we come to the second of the two stories from the Washington Times. This story is about how three United States Border Patrol agents were fired upon by smugglers, with the result that one of those valiant Border Patrol agents, Brian A. Terry was shot and killed. These officials of the government of the United States were attired in readily identified uniforms and the smugglers were so brazen and aggressive to engage the agents in a fire fight with tragic results. I want you to consider the following quote from the news report:
Mr. Terry, who joined the agency three years ago and was a member of the Border Patrol's elite Search, Trauma and Rescue (BORSTAR) team, died early Wednesday. Four of the suspected shooters were taken into custody. A fifth is still being sought.
BORSTAR is an elite unit that often saves the lives of illegal aliens who get lost in the desert and will die if not for the efforts of the BORSTAR teams.
Please consider this other passage from the news report:
"By all accounts he was a fine agent," Mr. Judd said. "This is one more example of the sacrifices made by front-line agents, and it's a major reason we are continually outraged by activists and self-serving politicians in Washington, D.C., who sell us out with incessant talk about 'amnesty' for illegal aliens.â€¨
"While they play games, our country continues to be invaded and Border Patrol agents continue to pay the price," he said.
Rep. Lamar Smith, Texas Republican and chairman-elect of the House Judiciary Committee, said 28,000 people, including 1,000 law enforcement officers, have been killed over the past five years in the war on drugs along the southwest border. He called the Terry death a "sad reminder of the real-life dangers that Americans and our law enforcement agents face along the southwest border."â€¨â€¨
"The Obama administration's lax enforcement of immigration laws, coupled with calls for mass amnesty, only encourage more illegal immigration," he said. "Our border remains porous and the Obama administration has done nothing to stop the steady flow of human and drug smuggling from Mexico."â€¨â€¨Mr. Smith noted that earlier this year, Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was killed on his own property and that the suspect in the case is thought to have been an illegal immigrant.â€¨â€¨
"What will it take to make the Obama administration realize that we must do more to secure our border and keep Americans safe? Last night, Border Patrol Agent Terry lost his life for simply doing his job," he said. "How many more Americans will die before the Obama administration wakes up and starts taking illegal immigration seriously?
I am greatly encouraged that Rep. Lamar Smith, the former Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration is about to become the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. In considering his statement and his tireless efforts to protect our nation and our citizens, I think you will agree with me that Mr. Smith truly "gets it!"
As you read the news reports I have provided you today, do you believe that those who engaged in the shootout with the Border Patrol agents would react with any greater level of respect for any law enforcement officer anywhere else in the United States?
In the 1980's many of us were concerned that terrorists might strike within the United States. Among those of us who had those concerns were the INS special agents I worked with along with other federal agents including members of the FBI, DEA and ATF. Back then the "conventional wisdom" was that terrorists would only use the United States as a source for funding of terrorist activities they engaged in around the world. We did not concur with what we believed was an incredibly myopic and optimistic assessment.
Fueling our concerns were the hijacking of airliners in the 1970's owned by American companies including one incident where an American navy seal was shot and killed when the airliner in which he was a passenger was hijacked and flown to the Middle East. We had also seen many instances, in the 1980's, where terrorists and those supportive of terrorism were buying grocery stores to commit coupon fraud. When they tired of running this multi-million dollar scam that provided funding to terrorist organizations, those who bought or rented the stores set fire to the buildings that housed the stores. Many times the stores were located on the first floor of apartment houses and often these fires resulted in the occupants of the apartments above the stores being badly burned or even killed in the fires.
Of course in 1993 our nation was attacked at the CIA and the World Trade Center but still, our nation's "leaders" told us not to worry. One of my contacts on Capitol Hill told me I needed to not be so adamant about voicing my concerns because, he told me, "You are starting to sound like Chicken Little- running around and telling people the sky is falling!"
On September 11, 2001 the sky did not fall but airplanes did fall out of the sky and crash into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania!
Today I am concerned about the continuing threats posed by terrorists and I am also extremely concerned the extreme violence plaguing Mexico will start playing out in the streets of our nation from coast to coast and border to border!
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Michael Cutler is a Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies and a recognized authority who addresses the implications of immigration on national security and criminal justice. His website can be read here. Each Friday evening from 7 till 9 pm EDT, he co-hosts a radio show called “Bordering on Insanity” on RePatriot Radio. The audience call-in numbers are: 940-825-1041 and 940-825-1042.