Saturday, July 10, 2010

Southern Arizona Border and SB 1070

Obama Napolitano Lying About The Border

by Ronnie Spangler

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people from Yuma, Tuscon, Nogales, and Phoenix that took the time to talk to me and explain what is really going on. I would also like to thank my followers on Twitter that kept in touch while I traveled through Arizona.

After traveling along the southern border of Arizona and Mexico I have come to one very clear conclusion, President Obama and Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano are lying to the American people. The border is not as safe as it has ever been. Also to my surprise an overwhelming number of 2nd and 3rd generation of Americans of Mexican decent, living in Arizona, support SB 1070 and the crack down on illegal immigration.

This is not my first trip to Arizona. I have visited and traveled Az. for over 40 years. While illegal immigration has always been an issue along the southern border states, the violence facing Az and other states has gotten out of hand. When Americans feel they have to be armed just to visit the desert or mountain areas on a family camping trip,then something has gone terribly wrong in our country. The truth is Arizona is returning to the Wild Wild West made famous by Hollywood.

My first stop along the border was in the Yuma sector. For those not familiar with the area it is a beautiful region that borders California and Mexico. It has everything from agricultural to mountain and desert terrain. Like most of central and southern Az the population is very diverse with Americans descending from all parts of the country and world. It is mostly small business oriented and these are the people I spoke to about the problems they are having along the border. Due to constant threats from Mexican drug cartels and drug gangs involved in smuggling, most people will not speak publicly about illegal immigration. For this reason I would never divulge the names of people I have spoken to during my travels along the border.

After establishing a relationship of trust with some of the small business owners and their employees, I asked them if they supported the new law and the crack down on illegals in Arizona. 8 out of 10 supported the effort including Mexican/Americans. The main reason they gave for supporting the law, they are sick and tired of all of the violence associated with drug and human smuggling. While drug and smuggling crimes have decreased over the years you still hear about the occasional stash house and other drug related crimes on the local news.

The major contributing factor for the decrease in violence in the Yuma sector is the way the Border Patrol and CBP operates. Unlike other sectors Yuma operates under Operations Command meaning all drug and illegal entries across the border are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The crackdown began in 1994 under Operation Gatekeeper, while the operation names have changed over the years the main initiative for the operation has not. That is to reduce violence and illegal activities along the border in this sector. The efforts by CBP, Border Patrol and local law enforcement have paid off for residents in the Yuma sector and they appreciate and support both federal and local law enforcement agencies. However, residents in the Yuma sector are worried things will start to return to the days prior to Operation Gatekeeper if President Obama and Secretary Napolitano are successful in weakening the Border Patrol and relaxing the laws on illegal immigration.

Few people are aware of the work Border Patrol agents do in the Yuma sector. One of the areas that most Americans never hear about is an area considered no man's land near Lukeville Az. Before the crackdown this area was notorious for drug and human trafficking. The Border Patrol with agents mainly from Wellton and Yuma continually man this remote area known as Desert Grip (or Camp Grip by locals)to stop illegals attempting to smuggle drugs into the US. While I was there I saw just how effective the Border Patrol agents that man this area can be, see story here. As a result of Border Patrol's increased presence and success at catching would be smugglers the Mexican drug cartels issued a warning that they would retaliate against the Border Patrol Agents in the Camp Grip area over the 4th of July holiday. Agents were informed of the threats and responded with increased vigilance. Nothing transpired and the agents carried out their assigned duties.

Using the Border Patrol's budget Secretary Napolitano is now undermining the hard work of the agents that man this post. The terrain surrounding Camp Grip is rugged and consist of both desert and mountain ranges. Agents are required to spend 7 days at a time eating, sleeping and patrolling this vast area that covers hundreds of square miles. They do this 24/7 and now due to recent cuts in budget they do it without the benefit of being paid for overtime hours. It is beyond me how the Secretary expects an agent to just stop during the middle of a chase or apprehension because his or her shift has come to an end. The Union representing the Border Patrol agents have appealed this insane decision.

This is a short posting of what I saw in the Yuma sector. More postings will follow concerning Yuma, Tuscan, Nogales and Phoenix.

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