Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Crime from Mexico Flows Over Open Borders

Cross posted from The Virtuous Republic

Throughout history, empires have built walls to keep foreign influences out. Whether it is Hadrian's Wall or the Great Wall of China, we know historically that manned fortifications like these can help defend the homeland for years. Walls are not the end all of border protection, but in the case of the United States, where the problem is illegal immigration, a secured border can help our nation determine who and what enters our country.

With that in mind, Azcentral.com has a chilling article on the consequences of not monitoring our southern border. Drugs and the violence associated with it are spilling over our southern border. Yet, the Secretary of Homeland Security, from his recent comments, is less than enthusiastic about border control. The question boils down to sovereignty. Are we a nation that controls not only the heartland, but our frontiers? Right now, it seems we project our sovereignty better in Baghdad than along our own southwestern border.

The border crime issue became so urgent in Arizona that top officials met in Tucson in June with their counterparts from Sonora, Mexico. Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano agreed to help train Sonoran police to track wire payments to smugglers. Sonoran Gov. Eduardo Boors agreed to improve police communications with U.S. authorities.

In the first nine months of this year, Tucson officials surpassed their record from last year of 4,559 human smuggling arrests.

In tiny Douglas, Ariz., so far this year, the Mexican consulate has identified the bodies of five Mexican nationals who died under suspicious circumstances while crossing into the U.S., and he is awaiting identification of five more he presumes were Mexicans as well. There were only seven such deaths in all of last year.

Statewide the picture is equally bleak. Murders of illegal crossers is up 21 percent over last year.

Another visible effect of the cross-border crime wave is the flood of drugs into the country.

Anthony J. Coulson, assistant special agent in charge of the DEA in Arizona, said records indicate that cocaine and heroin seizures might end up twice as high as last year. Marijuana seizures are increasing 25 percent; nine months into the current fiscal year, he said, they had seized more pot than all of last year, "and 2006 was a record year, " Coulson said.

In the Tucson sector alone there has been a 71 percent increase in marijuana seizures over the last year, with the U.S. Border Patrol reporting 648,000 pounds grabbed since October.

In tony Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb, said Sheriff Arpaio, a cartel operative was openly selling heroin to high school kids. "He was getting 150 calls a day on his cell phone," the sheriff said.

The DEA believes 80 percent of the methamphetamine in the United States is coming from labs in Mexico, which were set up after police raids shut down many of the labs in the U.S.

In Dallas, police are dealing with the deaths of 21 high school students in the last two years from "cheese heroin," a mixture of Mexican heroin and over-the-counter cold medicine. The hits sell for $2 to $5. Several arrests of dealers have been made; now officials are bracing for the coming school season. Read the entire article....

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