Comment Last Three
October 20, 2010
The Secretary of DHS says that our border with Mexico is secure. Really? Why are Mexican drug gangs operating inside the United States? When a major Mexican drug cartel opened a branch office here on the California side of the border, U.S. authorities tapped into its cellphones - then listened, watched and waited.
Their surveillance effort captured more than 50,000 calls over six months, conversations that reached deep into Mexico and helped build a sprawling case against 43 suspects - including Mexican police and top officials - allegedly linked to a savage trafficking ring known as the Fernando Sanchez Organization.
According to the wiretaps and confidential informants, the suspects plotted kidnappings and killings and hired American teenage girls, with nicknames like Dopey, to smuggle quarter-pound loads of methamphetamine across the border for $100 a trip. To send a message to a rival, they dumped a disemboweled dog in his mother's front yard.
But U.S. law enforcement officials say the most worrisome thing about the Fernando Sanchez Organization was how aggressively it moved to set up operations in the United States, working out of a San Diego apartment it called "The Office."
At a time of heightened concern in Washington that drug violence along the border may spill into the United States, the case dubbed "Luz Verde," or Green Light, shows how Mexican cartels are trying to build up their U.S. presence.
The Fernando Sanchez Organization's San Diego venture functioned almost like a franchise, prosecutors say, giving the group greater control over lucrative smuggling routes and drug distribution networks north of the border. "They moved back and forth, from one side to the other. They commuted. We had lieutenants of the organization living here in San Diego and ordering kidnappings and murders in Mexico," said Todd Robinson, the assistant U.S. attorney who will prosecute the alleged ring next year.
The case shows that as the border becomes less of an operational barrier for Mexican cartels, it appears to be less of one for U.S. surveillance efforts. Because the suspects' cellphone and radio traffic could be captured by towers on the northern side of the border, U.S. agents were able to eavesdrop on calls made on Mexican cellphones, between two callers in Mexico - a tactic prosecutors say has never been deployed so extensively.
Captured on one wiretap: a cartel leader, a former homicide detective from Tijuana, negotiating with a Mexican state judicial police officer about a job offer to lead a death squad. Recorded on other calls: the operation's biggest catch, Jesus Quinones Marquez, a high-ranking Mexican official and alleged cartel operative code-named "El Rinon," or "The Kidney." As he worked and socialized with U.S. law enforcement officials in his role as international liaison for the Baja California attorney general's office, Quinones passed confidential information to cartel bosses and directed Mexican police to take action against rival traffickers, prosecutors say.
He and 34 other suspects are now in U.S. jails. The remaining eight are still at large. Investigators say it is not unusual for Mexican cartel leaders and their underlings to move north in search of refuge or to place representatives in such cities as Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta to manage large deliveries of drugs. But the Fernando Sanchez Organization was more ambitious. It was building a network in San Diego, complete with senior managers to facilitate large and small drug shipments and sales.
The gang is an offshoot of the Tijuana cartel, led by baby-faced Fernando Sanchez Arellano, a nephew of the once fearsome Arellano-Felix brothers who ran the Tijuana drug trade for almost 20 years before they were captured or killed. The nephew's organization is a weaker syndicate, at war with itself and rivals, police say, and locked in a desperate struggle to maintain market share in the highly competitive billion-dollar drug corridor into California.
Unlike the cartel crews in Mexico, which are typically built on strong ties between families or friends, the San Diego franchise recruited from U.S.-based Latino street gangs. Some recruits were illegal immigrants, others U.S. citizens, according to arrest warrants. Twelve of the 43 indicted have alleged gang affiliations in San Diego. Six of the 43 are current or former Mexican law enforcement officers. Eight are women.
"You couldn't pick these people out of a crowd," said Leonard Miranda, a retired captain in the Chula Vista, Calif., police department who worked on the investigation. "Some of them kept a very low profile. Their family members didn't even know."
According to the 86-page federal racketeering indictment unsealed July 23, cartel members operated stash houses, managed smuggling crews, distributed marijuana and methamphetamine, trafficked in weapons, laundered money, committed robberies and collected drug debts. When people did not pay, they were kidnapped or targeted with execution on both sides of the border.
U.S. authorities say the wiretaps allowed them to foil murder plots and other violent acts. The assistant special agent in charge of the San Diego FBI office, David Bowdich, said his teams stopped the execution of two Mexican police officers. The authorities also saved a cartel associate called "Sharky" who was going to be killed because he had disrespected drug lords in Tijuana.
From their apartments by the beach or cars parked at motels, the targets of the investigation talked and talked on their cellphones. They almost always spoke in Spanish, usually in clipped code, with lots of street slang. They bought and quickly discarded the phones. Top lieutenants often employed "alineadores," personal assistants who juggled a dozen phones and took messages so that the boss would not be heard on the line. Investigators say the alleged cartel members clearly were afraid that their calls could be monitored.
And they were right. In February, the FBI secured hard-to-get "roving" wiretaps for 44 individuals that allowed investigators to track their movements via global positioning satellites. According to U.S. law enforcement officials, the Mexican government was not involved in the investigation. Quinones, the high-ranking Mexican official, was a close adviser to Attorney General Rommel Moreno, the top prosecutor in Mexico's Baja California state. He was arrested July 22 when U.S. agents invited him to the San Diego police department to help with an investigation. It was a setup.
"My client's gone from a cross-border international liaison officer to a guy in a 10-by-10-foot isolation cell in lockdown 23 hours a day," said his attorney, Patrick Hall, who described Quinones as "a normal dad with three kids, married 11 years, who lived in Tijuana all his adult life and was one of the dads out there at the Little League baseball games." Hall said the federal agents were "reading in facts and interpretations and distortions into the true meanings of what's being said on the wiretaps."
Quinones's arrest has almost certainly dealt a blow to efforts at cross-border information sharing and collaboration, though officials on both sides played down the apparent betrayal. "Would you stop going to church just because of one bad priest?" Quinones's boss, Moreno, said in an interview in Tijuana. But the U.S. wiretaps also detected other troubling signs of corruption.
On the day of the mass arrests, U.S. agents arranged for suspected drug lieutenant Jose Najera Gil to pick up visa documents he was seeking from the U.S. Consulate in Tijuana. But the Mexican police who were supposed to arrest him at the consulate failed to show up.
A day before the arrests, another Mexican police officer, Jose Ortega Nuvo, received a call on his cellphone, which was being tapped by U.S agents. The caller warned him that he was about to be arrested. According to court testimony, the call came from the offices of the federal police in Mexico City - a special unit vetted to work alongside agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Secure our border--get control of illegals and drugs.
October 04, 2010
I have been saying for years that the only way to stop the illegal activity (drugs and human trafficking) on our southern border is to put our military on the border. Only the military can combat the drug lords and criminal gangs. The military must be given the power to use lethal force and to stop anyone coming across the border at the border, not 50 miles inside the US.
Congressman Ted Poe has introduced legislation requiring the Defense Department to make National Guard troops available to states on request due to an attack on a wife and husband on a Texas lake.
Rep. Ted Poe, in response to what he called the federal governments failure to answer the repeated requests of border state governors to protect the nation's international borders, has offered the National Guard Border Enforcement Act to ensure that border states "have the needed resources to protect their citizens from the ongoing border-related violence." The bill, endorsed by 20 other Republican members of the House, would authorize the secretary of defense to make 10,000 National Guard troops available on request from a U.S. governor. In addition, the troops would be paid for by the federal government and serve under the command of the requesting governor.
"The first duty of the federal government is to protect its people," Mr. Poe said. "Texans are tired of the federal governments failure to secure our borders and enforce our laws, yet at the same time running roughshod over state governments when they try to enforce the law and protect their citizens."
Currently, the Defense Department has allocated only 250 National Guard support troops for the entire 1,254-mile Texas-Mexico border and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said Texas must pay for any additional troops to enforce existing federal immigration laws along the international border.
Rep. John Culberson, Texas Republican and one of the bill's co-sponsors, said the federal government is "directly responsible for enforcing existing laws to secure our borders and ensure the safe and legal movement of people, goods and commerce across our borders."
"Unfortunately, President Obama has failed in this effort, and it is now time for Congress to act," Mr. Culberson said. "There is a war on our southern border, and it is time to put an end to the horrific violence."
More than 28,000 people have been killed in Mexico's ongoing drug war, which U.S. authorities have said has spilled into the United States. In September, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, warning travelers the area was unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers.
Pinal County, Ariz., Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose county lies at the center of major drug- and alien-smuggling routes to Phoenix and cities east and west, warned last month that Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state. "This is going on here in Arizona," he said. "This is 70 to 80 miles from the border — 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States."
Under the National Guard Border Enforcement Act, troops will be authorized to conduct armed vehicle and foot patrols on the U.S. southern border; interdict vehicles, vessels, aircraft or other, similar activities; search, seize and detain suspects; construct roads, fences and vehicle barriers; conduct search-and-rescue operations; gather intelligence; conduct surveillance and reconnaissance; and rely on aviation support.
Mr. Poe, a former state judge and prosecutor, has been a longtime advocate of increased border security. Recently, he warned during a speech on the House floor that Americans were being targeted inside the United States, including fisherman on Falcon Lake in Zapata County, Texas, one of the best bass-fishing spots in the United States. The lake is part of the international boundary between Texas and Mexico. "That piece of paradise has been intruded on this month by the lawlessness seeping over from the Mexican border," he said, noting that in two separate incidents, U.S. fishermen were robbed at gunpoint on the lake by Mexican pirates, who held AR-15 rifles to their heads.
On Thursday, a McAllen, Texas, man was fatally shot after being ambushed by six Mexican pirates in two boats on Falcon Lake. Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo Gonzalez identified the victim as David Michael Hartley, 30, who was riding with his wife on personal watercraft on the lake. Sheriff Gonzalez told reporters that Mr. Hartley's wife tried circling back to pull him from the water, but she was forced to retreat after being fired at by the gunmen.
The federal government must help states combat the Mexican invasion--not have the Department of Justice sue the states since it is a "federal responsibility". Big government --do your job.
September 01, 2010
The Obama administration says that it has secured our southern border and Arizona is a racist state since it wants to crack down on illegals. Obama's Justice Department has sued the Governor of Arizona for doing her elected job of protecting the citizens of her state. Obama's State Department has reportred Arizona to the United Nations as an example of how Obama is targeting one of the proud US 50 states on human rights violations...go figure.
Now, the federal government has posted signs along a major interstate highway in Arizona, more than 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border, warning travelers the area is unsafe because of drug and alien smugglers, and a local sheriff says Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of the state.
The signs were posted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 between Casa Grande and Gila Bend, a major east-west corridor linking Tucson and Phoenix with San Diego. I guess that the Obama's Chief of Staff and Justice Department did not send a memo to the BLM saying that all illegals are just law abiding folks who are seeking honest employment.
They warn travelers that they are entering an "active drug and human smuggling area" and they may encounter "armed criminals and smuggling vehicles traveling at high rates of speed." Beginning less than 50 miles south of Phoenix, the signs encourage travelers to "use public lands north of Interstate 8" and to call 911 if they "see suspicious activity."
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu, whose county lies at the center of major drug and alien smuggling routes to Phoenix and cities east and west, attests to the violence. He said his deputies are outmanned and outgunned by drug traffickers in the rough-hewn desert stretches of his own county.
"Mexican drug cartels literally do control parts of Arizona," he said. "They literally have scouts on the high points in the mountains and in the hills and they literally control movement. They have radios, they have optics, they have night-vision goggles as good as anything law enforcement has.
"This is going on here in Arizona," he said. "This is 70 to 80 miles from the border - 30 miles from the fifth-largest city in the United States." He said he asked the Obama administration for 3,000 National Guard soldiers to patrol the border, but what he got were 15 signs.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer condemned what she called the federal government's "continued failure to secure our international border," saying the lack of security has resulted in important natural recreational areas in her state being declared too dangerous to visit.
In a recent campaign video posted to YouTube, Mrs. Brewer - standing in front of one of the BLM signs - attacked the administration over the signs, calling them "an outrage" and telling President Obama to "Do your job. Secure our borders."
BLM spokesman Dennis Godfrey in Arizona said agency officials were surprised by the reaction the signs generated when they were put up this summer. No kidding---drug criminals in control of portions of AZ....
July 18, 2010
The Obama administration and the Secretary of DHS say that our southern border is secure and there is little cross-border violence. Really? Why is Arizona tops in the nation with human trafficking, kidnapping, and car thefts? Why is Texas having so many criminal issues and American citizens being killed, raped, or threatened? I contend that our southern border is more violent than the borders in Iraq, Iran, or Afghanistan.
The first successful car bombing by a drug cartel brings a new dimension of terror to a Mexican border region already shocked by random street battles, bodies dangling from bridges and highway checkpoints mounted by heavily armed criminals. Look at the types of weapons and the no-prisoner mentality of the drug cartels.
The attack, seemingly lifted from an al-Qaida playbook, demonstrated once again that the cartels are a step ahead of both an already guarded public and federal police, who have recently taken over command from the military of the battle against traffickers in Ciudad Juarez, a city across the border from El Paso, Texas. "It's a lot like Iraq," said Claudio Arjon, who owns a restaurant near the scene of the attack and was surveying the damage from behind police lines Saturday morning. "Now, things are very different. It's very different. It's very ugly."
People in Ciudad Juarez already live under siege. Like many restaurant owners, Arjon closes his business long before dark every day to avoid criminal gangs that threaten him and his clientele. Parents take separate cars to the same place so one can warn the other of dangers up ahead. Ambulance drivers and emergency room doctors come under fire from gang members trying to finish off wounded rivals.
A street gang tied to the Juarez cartel lured federal officers and paramedics to the site of the bomb by dressing a bound, wounded man in a police uniform and calling in a false report of an officer shot, said Ciudad Juarez Mayor Jose Reyes. Among the three people killed was a private doctor who rushed to the scene to help treat the wounded man. Among the injured was a local TV cameraman who had been filming the paramedics treating the man. Even in a country where beheadings and drive-by shootings are routine, they could not imagine the cartels would choose that vulnerable moment to strike.
Federal police said the bombing attack was in retaliation for the arrest earlier in the day of a top leader of the La Linea gang, which works for the Juarez drug cartel. Investigators were still trying to determine what type of explosives the attackers used. Brig. Gen. Eduardo Zarate, the commander of the regional military zone, said as much as 22 pounds (10 kilograms) of explosives might have been used. He said it might have been detonated remotely, adding that burned batteries connecting to a mobile phone were found at the scene.
A senior U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the Mexican investigation is ongoing, said it is possible Mexican drug cartels were receiving bomb training from foreign groups — but it is just as likely they are learning on their own. "They could be looking at the Internet, and there are publications out there," he said. The cartels have an amazing intelligence capability and they are far ahead of law enforcement. DHS has captured unknown persons on the border from terrorist countries.
Last month, cartel gunmen killed 12 federal police in the western state of Michoacan. A jailed suspect later described the carefully planned ambush to police, making it clear the gang knew exactly where the police patrol was going to be and when. Also, a US embassy person was killed due to her issuing visas to drug runners.
And in another first, suspected cartel gunmen assassinated two candidates during campaigning last month for local and state elections, including the leading contender for governor of the northern border state of Tamaulipas. Never before had drug gangs killed such a high-ranking electoral candidate. Hand grenades and many other military type weapons are being used---which requires our US military to be an enforcer on our southern border.
Is our southern border really safe Mr. President and Madam Secretary?
May 02, 2010
The below 10 facts about crime across America is related to our unsecured borders for over 30 years. The drug cartels and criminals are now running rampant across the United States.
Many Americans are already painfully aware that violent crime is experiencing a massive upsurge in the United States. As the U.S. economy has tanked and as unemployment has skyrocketed and the illegal alien issue has not been addressed, many Americans have found themselves becoming increasingly desperate. Hard economic times usually lead to an increase in crime, but what is happening across the U.S. now is absolutely stunning. Mexican drug gangs are running unchecked across America.
In fact, there are many communities in the United States where it is simply not safe to go out at night anymore--parts of Washington, DC, Chicago, New York, and even small towns across the U.S. Millions of Americans find themselves prisoners in their own homes as they lock themselves in their houses in an attempt to keep the crime out. The truth is that it is really hard to live the American Dream when there is a raging crime wave going on right outside your door.
The truly frightening thing is that crime is almost certainly going to get even worse as economic conditions continue to deteriorate and the government allows our borders to be unsecured.
The following are ten facts about crime in the United States that will blow your mind....
#1) The city of Detroit , Michigan literally looks like a war zone and violent crime is thriving. So far this year in Detroit , car thefts are up 83%, robberies are up 50%, burglaries are up 20% and property destruction is up 42%. There has been a white flight and the liberal Democrats who run the city are not doing their job.
#2) Lawmakers in Illinois say that violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the National Guard needs to be sent in. In just one night last week seven people were killed and 18 were wounded - mostly by gunfire. In fact, there have already been 113 murders in Chicago this year. Chicago is a city that welcomes illegals.
#3) The city of Phoenix , Arizona has become the car theft capital of the world as millions of illegal aliens who can't get work have found that stealing cars can be very profitable indeed. This is why the Governor signed legislation to crack down on illegal aliens.
#4) There are approximately 12 million crimes committed in the United States every single year. That is by far the worst in the world. No other nation has more than about 6 million reported crimes per year. Crime from drugs account for over 50%.
#5) In New York City, the number of homicides in the first quarter of the year had shot up by approximately 22 percent compared with 2009. Do you miss Rudy yet?
#6) U.S. prisons are already bursting at the seams. As you read this, there are over 2.2 million people in prison in the United States . In fact, America leads the world in the number of prisoners and in the percentage of the population in prison. The United States has 5% of the world's population, but 25% of the world's incarcerated population. The number of illegal aliens and drug offenders account for 60%.
#7) U.S. law enforcement authorities claim that there are now over 1 million members of criminal gangs inside the country. These 1 million gang members are responsible for up to 80% of the crimes committed in the United States each year. This is a direct result of unsecured borders and allowing the criminals from Mexico to push drugs all across America.
#8) There are over 100,000 rapes in the United States every single year. That is the highest number for any of the countries in the United Nations. This is not surprising when you have so many gang members in just about every community due to our unsecured borders.
#9) According to USA Today, 58% of state and local law enforcement agencies in the United States reported that violent criminal gangs were active in their areas in 2008. That was up from 45% in 2004. So why do the local and state police agencies refuse to work with ICE and other federal law enforcement agencies? Is it called liberal politics?
#10) Every year, one out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States. No other nation on earth has a rate that is higher. We cannot continue to allow this to happen.
The number one job of any U.S. President is to protect the nation and its citizens-----Obama get a "F" in security.
May 02, 2010
I want to thank Arizona on its new legislation that cracks down on illegal aliens. This will also help US citizens who live in Arizona since the new law is all about protecting our citizens and our borders from criminals, drug dealers, gangs, and people who break our laws. When the Democrats and liberals say that it is racist---I say BALONEY. It is about security, not votes.
Mexicans here and in Mexico are rather upset by the recent enactment of stricter anti-illegal alien laws by Arizona's governor. In light of the following, that position demonstrates the typical double standard used by race-hustlers and assorted something-for-nothing liberals.
New Immigration Laws:
1 There will be no special bilingual programs in the schools.
2. All ballots will be in this nation's language.
3. All government business will be conducted in our language.
4. Non-residents will NOT have the right to vote no matter how long they are here.
5. Non-citizens will NEVER be able to hold political office
6 Foreigners will not be a burden to the taxpayers. No welfare, no food stamps, no health care, or other government assistance programs. Any burden will be deported.
7. Foreigners can invest in this country, but it must be an amount at least equal to 40,000 times the daily minimum wage.
8. If foreigners come here and buy land... options will be restricted. Certain parcels including waterfront property are reserved for citizens naturally born into this country.
9.. Foreigners may have no protests; no demonstrations, no waving of a foreign flag, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. These will lead to deportation.
10. If you do come to this country illegally, you will be actively hunted &, when caught, sent to jail until your deportation can be arranged. All assets will be taken from you.
All of the above laws are the current immigration laws of MEXICO!!! These sound fine to me, so how can we get these laws to be America's immigration laws? What is good for Mexico is even better for the United States.
Obama--We need Hope & Change on our southern border....Put the military on our border and stop all criminals from entering our country.
April 20, 2010
We have been saying for years that our southern border is as unsecured and dangerous as the border between Iraq and Iran. Now that Senator McCain is in a real primary race with J.D. Hayworth, he has changed his opinion of border security with illegal aliens and drug runners.
The Mexican drug violence is all across the United States and due to limited drug routes, more and more people across our southern border are being threatened and killed. With border violence flaring again, the two U.S. senators from Arizona on Monday called on President Obama to deploy 3,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in their state, saying the borders must be secured before the White House pursues a broader immigration bill.
Due to Senator McCain's "open border comprehensive immigration reform", he wants to show us that he is tough on illegal immigrants before he gives them US rights and allow these law-breakers a path to our citizenship so they vote with the liberal Democrats against us.
The call from Sens. John McCain and Jon Kyl, both Republicans, was made the same day Arizona's Legislature approved a bill to make it a state crime to be an illegal immigrant. The measure now goes to Gov. Jan Brewer, who has not taken a position on the measure. We are glad that the current DHS Secretary is not in Arizona so the state legislatures can finally pass legislation that will target the illegals with breaking current laws.
"It's a very important step forward," said Mr. McCain, who in the past had fought for a broad bill legalizing illegal immigrants but who on Monday said illegal immigration has led to deteriorating security in Arizona.
The senators said they want Mr. Obama to deploy 3,000 National Guard troops until Arizona's governor certifies that the government has operational control. They also said an additional 3,000 Border Patrol agents should be sent to the state over the next five years.
Mr. McCain and Mr. Kyl called on the Justice Department to expand a program that guarantees illegal immigrants serve time in jail, rather than being immediately sent back across the border. Mr. Kyl said the program has shown great promise where it's been used. A Homeland Security spokesman said the administration is evaluating law enforcement options, including using the National Guard, but pointed to strides made over the past five years to boost the U.S. Border Patrol.
"The Border Patrol is better staffed today than at any time in its 85-year history," said spokesman Matt Chandler, pointing to the more than 4,000 agents in Arizona and 20,000 total across the country, or more than twice the number compared with six years ago.
Security along the border has become a national issue again after a rancher was killed on the U.S. side of the border in what authorities say could have been related to a drug cartel, and after two U.S. citizens and a Mexican employee of the U.S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, were killed. Both incidents happened last month.
"Things are out of control. We need the help of troops that are deployed along the border," said Paul R. Babeu, sheriff of Pinal County in central Arizona, who appeared with Cochise County Sheriff Larry A. Dever and the two senators at a news conference at the Capitol.
Sheriff Babeu said he has seen a marked increase in the past four months in the aggressiveness of those crossing the border illegally and that they are more frequently armed.
He said illegal immigrants have figured out that police rules require officers to stop pursuits if citizens are endangered. That has led to illegal immigrants intentionally trying to run other drivers off the road in an effort to force police to give up the chase.
Republicans' push to highlight border security could hurt Mr. Obama's efforts to pass an immigration bill this year. Last year, Ms. Napolitano, who was governor of Arizona until joining the Obama administration, said the U.S. border was secure enough that Congress should enact a bill to legalize the estimated 20 million illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and provide a way for more foreign workers.
But Republicans are questioning that idea after the recent killings, including that of Rob Krentz, a rancher near the U.S.-Mexico border who may have been targeted by drug cartels.
In the wake of that killing, the Arizona Legislature has acted. The bill sent Monday to the governor would require police to conduct immigration-status checks when they find someone they think might be in the country illegally, and it makes it a state crime to be there without authorization.
It also makes it illegal to knowingly hire or transport illegal immigrants.
"Most of us in law enforcement welcome this legislation," said Sheriff Babeu. He said it brings uniformity to the state, so all police know what's expected of them, and illegal immigrants know the penalties. For Mr. McCain, who is now involved in a tough primary battle with former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, Monday's embrace of a security bill was controversial.
He was a key author of an immigration-reform bill a few years ago and was a chief backer of efforts in 2006 and 2007 to pass a measure through the Senate. But after that 2007 bill failed, Mr. McCain said voters need to be convinced that the borders are secure before they will accept any action on legalizing illegal immigrants.
Mr. Hayworth called Mr. McCain's move an "election-year gimmick," while immigrant rights groups said they felt betrayed by a former ally. "What a sad day," said Frank Sharry, executive director of America's Voice, a leading advocacy group. "Obviously, John McCain is fighting for his political life in Arizona. I sure miss the days when he fought for his principles."
I hope the voters of Arizona do not give McCain a free pass on this issue---vote for J.D.
March 27, 2010
Due to the lack of security on our southern border, we are experiencing increased drug and gang violence across our country. This is totally due to the administration not securing our borders. When will the elected leaders of our nation start securing our borders with our military? It will take military force on both sides of the border to stop the drugs and violence.
Mexican drug cartels formed new alliances in 2009 with violent American street and prison gangs that helped tighten their stranglehold on the lucrative U.S. narcotics market, but competition among Mexican smugglers remains fierce and threatens more bloodshed in the United States, according to a Justice Department report.
The 2010 Drug Threat Assessment, released Thursday, also says Mexican drug cartels control most of the illicit cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine trade into the U.S., along with much of the marijuana distribution. The cartels' tentacles reach every state, including some unexpected rural areas of the U.S.
"The growing strength and organization of criminal gangs, including their growing alliances with large Mexican [drug trafficking organiza[JUMP]tions], has changed the nature of midlevel and retail drug distribution in many local drug markets, even in suburban and rural areas," says the National Drug Intelligence Center report.
"As a result, disrupting illicit drug availability and distribution will become increasingly difficult for state and local law enforcement agencies." According to the report, the Mexican connection benefits U.S. street gangs, as they are able to buy drugs directly from the cartels, which enables the gangs to flood the streets with less expensive drugs by cutting out midlevel wholesale dealers.
As an example, according to the report, members of the Chicago-based Latin Kings gang in Midland, Texas, now purchase cocaine directly from Mexican traffickers for $16,000 to $18,000 a kilogram. Those drugs then can be shipped directly to Chicago, where it would have cost the gang nearly $30,000 more to purchase a kilogram of cocaine from a midlevel wholesaler.
"With this savings," the report says, "the gang undersells other local dealers who do not have the capacity to buy large wholesale quantities directly from Mexican [drug trafficking organizations] in Mexico or along the Southwest border." The street gangs also prove useful to the cartels. The report says drug traffickers use gang members in Mexico and, to a lesser extent, in the U.S., especially in Texas and California, to protect smuggling routes, collect debts and kill rival traffickers.
"Gang members who are U.S. citizens are a particularly valuable asset to Mexican [drug trafficking organizations] because they can normally cross the U.S.-Mexico border with less law enforcement scrutiny and therefore are less likely to have illicit drug loads interdicted," the report says.
Despite the worries of U.S. law enforcement, a vast majority of the violence still occurs on the Mexican side of the border. In 2009, according to unofficial estimates, as many as 8,000 people in Mexico, including 800 police and military officers, were killed as the cartels fought over smuggling corridors and responded to increased attention from authorities.
Mr. President---Stop supporting the illegals and the criminals---start enforcing the law and securing our nation. Your number one job is to protect American citizens.
July 25, 2009
Again, we have an American citizen and federal border agent killed by an illegal alien. Our southern border is as dangerous as the Iraq-Iran border. We must have Mexican and US troops on the border along with the double fence authorized by the US Congress.
FBI Special Agent Keith Slotter said Friday investigators are checking hospitals and other medical facilities in hopes of tracking down the suspect or suspects who killed agent Robert Wilmer Rosas late Thursday after he responded to a Border Patrol call near Campo, a remote area of San Diego County.
The agent was killed by drug smugglers who are illegal immigrants trying to cross the border. "I am deeply saddened by the tragic death of one of our own," said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. The Secretary has weakened the enforcement of the CBP since she took over the Department of Homeland Security. Ms. Napolitano said she had directed the department to use its full resources to aid in the murder investigation.
The agent spotted a suspicious group of people Thursday night in the Campo area near the Mexican border and called for additional agents to help track them, U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Daryl Reed said. When the suspicious group split up, the agent followed some of the suspects on his own, Mr. Reed said.
Other agents lost radio contact with him shortly after 9 p.m. then heard gunshots. They found Mr. Rosas, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said he was shot in the head.
The president of the union representing 17,000 Border Patrol agents declined to discuss the details of the shooting but said his organization has long been concerned about staffing levels and situations in which agents work alone in the field. He said such situations are not uncommon, even in the roughly 60 miles of border covered by the San Diego sector. "It's fairly common for our agents throughout San Diego County and the rest of the country to work without a partner," said T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council. "They each have separate vehicles, and it's a matter of concern with us."
The Border Patrol said the agent was 30 and was a three-year veteran who is survived by his wife, a 2-year-old son and an 11-month-old daughter. Our support goes out to his family.
We can use high-tech geospatial solutions to assist the border agents and help prevent deaths due to illegal aliens.
April 26, 2009
The time has come to put the US military on our southern border. This is the only way to stop the illegal human trafficking and drug flow into the United States. I congratulate the Obama administration if they truly want a solution to these critical problems.
The Pentagon and Homeland Security Department are developing contingency plans to send National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexican border under a $350 million initiative that would expand the U.S. military's role in the drug war, according to Obama administration officials.
The circumstances under which the troops could be deployed have not been determined, the officials said. They said the proposal was designed to give President Obama additional flexibility to respond to drug-related violence that has threatened to spill into the United States from Mexico and to curb southbound smuggling of cash and weapons.
The initiative, which was tucked into the supplemental budget request sent to Congress this month, has raised concerns over what some U.S. officials perceive as an effort by the Pentagon to increase its counternarcotics profile through a large pot of money that comes with few visible requirements.
The broadly worded proposal does not mention troop deployments, stipulating only that the military is to receive up to $350 million "for counter-narcotics and other activities . . . on the United States' border with Mexico."
If the contingency plans go unused, the money would be retained for military operations and maintenance after September 2010, an administration official said.
The proposal is being closely monitored by the State Department, which administers the $1.4 billion Merida Initiative, a three-year aid package to fight drug trafficking in Mexico and Central America. The new funding would be nearly as much as the 2009 budget for Merida, and some observers said they fear that the military could use the money to set up a parallel counternarcotics program with little oversight.
The funds are to be available until the end of September 2010. The proposal also authorizes the secretary of defense to transfer up to $100 million to other federal agencies.
The contingency plan to deploy National Guard troops appears to mark a shift for Obama.
More than 10,000 Mexicans have died in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderón took on the cartels after taking office in December 2006. Violence has already spilled into the United States and it is in our national security interest to beef up security along the southern border.
March 03, 2009
I have been writing and warning all Americans about the war on our southern border with Mexico. We have a national crisis with drugs, gang members, and thousands of illegals streaming across our border every day. This must stop and we will have to put our military on our southern border. Elected officials must put the rule of law ahead of politics and new votes.
The U.S. Defense Department thinks Mexico's two most deadly drug cartels together have fielded more than 100,000 foot soldiers - an army that rivals Mexico's armed forces and threatens to turn the country into a narco-state. "It's moving to crisis proportions," a senior U.S. defense official told The Washington Times. The official, who spoke on the condition that he not be named because of the sensitive nature of his work, said the cartels' "foot soldiers" are on a par with Mexico's army of about 130,000.
The disclosure underlines the enormity of the challenge Mexico and the United States face as they struggle to contain what is increasingly looking like a civil war or an insurgency along the U.S.-Mexico border. In the past year, about 7,000 people have died - more than 1,000 in January alone. The conflict has become increasingly brutal, with victims beheaded and bodies dissolved in vats of acid.
The death toll dwarfs that in Afghanistan, where about 200 fatalities, including 29 U.S. troops, were reported in the first two months of 2009. About 400 people, including 31 U.S. military personnel, died in Iraq during the same period. The biggest and most violent combatants are the Sinaloa cartel, known by U.S. and Mexican federal law enforcement officials as the "Federation" or "Golden Triangle," and its main rival, "Los Zetas" or the Gulf Cartel, whose territory runs along the Laredo,Texas, borderlands.
As a result, Mexico is behind only Pakistan and Iran as a top U.S. national security concern, ranking above Afghanistan and Iraq, the defense official added. Michael V. Hayden, who left as CIA director in January, put Mexico second to Iran as a top national security threat to the United States. His successor, Leon E. Panetta, told reporters at his first news conference that the agency is "paying ... a lot of attention to" Mexico.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday that "the stakes are high for the safety of many, many citizens of Mexico and the stakes are high for the United States no doubt." A State Department travel advisory last month seemed timed to caution U.S. students contemplating spring breaks south of the border.
When will the Obama administration acknowledge this crisis and meet this challenge with securing our borders? Drugs, gangs, and illegal immigration are tearing our country apart and destroying American lives. Our southern border is the most dangerous border in the world.
February 26, 2009
Due to the inability of DHS not implementing the border defense plan authorized by Congress and the lack of political will from elected officials, we now have a drug war on our southern border. It will take the military, DEA, DHS, DOJ, CIA, and state / local police agencies to stop this violence. All American citizens are at risk.
The new Secretary of Homeland Security told Congress that drug-related violence along the Mexican border has grown beyond the ability of DHS to handle. Just yesterday, the DEA announced an operation against a major Mexican drug cartel that netted more than 750 suspects - almost all of them in the U.S. "I believe this is going to require more than the Department of Homeland Security," Janet Napolitano said Wednesday during her first Capitol Hill appearance since her confirmation last month as homeland security secretary.
"So we are reaching out to the national security adviser, to the attorney general and others about how we within the United States make sure we are doing all we can in a coordinated way to support the president of Mexico," said Ms. Napolitano, explaining that containing border-related drug violence will require more than the 22 agencies and 200,000 employees in her department.
Border violence, which claimed more than 1,000 lives in January and about 6,000 in 2008, is already on the radar of Pentagon and CIA officials, who have said that they may be involved in the current crisis in Mexico.
U.S. intelligence officials have said that the effects of the global economic crisis on Mexico have helped narcotics traffickers recruit more people and corrupt more Mexican officials. At his first meeting with reporters Wednesday, new CIA Director Leon E. Panetta said that Mexico was a "priority" for the agency. "Mexico is an area of concern because of the drug wars going on there," Mr. Panetta said. "The president [of Mexico] has courageously taken on that issue, but nevertheless, it's an area that we are paying attention to, a lot of attention to."
Meanwhile Wednesday, Justice Department officials announced the arrest of 755 people associated with Mexico's powerful Sinaloa cartel as part of a two-year probe dubbed "Operation Xcellerator." The operation also netted $59 million, 12,000 kilograms of cocaine, 16,000 pounds of marijuana and about 1.3 million Ecstasy pills.
In Lexington County, S.C., Deputy Sheriff Ted Xanthakis and his K-9, Arcos, were ambushed by three gang members armed with a 12-gauge shotgun during a Feb. 8 incident in West Columbia, S.C. Two of the men were identified in a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) report as members of the Surenos gang, or SUR-13, a collection of hundreds of Mexican-American street gangs with origins in the oldest barrios of Southern California and which federal law enforcement agencies accuse of involvement in smuggling drugs and illegal immigrants.
Violence on the Mexican border and its reverberations throughout the U.S. are emerging as one of the gravest and least expected problems confronting the Obama administration, a point that was made by President George W. Bush in a late December interview with The Washington Times.
Mr. Obama will need to deal "with these drug cartels in our own neighborhood," Mr. Bush said. "And the front line of the fight will be Mexico. The drug lords will continue to search for a soft underbelly. And one of the things that future presidents are going to have to make sure of is that they don't find a safe haven in parts of Central America."
The Obama administration says that the drug-gang violence on the U.S. side of the border does not match what is going on in Mexico's border states, but says there is a contingency plan in place that will not include militarizing the U.S. side of the boundary. DHS must do their job and we must put the military on our southern border to fight these drug cartels.
January 08, 2009
Before President Bush leaves office, he is doing everything he can to snub the Border Patrol agents. He put two agents in jail while providing cover to a Mexican drug runner. Now the President has awarded a $61,200 bonus to Border Patrol Chief David V. Aguilar. Mr. Aguilar has not done a good job and has not protected his agents. He is the cause of the delays in a $20 million fence project and for an accelerated hiring program that auditors said threatens to reduce qualified field supervisors.
The chief also has been criticized by his own rank and file for not supporting two agents sent to prison for shooting a drug smuggler in the buttocks as he fled back to Mexico, and greeted with a unanimous "no confidence" vote by the union representing non-supervisory agents.
The presidential merit award, equal to 35 percent of Chief Aguilar's $172,000 annual pay, is 1.7 times larger than the base starting salary of $36,658 for a Border Patrol agent. The bonus has angered many field agents, some of whom told the chief in a terse, unsigned letter that the agency has been damaged and field agents jeopardized by his "politically expedient decisions."
The letter, a copy which was obtained by The Washington Times, challenged Chief Aguilar's job performance since his May 2004 appointment, saying there had "never been a time when our chief has been so out of touch with the field, or a time when our chief has become a politician and lost sight of his most important responsibility: to be an advocate for the agency and its mission."
Jeffrey C. Robertson, assistant commissioner for public affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), which oversees the Border Patrol, acknowledged that the chief had received the letter but declined to comment publicly on what action, if any, had been taken on it.
Mr. Robertson said, however, that decisions concerning the border fence project and the academy classes were made "corporately and ultimately" by CBP and the Department of Homeland Security, not Chief Aguilar, whom he described as a "zealous advocate" for the Border Patrol's front-line agents
The agents' four-page letter focuses on two major topics: a virtual fence project along the Arizona-Mexico border that it called "ineffective and too costly," and changes at the Border Patrol Academy to meet a presidential mandate of hiring 6,000 more agents by the end of 2008.
President Bush---pardon the two Border Patrol agents and stop being the "open-border" Commander in Chief.