Is Arizona Border Safer Than Ever As Feds Are Claiming?

A recent article that appeared in the New York Times claims that the Arizona border with Mexico is more secure and heavily guarded than ever before. The article cites the use of a Black Hawk helicopter, drones, surveillance towers, infrared cameras, motion detectors and beefed-up Border Patrol but drastically reducing the number of illegal aliens crossing into the state.

According to Sabri Dikman, Border Patrol executive officer for the region stated:

“We know what we’re dealing with and where we are dealing with it. In some manner we have the capacity to observe every part of the border of Arizona.”

David V. Aguilar, commissioner and 34 year veteran with the Porter Patrol added:

“It’s all of these things coming together that have really given us the capability to bring the border to a level of security that is, in my opinion, unprecedented. We haven’t seen this lack of activity and 25, 30 years.”

The article does state however that illegals are turning to hiring coyotes (human smugglers) to help them across the border. It also states that they still realize they have a big problem with drug traffickers who bring their illegal contraband across the border in a number of ingenious ways.

While the Times article goes on to show others claiming how safe the Arizona border is yet less than a month ago Arizona Governor Jan Brewer toured the border in one of the Border Patrol Black Hawk helicopters and reported seeing numerous illegals poised to cross the border. After her areal visit along the border, Brewer said:

“I was with the National Guard. I was in a Black Hawk. I saw them on the other side, the drug cartels, ready to come across in the middle of the night. It is not secure.”

Arizona rancher Dan Bell reported in February that the Mexican border is not secure. His ranch runs along the border and he showed reporters where the security fence ended the three strands of barbed wire extends from their own. When asked if he thought the border was secure, he responded:

“I would say that it’s not secure in that we need to focus on making sure we have boots on the ground, that we have the technology available to us, that we have infrastructure to actually get to the border and control it.”

In December, rancher Jim Chilton, who also operates a cattle ranch along the Arizona-Mexico border, reported how much traffic there was coming across into the state. He reports finding well-worn trails the pass through the four strands of barbed wire that separate his land from Mexico. On a regular basis he comes across places were illegals and drug traffickers have camped out on his ranch. Chilton told a news crew:

“It’s like living in a no-man’s land. The Border Patrol doesn’t really protect us, they tried to arrest people north of us. I think the druggers should be stopped at the United States border. They shouldn’t be allowed into this country. The Border Patrol should secure the border at the border.”

Both Bell and Chilton say that the Border Patrol operates too far north of the border to be effective. Instead of trying to stop illegal trafficking 50-100 miles north of the border, they need to be on the border patrolling the fence where all the trails and camps are to be found.

So who is right and who should we believe concerning the security of the Arizona border with Mexico? Do we believe the report from the feds or do we believe the reports of the ranchers that live along the border and see the daily traffic flowing into the state? I find it difficult to believe that the feds could have made that amount of progress in securing the border in the past four weeks.

I can’t help but wonder if their article in the New York Times was written to defray some of the public outcry about Obama’s failure to secure our international borders. They can write and say all they want about how secure it is, but when the citizens along the border report seeing daily traffic of illegals across their lands and still fear for their safety, I would say the border is not as secure as it is being reported. The Times article could be nothing more than a smokescreen to hide from the general public Obama’s incompetency in protecting United States and its citizens. When ranchers like Dan Bell and Jim Chilton start reporting that the borders are in fact secure then I’ll believe it.