The Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security keep telling everyone that the US-Mexico border is safer now than it’s ever been. Supposedly they have cracked down on illegal drug and immigrant trafficking, but that is not the same story being told by the ranchers that live along the border.
Jim Chilton and his wife operate a 50,000 acre cattle ranch along the border just south of Arivaca, Arizona. He owns part of the land and leases the rest for grazing use from the state and federal governments. Five miles of his land is separated from Mexico by a four barbed wire fence which does little if anything to slow or stop the illegal trafficking.
A few days ago, Jim (73 years young) was patrolling part of his ranch when he happened upon the camp of drug smugglers. The camp contained food, water, clothes and large bales of marijuana wrapped in burlap. He notified Border Patrol agents and took them to where the camp was.
Jim says that he finds camps like this all the time. They even set up motion sensor cameras along well-worn trails and photographed wave after wave of drug smugglers on foot, toting the large bales of pot on their backs. A number of those photographed were caring weapons.
Jim’s house has been burglarized twice and one of his neighboring ranchers has moved his family off the ranch for fear of them being harmed by the illegal activities. When asked if the borders are safer now than before, they laugh and say they’ve gotten worse, despite what the government claims. Jim told a news crew:
“It’s like living in a no-man’s land. The Border Patrol doesn’t really protect us, they try 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.”
This prompts me to ask why we send our military men and women to protect the borders of other countries while our borders are left wide open and our citizens are left in harm’s way? Should we not secure our own borders before we even think of trying to secure the borders of other countries? Shouldn’t we be protecting American citizens on American soil before protecting others in countries that hate us anyway?
I strongly believe that we need to bring our military personnel home and assign them to protect our borders and our citizens. Charity isn’t the only thing that begins at home, so does national security. I’m sure ranchers like Jim Chilton and his neighbors would not mind having US military personnel stationed on his land.