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Mexico, mafias and baggy borders

Mexico, mafias and baggy borders

Do you ever wonder how we can conquer the Middle East but can’t close our own borders? In the news just this past week was this small sampling of headlines: “Locals, Feds Prepare for Any Escalation of Mexican Border Violence”; “[New Mexico] delegation asks for border task force”; “Texas lawmakers angered by border security money being spent in other regions”; “US Sues Railroad Over Smugglers”; “Border drain open for hours before 8 entered it.” More than 7,000 lives have been lost in Mexico’s drug wars in just the past 14 months. Nine in 10 guns recovered from those crime scenes have come from the United States. Border towns are experiencing outrageous escalations in crime, including more than 300 drug-related kidnappings in Phoenix alone in 2008. (Most involved Mexican immigrants with ties to drug cartels.) Isn’t it time we finally built a wall that works? Isn’t it time for us to quit restricting our border agents by granting illegals more rights than our citizens? Isn’t it time we post military personnel at particularly hot illegal crossings? Instead of shifting tens of millions of dollars from investigating employers guilty of hiring illegal immigrants to fighting Mexican drug cartels, the Obama administration should leave that money alone and hunt down the $100 million-plus that AIG executives robbed from taxpayers for their bonuses. We don’t need a government study on Mexican border safety conducted by newly installed Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. We need action now! Congress authorized a border fence in 2005. That was four long years ago, for anyone bad at basic math. It approved $2.6 billion for border enhancement, but we still have illegals and contraband crossing our borders like gnats through a screen. I opposed the amnesty bill introduced in the Senate in 2007. But I supported Congress’ roughly $3 billion directed to building up border security — money used to train and deploy 23,000 more agents, build 700 miles of fence and 300 miles of vehicle barriers, add four drone airplanes and erect 105 radar and camera towers. Homeland Security has made some headway in securing our borders. But our nation’s boundaries, ports and airports remain largely open runways for illegal and terrorist transport. Sen. Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico reminded his constituents of that very fact when he described another type of illegal crossing: people going from the United States to Mexico. It appears drug cartels are again using revenue derived from their “free trade” to purchase weapons illegally in the United States and smuggle them back into Mexico. As a result, murder rates have shot up more than 100 percent in certain towns.

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