MARCH 28, 2011
Federal agents who risk their lives to patrol the U.S. border are blasting their boss—Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano—for giving Americans a “false sense of security” by assuring that the Mexican border is safe.During a visit to El Paso a few days ago, Napolitano said that violence along the Mexican border is merely a mistaken “perception” because the area is better now than it ever has been thanks to the Obama Administration’s commitment to “fostering a secure and prosperous” region. In fact, Napolitano said that some ofAmerica’s safest communities are in the southwest border region.Outraged Border Patrol agents on the front line of the escalating violence responded by reminding that three of their agents have been murdered by Mexican drug cartelsin the last few years and ranchers have been gunned down in border communities.U.S. citizens are also being “kidnapped and killed” with regularity, according to the National Border Patrol Council, which represents more than 17,000 agents nationwide.As an example of the impact on U.S. communities, the NBPC points out that thePhoenix area has become a “cartel-related crime hotspot.” Simply put, the U.S.-Mexico border is unsafe, the Border Patrol union assures. “It is time for the political games to stop for fear of insulting the government of Mexico,” the Border Patrol group says. “Mexico is hemorrhaging violence and we are being hit with the splatter.”The Border Patrol agents are right. Mexican drug-cartel violence has reached epic proportions and routinely spills into the very towns Napolitano promotes as “America’s safest communities.” Federal agents have come under siege by heavily armed drug smugglers and local media has exposed record levels in crimes associated with illicit narcotics operations. In fact, more than 13,000 people were murdered across Mexico last year in disturbing and cruel ways not previously seen.Regardless, last fall Napolitano declared that the region “is as secure as it has ever been.” The famous words, ridiculed in the press worldwide, came days after U.S. Border Patrol agents engaged in a violent gunshot battle with Mexican drug smugglers along the Rio Grande in Texas. The federal officers came under siege during a bust that netted half a ton of U.S.-bound marijuana.
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