Border Incursions Rattle Arizonans
FEBRUARY 03, 2006
A story about the continuing problem of Mexican incursions appeared in today’s Arizona Republic:
Ayers remembers hearing the heavy whirl and chop of helicopter blades cutting through the sky above the Tres Bellotas Ranch, a sprawling swath of oak trees and barberry brush right on the U.S.-Mexican border.
Even from inside the ranch house, Ayers could tell it must be a big helicopter. He headed outside, thinking it might be U.S. customs, maybe a drug bust.
Instead, Ayers walked right into a group of armed, masked men speaking Spanish and dressed like agents from the Federal Investigative Agency, Mexico’s FBI.
The encounter on U.S. soil would be investigated by the FBI, U.S. Border Patrol and Mexican authorities, one of the latest in a long list of suspected incursions from Mexico into U.S. border states.
After long downplaying the number of incursions along the Southwestern border, top Border Patrol officials now acknowledge such incidents are all too common. Over the past decade, the Department of Homeland Security has reported 231 incursions along the border, including 63 in Arizona. Homeland Security defines an incursion as an unauthorized crossing by Mexican military or police, or suspected drug or people smugglers dressed in uniforms.
Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl intends to hold hearings on incursions starting March 1 with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. It seems clear that the problems of illegal immigration and a border that the government refuses to protect continue to represent a serious threat to the safety of Americans.
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