Saturday, February 04, 2006

Disparity

Is the government serious about defending our borders? You tell me. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol seems serious - in their press releases anyway. They're closest to the problem, however there is only a dynamic work force of over 11,000 men and women working it. (I wonder how many of those are in the field?) Thankfully, they've seized $10 million in misdescribed textiles, which is a big load off my mind.

Meanwhile, U.S. Can't Rule Out Mexican Soldiers' Foray across the border to smuggle marijuana, contrary to what Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff said a few weeks ago:
Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff yesterday told reporters at Defense Today magazine that Mexican military incursions average about 20 a year, but were declining.

He called concern over the issue "overblown" and "scare tactics."

Mr. Chertoff also said a significant number of the incursions were "innocent," noting that police and military units in Mexico pursuing criminals "may step across the border because they do not know exactly where the line is." [Maybe something like a BIG DAMN FENCE would help them figure it out? - Robo]

"Sometimes they may be people who are dressed in what appear to be military uniforms but they are just criminals, they are not military but they are wearing camouflage so someone may assume they are military," he said.

"We have good relations with our counterparts across the border, we do have instances where we have Mexican police or military who deserted and become involved with criminal activity but we also have bad cops in the United States, too. It happens," he said.
DHS doesn't seem to pay much attention to CBP's impression that they are in a shooting war with Mexico.

Not to be outdone, Mexican Foriegn Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez used the "double dumb ass on you" tactic: U.S. aided drug run, Mexican envoy hints
Derbez said yesterday that the men photographed by Texas law enforcement could have been Americans.

"Members of the U.S. Army have helped protect people who were processing and transporting drugs," he said.

Yeah, because American soldiers don't have enough on their plate with the Global War on Terror going on and need the money... oh, no, wait, that's your conscripted Mexican Army I was thinking of. Apparently not all of the Mary Jane is making it over the border; some of it seems to be stopping at Derbez' office.

I can't link to this article from the New York Times, but here is what local Texas law enforcement had to say:
Texas Sheriff Says Mexican Military-Issue Items Were Used In Confrontation
EL PASO, Jan. 27 (AP) — Drug-smuggling suspects dressed in Mexican military-style uniforms who were involved in an armed confrontation with Texas lawmen on Monday were using a Mexican military-issue Humvee and weapons, the Hudspeth County sheriff said Friday.

"It was military," said the sheriff, Arvin West, whose officers were involved in the incident. "Due to the pending Congressional hearings, I can't comment further."

Sheriff West said the determination that the equipment was military-issue came from the federal government, but he would not elaborate.

An Army spokesman said he could not confirm the sheriff's statement.

The Mexican Foreign Relations Department said it would have no comment, but other Mexican officials have said the uniforms and other equipment could have been stolen. Mexico's foreign relations secretary suggested on Thursday that the smugglers might have been American soldiers or American criminals disguised as Mexican soldiers.

Police gear is sold at street stands in Mexico, and kidnappers and drug smugglers there wear it regularly.

The chief of the United States Border Patrol, David Aguilar, said here on Friday that he could not rule out Mexican soldiers' involvement in the incident, which occurred in a remote spot along the Rio Grande about 50 miles east of El Paso.

But the Mexican government has denied that any soldiers were involved.
Luckily this issue is slowly attracting more attention, but I wouldn't expect the current administration to solve the problem. Granted, they've come up with some creative long-term solutions to issues in the past, but if this guest-worker nonsense pans out, I'll shave my head.

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Invasion
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