Friday, December 23, 2011

U.S. to cut three quarters of National Guard troops on the border in "cost-cutting" measure

The number of National Guard troops on the border between the U.S. and Mexico will be cut by three quarters over the next year, the government has announced. From next month the force of 1,200 border guards will be reduced to fewer than 300, a Defense Department official said yesterday.

The measure will cost $60million - compared to $1.35billion for the deployments so far, an average of over $200million per year.

The remaining troops will shift their focus from patrolling the border on the ground, looking for illegal immigrants and smugglers, to aerial surveillance missions using military helicopters and airplanes equipped with high-tech radar and other gear. 'We are basically going from boots on the ground to boots in the air,' said David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection.

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said his agency is working on identifying the 'areas of greatest concern' along the border - including Arizona and southern Texas.

George W. Bush first ordered Guard troops to the southern border from 2006 to 2008, and his successor Barack Obama ordered another round of troops in August 2010. The second lot were supposed to be in place for about a year, but Mr Obama extended the deployment earlier this year, and the reduced force is now expected to stay until the end of 2012.

Republicans have objected to reducing the number of troops, arguing that the border isn't secure and reducing the number of people patrolling the area doesn't help security. 'If the Obama administration's goal is border security, their actions undermine their objective,' said Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. 'The administration's decision to draw down the National Guard troops along the U.S.-Mexico border makes an already porous border worse.'

Mr Aguilar, who previously led the Border Patrol, said there is still work to be done at the border but that successes in securing the frontier have allowed the government to reduce the number of troops and change the nature of the mission.

In the last year Border Patrol agents made 327,577 arrests, the fewest since 1972. There are also more than 18,500 agents patrolling the border, the highest number in the agency's history.


Justice Department Goes after Sheriff Joe

Eric Holder’s U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division has released the findings of its three-year witch hunt of America’s most popular and effective sheriff, Joe Arpaio, of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Among the findings were that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) used “racial profiling” in traffic stops, and that a Latino was “four to nine times more likely to be stopped than similarly situated non-Latino drivers.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Maricopa County has a population of 3.8 million residents, which is over half of all Arizona residents. Of that number, 29.6 percent are persons of Hispanic or Latino origin. By virtue of numbers, Latinos have a one-in-three chance of being pulled over for a traffic violation, regardless of the “situation.”

Further, I’ve never seen a black illegal Mexican alien or one that looked like he was born in China.

Throughout the Justice Department’s report of findings, the words “illegal alien” could be substituted easily for “Latino” because this is what it is all about. Holder’s headhunters are trying to intimidate Sheriff Arpaio and other border state law enforcement officials to back off from enforcing federal immigration laws.

The truth is that by virtue of location, Arizona, and Maricopa County in particular, have been plagued by illegal Mexicans. Citizen complaints and aggressive law enforcement have led to the arrest and deportation of thousands of illegal aliens. This is something Holder’s Department of Justice aims to stop, especially in light of being within a year of a presidential election.

Holder and his army of attorneys have already sued Arizona and other states for passing legislation allowing police officers to challenge persons lawfully detained to prove they are in the country legally if they have reason to suspect they are not. Holder’s U.S. Attorneys refuse to prosecute illegal aliens even when they have been captured numerous times. “Catch and release” is the preferred method of dealing with those pesky illegals who always seem to find themselves in custody by local law enforcement because the Department of Homeland Security refuses to deploy the necessary assets to take care of the problem.

Did I mention President Obama is sending home half the National Guard troops deployed along the border to assist the Border Patrol?

I didn’t read anything in the findings by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez about ATF’s Operation Fast and Furious, in which assault rifles were allowed to “walk” across the border to fuel Mexico’s violent drug cartels and ultimately cause the death of a Border Patrol Agent in Arizona. Maybe if the MCSO had stopped a vehicle traveling southbound toward Mexico containing numerous weapons, they would have seized the weapons and arrested the driver. Oh, wait! I forgot that’s racial profiling according to Mr. Perez.

I also didn’t read anything about the Arizona rancher Robert Krentz, murdered on his own property by illegal Mexican aliens on their way through a known smuggling corridor. He also forgot to mention that the day before the shooting, the victim’s brother, Phil Krentz, reported drug smuggling activity on the ranch to the Border Patrol.

Nor did I read anything about the Border Patrol having reason to remove the warning sign 80-miles deep into Arizona that reads, “Danger – Public Warning Travel Not Recommended,” because “smuggling and illegal immigration may be encountered in this area.”

Mr. Perez does not have a $1 million bounty on his head offered by Mexican drug cartels like Sheriff Arpaio does. The sheriff did not earn that distinction for being America’s friendliest sheriff, but its toughest.

The Justice Department needs to stop focusing its energy on law enforcement officials doing their best to protect their citizens, and focus instead on the root cause of Arizona’s dilemma – lack of enforcement of federal immigration laws.


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