The Arizona Daily Star reports that Alan Bersin, Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection said completely sealing the international line is unrealistic.
“This is not about sealing the border,” Commissioner Bersin said in the Star article.
Bersin also noted in the Star article “there is no numerical goal for apprehensions that would constitute a “secure border. Our job is to detect and apprehend the large majority of them.”
Now here’s the scoop….go down to Sasabe, turn left to go to the Sasabe school on the Forest Service Road, and keep going a ways until you hit the signs declaring portions of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Reguge is closed to public access. Keep going a ways past the closed area and off to your right you will see the fancy new border fence ends and all that is stopping illegal entry and drug smuggling are Normandy Barriers.
A ways past the Normandy Barrier the border is protected by 3 strand barbed wire. The barbed wire border fence runs for miles towards Nogales, until you get closer to that city and the fence improves.
The area along the border with no real fence is also virtually impossible to access by vehicle since there are no roads and this is seriously rugged country.
The combination of enormous profits from drug smuggling, and now the money being made from human smuggling is driving the illegal activity into these remote and rugged areas of the border where the Border Patrol physically cannot operate with its vehicle fleet.
Federal land managers in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and other federally managed properties take a dim view of the Border Patrol constructing roads and fences in their areas because that activity is in conflict with their land management goals…such as protecting the masked bobwhite.
The Border Patrol has demonstrated a tactic that does work in securing the border in remote and rugged roadless areas called Forward Observation Bases. They use horses to patrol the border on cowboy trails. The areas with Forward Observation Bases have clearly shown a reduction in illegal entry and drug smuggling.
Ranchers along the border have been demanding more Forward Observation Bases. There are even voices coming from the Tohono O’odham Indian reservation calling for more Forward Observation Bases.
The question is why isn’t the Border Patrol installing more Forward Observation Bases in these rugged and roadless areas?
Are they conceeding there is no realistic way to secure our border? It appears so.