Sunday, March 21, 2004

Aren't you glad you don't live along the border?

Shots fired along border; Douglas man's shed set on fire in one incident
In what appears to have been a retaliation by Mexican drug smugglers, a man's home was shot up and a travel trailer he used for storage was set on fire Wednesday morning.
Skipping some of the chronology:
About 24 hours later, the man who was the victim of the Wednesday morning attack and who had seen the incident on Tuesday involving the ICE agent saw the same vehicle come back into the United States.

Cochise County Sheriff's Department Sgt. R. Morales said the man, who is not being identified, confirmed he had seen the Tuesday incursion and fired three shots from his 30-30 rifle at the vehicle on Wednesday.

The vehicle again turned around and went back into Mexico, said Morales, who works out of the Sheriff's Department's Douglas substation.

The Wednesday incident began around 7:20 a.m. Forty minutes later, people apparently illegally entering the United States from Mexico headed for the man's home.

That group opened fire on the man's home and set fire to his 26-foot travel trailer, Morales said. The man was inside his home when the culprits began firing.

ICE agents were on the scene first after the incident. Morgan said his agents had heard the gunfire and saw smoke coming from the area east of Geronimo Trial Road where the Tuesday shooting by an ICE agent happened.

Responding to the scene, they found the man was not injured, although his home had a number of bullet holes in it.

The U.S. Border Patrol also responded to the incident.

At least 21 AK-47 shell casings were found outside the man's home, Morgan added.

Morales said 9 mm and 40-caliber casings also were discovered.
Instead of some guy with a lever action .30-.30, how about some attack helicopters? There are more incidents in the article, like this:
On Wednesday, agents from the Douglas Border Patrol Station also apprehended Armando Rodriquez, 41, an illegal immigrant from Mexico who is a convicted sex offender.

He entered the United States about three miles east of Douglas around 2:20 a.m. Wednesday before being apprehended. While processing his fingerprints, agents discovered he was convicted in 1996 for sexual abuse with a minor in New York, according to a U.S. Border Patrol press release on Thursday.

Rodriquez, who was formally deported in 2001, is being held in federal custody on a felony charge of "re-entry of an aggravated felon," the Border Patrol said.
Then there's the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation which has become a highway for illegal aliens as well as a massive garbage dump for their trash.
Hemmed in by tighter border controls in California and Texas, thousands of illegal immigrants and drug smugglers are flooding this vast Indian reservation southwest of Tucson, leaving chaos, crime and environmental destruction behind.

More than 1,500 immigrants tramp across the Tohono O'odham Nation every day, making it one of the busiest illegal entry points in the country. So far this year, 27,130 people have been arrested in this remote desert, nearly half the number caught in the much more populated San Diego area. At the same time, federal agents have seized a staggering 179,300 pounds of narcotics since October.

The sheer volume of criminal activity and law enforcement response has made some Indians feel they are living in a combat zone.

High-speed chases are so frequent, residents rely on police scanners to know when it's safe to go outside. Burglaries are so common, people leave homes unlocked to keep doors and windows from being broken. Overhead, Black Hawk helicopters hunt drug runners, and on the ground, camouflaged agents prowl the bush.

"Our people fear for their lives," said Vivian Juan-Saunders, tribal chairwoman. "Anywhere else this would be considered a crisis, but there is a double standard because we are Indians."
Don't worry Viv, they aren't doing that well outside the reservation either. Also note the way the LA Times likes to sneak in the occasional reference to them as "immigrants".
The reservation, roughly the size of Connecticut, shares a 75-mile border with Mexico that includes 160 illegal crossing points. In 36 spots, there are no barriers at all, officials say. Elsewhere, the most formidable obstacles are three or four strands of rusty barbed wire.
Many of the 11,000 residents here live in trailers or ramshackle adobe houses surrounded by the twisted saguaros and fragrant mesquite of the Sonoran Desert.

As more illegal immigrants cross, the residents are increasingly fearful of letting their children play outside. Tribal elders no longer gather ceremonial plants in the desert. Fences are going up and people are packing weapons.

Some Indians are forming armed citizen patrols, occasionally shooting over the heads of immigrants and smugglers to scare them off their land.

"We are armed and we will shoot them," said Arnold Smith, 69, who lives a quarter-mile from the border in a trailer that's been burglarized five times.

Smith sharpened his knife on a piece of soapstone.

"They use our pasture like a freeway; they cut our fences; they killed my 10-month-old mare," he said.
Great, a 69 year old guy holding back the hordes. The article describes some new government initiatives to try to bring it under control. They better get cracking - Smuggler convoy called a first here:
In an unprecedented move along the U.S.-Mexico border, a convoy of 12 pickup trucks packed with suspected illegal immigrants barreled through the Tohono O'odham Nation and tried to run down approaching Border Patrol agents.
Photos of just one pickup truck burning after a hit by an antitank missile would do more to reduce the illegal tidal wave than all the government programs they can dream up. "Waaah, that would be wrong!" Tell it to the folks who live along the border.

But heck, I'm a Kumbaya kind of guy. How about if the Federal government opened a chain of all night convenience stores along the border and any CEO who hires workers with unverified Social Security numbers gets to work the graveyard shift? I'm sure there would be available slots for the bank presidents and local government officials who want to accept matricula consulars as valid identification too.