The real story behind the deadly chaos on the border -- and how the administration twists it.
As the courts continue to move at a glacial pace in deciding whether Arizona's tough anti-illegal immigration statute passes constitutional muster, the need for immediate assistance from the federal government to stem the human tide pouring across the Arizona border is growing.
Federal statistics showing violent crime actually dropping in Arizona counties bordering Mexico are beside the point. The facts still show several disturbing trends that amnesty advocates fail to mention:
* That drop in crime is the result of a huge increase in the number of federal, county and state law enforcement personnel patrolling the state. Arizona is one of the most heavily policed states in the nation and residents have the tax rates to prove it.
* Despite violent crime going down, the Phoenix murder rate is still more than twice the national average.
* The good news: kidnappings in Phoenix were down 11% last year. The bad news: there is still more than one kidnapping every day.
* Violent attacks on border patrol agents are skyrocketing.
* 1/6 of the land area of Arizona is dangerous to travel, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM has posted signs along an 80 mile stretch of road encompassing I-8 warning against hiking or traveling along the southern side of the interstate. Pinal County Sherriff Paul Babeu, was quoted as saying, "We do not have control of this area."
Those BLM signs bring home perhaps in a way no other fact or argument can, just how far down the rabbit hole Arizona and the rest of the US have traveled because of federal inaction on stopping the flow of illegal immigrants.
Are these signs really posted on the sovereign territory of the United States of America?
Danger -- Public Warning
Travel Not Recommended
* Active Drug and Human Smuggling Area
* Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed
* Stay Away From Trash, Clothing, Backpacks and abandoned Vehicles
* If You See Suspicious Activity, Do Not Confront! Move Away and Call 911
* BLM Encourages Visitors To Use Public Lands North of Interstate 8
American citizens are confronted with "no-go" zones in their own country.
Just recently, gun battles across the border forced the city fathers of Nuevo Laredo in Mexico to post warnings on Facebook, telling residents to stay indoors lest they be hit by stray bullets fired in running gun battles between drug cartels.
And yet, Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano is telling us that the border is "as secure now as it has ever been."
Madame Secretary might want to talk to Pinal County, Arizona Sheriff Paul Babeu who is so angry with the government because of the DoJ lawsuit challenging the Arizona immigration law that he was recently quoted as saying, “Our own government has become our enemy and is taking us to court at a time when we need help.”
Referring to the BLM signs that dot the countryside in his county, Babeu said:
What’s very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU.
Statistics are meaningless when you're the one on the front lines fighting to hold back the relentless human tide, but perhaps Sheriff Babeu is referring to the fact that 17% of illegal immigrants crossing the border have criminal records. That alone should rouse the federal government from its stupor because up to 30% of illegals do not stay long in the state in which they cross the border, fanning out across the country where the criminal element among them continues their lives of crime -- to the detriment of the life and property of residents in non-border states.
As if the problem of illegal immigration isn't bad enough, add the extraordinary bloody and violent drug wars being waged in border states of Mexico and some of that bloodletting is bound to spill over into the US. And part of that crossover violence is hitting home in Maricopa County, Arizona where the drug lords are apparently targeting Sheriff Joe Arpaio for execution:
On the day parts of Arizona's immigration law, SB 1070, went into effect, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is in the news for another reason: there's a price on his head - allegedly offered by a Mexican drug cartel.
The audio message in Spanish is a bit garbled, but the text is clear.
It's offering $1 million for Sheriff Joe Arpaio's head and $10,000 for anyone who wants to join the Mexican cartel
Arapio has been at the center of the immigration debate for years, given that many of his enforcement techniques were adapted for inclusion in SB 1070. It's clear that Sheriff Joe has struck a nerve with the cartels and is a threat to their operations.
One wishes that the federal government were an equal threat to the freedom of the drug gangs, the smugglers, the kidnappers, and others who cross the border with impunity. Alas, even when President Obama promises action, he drags his feet in implementation.
Consider the president's promise to send 1,200 National Guardsmen to the border. What he didn't mention when he made that announcement was that the feds were going to take their own sweet time in getting things organized.
The president made the deployment announcement on May 25. The promised date that the Guard would begin their assistance was August 1. The problem is that no one told the border states that the feds were guestimating when they made that promise:
The National Guard, which officials had announced would turn out en masse along the U.S.-Mexico border over the weekend for sentry duty, was nowhere to be found Sunday.
It turns out it will take weeks longer to select, screen and train the 1,200 National Guard troops the Obama administration had said would be deployed on Aug. 1 along the border from California to Texas.
Administration officials explained that the announced date was always a starting point, the beginning of the process of deployment and not the day soldiers would begin massing at the boundary line.
"Full deployment will take place over succeeding weeks," Janet Napolitano, the secretary of homeland security, said in an interview. "It won't be 100 percent showing up all of a sudden."
It seems a certainty that the federal government does not see what is happening on the US border as a crisis.
So while Obama and the feds twiddle their thumbs and accuse pro-immigration enforcement activists of being racists, Washington's only real response to the crisis has been to sue the one state that has said "enough" to federal inaction and has taken matters into its own hands to protect its citizens.
In this one instance, President Obama is letting a genuine crisis go to waste.