Sunday, April 04, 2010

Feds have fiddled too long as border security failed

The killing of rancher Robert Krentz in Cochise County has put a microscope on the situation along the U.S.-Mexico border that has been simmering dangerously for a long time. It's far too little to say "I told you so" to the federal government - but Arizonans who must live with the destructive effects of a dysfunctional immigration policy and a porous border knew that this kind of violence could, and in a matter of time would, happen. After such a tragedy, it's common to hear laments of "it didn't have to happen." This killing brings into stark relief the security failures that have persisted along the border for years, despite warning signs and plain common sense. Law enforcement officials suspect Krentz was murdered by a smuggler who then crossed back into Mexico. The area is well-known as a drug-smuggling route and immigrants who cross the border illegally into Arizona also traverse through the ranch land. It's unconscionable that problems ranchers and others who live and work along the border have warned of for years have been allowed to persist - problems that are fixable and within the federal government's control. The federal government has thrown millions upon millions of dollars at the border, but still law enforcement agencies - or even different groups within the same agency - cannot communicate easily via radio because they use different systems...more

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