Friday, September 10, 2010

Border problems putting the United States at risk

Imagine the federal government closing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Black Hills National Park or Yellowstone due to the presence of drug and human smugglers. By the way, the parks would be closed indefinitely because the drug cartels and human smugglers are so dangerous and prolific that the entire law enforcement community cannot stop them. Sounds outrageous, doesn’t it? Like something out of a fictional movie, maybe? Impossible scenario on US soil, right? This exact scenario is reality in entire sections of southern Arizona, where parts of five federal lands – including two designated national monuments – are posted with travel warnings or are outright closed to Americans who own the land because of the dangers of “human smugglers and drug trafficking” along the Mexican border. Federal land managers have placed some 48 signs throughout southern Arizona warning American citizens and property owners of the danger of entering selected areas due to illegal immigration traffic, armed drug runners and human smugglers. Since 2001 the bodies of over 1,750 men, women and children have been found in Arizona’s southern mountains and desert. Although the arrests of illegals have declined, immigrant deaths are increasing. In July 2010, Pinal County alone recorded 59 suspected deaths of individuals trying to cross the desert from Mexico. In March 2010 Arizona’s controversial 1070 legislation was sparked for passage when Arizona rancher Robert Krentz was murdered by a suspected illegal alien crossing his ranch. Warning signs have been posted at the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Forest, which covers nearly 1.8 million acres in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. Dennis Godfrey, a spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona office, said roughly a dozen signs were posted in early June 2010 along the Sonora Desert National Monument advising that travel in the area is not recommended due to “active drug and human” smuggling. The signs are not far from where a Pinal County deputy was shot and wounded during a confrontation with marijuana smugglers in April and the fatal shooting of two men suspected to be drug smugglers...more

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