Issues of concern to people who live in the west: property rights, water rights, endangered species, livestock grazing, energy production, wilderness and western agriculture. Plus a few items on western history, western literature and the sport of rodeo... Frank DuBois served as the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003. DuBois is a former legislative assistant to a U.S. Senator, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Interior, and is the founder of the DuBois Rodeo Scholarship.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
KVOA Investigators - Arizona rancher pushing for border change - video
A 4-foot barbed wire fence is the only barrier on the U.S.-Mexico border for a stretch of about 25 miles in Southern Arizona. The illegal activity rancher Jim Chilton regularly witnesses on his property is no laughing matter.
”The Sinaloa Cartel controls this area,” Chilton said. “As they move drug packers through the country, they know where the border patrol is at all times."
The Sinaloa Cartel's infamous leader, Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, was captured in January, still the U.S. Intelligence Community considers the cartel to be the most powerful drug trafficking organization in the world.
Currently, the border patrol uses what they call "a defense-in-depth strategy" in rural areas along the border. This means they don't apprehend smugglers immediately as they cross. It can be hours, and sometimes days, if it all before smugglers are caught. Chilton believes this strategy is ineffective, particularly because the Tucson Border Patrol is only responsible for 24 miles along the border.
“I advocate it's easier to man a line rather than 4,000 square miles,” Chilton said.
The Chilton Ranch is located in the small town of Arivaca, just over an hour from Tucson. Chilton owns thousands of acres extending another 20 miles to the border, but due to the rugged terrain, the trip from his ranch house to the line takes two hours.
"What's needed is a wall, what's needed are roads and we need forward operating bases with the border patrol being out here rather than in Tucson,” Chilton said.
President of the local border patrol union, Art Del Cueto agrees that change along the border is much needed.
“We've heard about the catch and release program, we've heard about some individuals that have been caught within the United States that have been here illegally for many years but we don't detain them,” Del Cueto said.
Setting up motion activated cameras throughout his property Chilton has captured hundreds of images of illegal crossing and drug smuggling.