Monday, April 03, 2017

Patrolling NM’s Bootheel difficult

By Lauren Villagran

Why aren’t border agents patrolling the borderline in New Mexico’s Bootheel? That’s a common complaint from ranchers such as William Hurt, whose homes lie between the border and the more heavily patrolled areas near N.M. 9 and 81 in Hidalgo County. The Border Patrol has an answer, although ranchers don’t like it. “We have terrain limitations,” Border Patrol spokesman Ramiro Cordero said. “We have distance limitations. We’re on a run-and-catch game. We want to be able to patrol from the north to the south and interdict everything we can in the safest way we can.” In other words, he said, it’s a more efficient use of limited resources to contain illegal traffic by patrolling from positions north of the border rather than by standing on the line. The Border Patrol’s understaffed Lordsburg station guards the Bootheel. From the station’s Forward Operating Base off N.M. 9, it can take hours by truck to reach the Bootheel boundaries that cut south and then west. At the border there, backup is almost never nearby. Cordero said he is “not at liberty” to talk about staffing levels but added, “Lordsburg is still not where it should be.”...more

I don't know whether or not the patrolling philosophy described by Cordero is the most efficient use of resources or not. What I do know is that cedes control of the borderline to others, creating a no man's land for the folks who live and work in the area. In other words, our southern border is no longer our southern border. It has moved north.

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