By Jim Kouri
As crime and violence continues along the U.S.- Mexican border unabated and overwhelmed federal agents are increasingly attacked by heavily armed drug smugglers, the nation’s Homeland Security chief assures Americans that the de facto war zone is “as secure as it has ever been,” according to a non-partisan, public interest group based in Washington, DC.
In fact, just days before Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made her comical assertion, U.S. Border Patrol agents engaged in a violent gun battle with Mexican drug smugglers along the Rio Grande in Texas. The federal officers came under siege during a drug bust that netted half a ton of U.S.-bound marijuana.
Similar incidents have occurred in the last few months even though Border Patrol agents avoid the most crime-infested stretches because they’re “too dangerous” and patrolling them could result in an “international incident” of cross border shooting. That alarming tidbit was revealed just a few weeks ago by an Arizona sheriff who obtained firsthand accounts from Border Patrol supervisors stationed in his jurisdiction, according to officials at Judicial Watch.
The violence has inevitably spilled into U.S. communities near the southern border, forcing local law enforcement agencies to create special units dedicated to combating criminal activity related to illegal immigration and Mexican drug cartels.
“In the absence of federal action, border crime has risen sharply in the last decade and will only get worse, according to statistics provided to congressional leaders by frustrated Arizona authorities,” according to a Judicial Watch report obtained by the National Association of Chiefs of Police.
“This makes Napolitano’s recent comments all the more infuriating. Addressing the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week, the Homeland Security Secretary assured that an unprecedented amount of manpower and technology has largely secured the Southwest border,” said Judicial Watch’s president Tom Fitton.
The area “is as secure as it has ever been,” she said and now Congress should pass and implement meaningful immigration reform, liberal-code for large-scale, illegal alien amnesty
Fitton points out another funny Napolitano line: she wants Americans to know the Obama Administration takes law enforcement seriously, even though it has drastically weakened a collaborative program between local and federal authorities, suspended worksite enforcement and halted the deportation of certain classes of illegal immigrants. Among the protected are illegal aliens discovered as a result of traffic violations and those attending college.
And Napolitano isn’t the only official out-of-touch with reality. At a news conference in Arizona recently, ICE Director John Morton announced the results of the enforcement action, which involved more than 60 ICE agents and officers, as well as personnel from the U.S. Marshals Service.
However, Morton was the recipient of a “vote of no confidence” from the union representing his ICE agents and officers. In a letter, the members of ICE complained about the politically-motivated actions of their superiors and Morton’s desire to offer amnesty to illegal aliens.