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Column 032513 Brewer

Monday, March 25, 2013

The Rhetoric on US-Mexico Border Security is Simply Vacillation

By Jerry Brewer

The ornate and usual dialogue of securing the U.S. border with Mexico continues to be rife with wild guesses, empty words and complete irresolution. Indecision and a lack of proactive strategies that cannot be effectively articulated to a nation demanding solutions and answers is an abomination, and reflects badly on leaders who are tasked to provide oversight and factually report.

Many question just who is responsible for fabricating fear? There is no doubt that we have been hit hard with reports of fear due to illegal immigration, spillover violence, terrorists crossing the border, heavily armed drug cartels, and threats of related transnational organized criminals.

And do you know the truth? The fact is that they are all true, along with other reported intelligence products not widely distributed.

Let us stop and draw a quick line in the sand at the border separating the U.S. and Mexico as an obvious weak disclaimer, but not to even remotely deny the continuing deaths and violence in Mexico due to transnational organized crime and the insatiable U.S. drug demand.

How can anyone in government oversight of homeland security, and some U.S. leaders and policy makers, tell an astute American citizenry with straight faces that the U.S. border with Mexico "is as secure as it has ever been." That statement could be ironically true within the context that the border was never secure to begin with. Hence, the dust that still remains from the drug gangs alone that traversed those areas years ago to set up with gangs and dealers in hundreds of U.S. cities far from the border.

Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Homeland Security, has served in that office since 2009. The mission of the department is to develop and coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive national strategy to secure the United States from terrorist threats or attacks. Secretary Napolitano has consistently maintained that the border is as secure as it ever has been.

She has been joined by President Barack Obama in that assessment after he visited El Paso, Texas and declared the border more secure than ever, announcing to naysayers - "Maybe they'll say we need a moat, or alligators in the moat. They'll never be satisfied."

The most important statement of the true facts that must be said is the profoundly dedicated work and sacrifices made by the heroic soldiers on the front lines of that border, from Texas to California, that are the U.S. Border Patrol, ICE, and local, state, and other federal law enforcement officials. They are the keepers of the true facts that are eye-witnessed and experienced in reality - many who cannot openly express their true feelings, experiences, frustrations or on the manner in which their efforts succeed and fail due to bureaucracy and inaccurate threat assessments.

What goes through the minds of those on the front lines? Can the border with Mexico that stretches a little under 2,000 miles ever be fully secured - short of lining up border patrol agents or police holding hands across the entire stretch?

Illegal immigrants, organized criminals and others, as well as contraband, come through tunnels, over and under fences, and up through manhole covers. Drugs are catapulted over fences and smuggled in by illegals and other mules who use small planes/ultra lights, helicopters, vehicles, boats, and a myriad of "easy" ways that take advantage of hundreds of miles of rural land, as well as unfenced Indian tribal lands. As well, the old adage build an eight foot fence and someone will bring a ten foot ladder, prevails.

Border officials play hide and go seek daily at legal border crossing locations with thousands of people and vehicles. Some scientific, as well as educated guesses and savvy tradecraft, nets many, Yet much may be missed in this profound task of necessary interdiction.

Spillover from the violence raging in Mexico is obviously misleading. The Mexican border is merely an entry point. Federal crime statistics from cities and counties along the southwest border are reporting no significant spikes in violence. Transnational organized criminals and smaller drug and gang entities have the capability to move through border states quickly to reach other lucrative cities and markets.

Border security in the U.S. remains necessary and critical. It is a monumental task that requires the very best in technology, human resources, and ingenuity - most importantly it requires proactive and strategic action in lieu of failed words and deception.

Jerry Brewer is C.E.O. of Criminal Justice International Associates, a global threat mitigation firm headquartered in northern Virginia. His website is located at

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