Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman writes to the Denver Post (pay special attention to the statistics [*] that Rep. Coffman identifies as to who it is illegally entering the U.S. via our Southern border):
I just returned from our southwest border with Mexico. I wanted to see firsthand the progress — or lack of it — in erecting barriers to the drug cartels’ smuggling activities and the violence now spilling over into border communities.
Contrary to recent statements from the Department of Homeland Security, the border fence is far from finished and the Border Patrol is still woefully short of manpower.
For this reason, I will soon introduce legislation to complete the border fence.
I looked at a 25-mile segment of the border between Naco and Douglas, Ariz., and the port-of-entry operations at Douglas. This region in southeast Arizona is considered “ground zero” of the border security problem. The Border Patrol catches an average of 900 people each day along the 262 miles of this sector, and more than 40 percent of all Border Patrol apprehensions occurred in this sector from 2005 to 2008.
[*] While 65 percent of those apprehended are Mexican nationals, in 2007, 68,016 came from 150 other countries, including 4,297 from Cuba, 837 from China, and 156 from Middle Eastern countries such as Iran and Pakistan. In this Arizona sector in the first six months of this fiscal year, almost 5,000 people have been caught from countries other than Mexico. [Emphasis added.]
The Department of Homeland Security has not been honest in its public statements about the border fence. Beginning in January, DHS spokesmen have claimed that 670 miles of “tactical infrastructure” have been finished on the 1,950-mile border with Mexico. Even Fox News repeats that number regularly. But half of that “tactical infrastructure” consists of vehicle barriers, not fences to stop human trafficking. True border fencing to curtail people traffic can be found on only 375 miles of our border with Mexico — and none of that fencing exists on more than 100 miles of open public lands in Arizona managed by the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
I saw everything from an impressive 15-foot metal fence to a 4-foot system of metal rails meant to stop only vehicles. It’s a patchwork system with many gaps; we can and must do better.
When she was still governor of Arizona, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano often criticized the border fence with witticisms like, “Show me a 12-foot fence and I’ll show you a 13-foot ladder.” Now that the Border Patrol is her direct responsibility, maybe she will begin listening to the men and women who patrol that fence daily. They will tell her that the fence makes a big difference — and that we need more of it.
A border fence is not a panacea, and there are some regions that are not amenable to fencing. But in most areas, a fence is the front-line barrier that is essential to a “defense in depth” strategy. The fence is backed up by Border Patrol agents, ground sensors, and cameras with thermal imaging that can detect movements at night. All three elements work together: the fence, Border Patrol agents, and innovative technology. We need more of all three elements if we are to achieve true border security.
Those who opine against the “sense” or practicalities of a border fence along our Southern border (as does Janet Napolitano, pitiably and foolishly, as head of the Department of Homeland Security), are engaged in the same self-defeating reasoning as this:
“I catch colds and viruses when I wash my hands, so why wash my hands…”
“You can still acquire diseases by using a condom so don’t use a condom…”
“It’s cold inside my house so I’m removing my insulation…”
“Someone could break down the doors to my house so why have doors…”
…and on and on.
Just because one measure is SOMETIMES or potentially breachable does not mean it is not effective on many or most occasions against numerous affronts. A border fence along our Southern border — one that is designed and constructed and monitored to the epitome of available security technologies — works and has been proven to work when it’s been constructed and managed to contend with “most” threats to border security.
Anyone attempting to reason against border security (effective barriers, competent and adequate employees charged with implementing security requirements and measures there) is reasoning — however subtle it may be — against national security. But when that argument (call it irresponsible nonsense because it is) comes from someone such as Janet Napolitano, whose job responsibility is to lead or head an entire national department of security as hers is — is an indication of incompetence if not treachery.
Related preposterousness from Janet Napolitano:
I don’t accept her apology as “sincere” any more than Napolitano is trustworthy in areas of intelligence nor wise in her ridicule of national security and border security issues — her superfluous and insulting affirmation of the amateurish, outrageous “right-wing extremists” report was the end of any credibility that Janet Napolitano may have had at some earlier point.
NOTE she’s not rescinded that report naming veterans, persons with pro-life, pro-legal-immigration views, supporters of the Second Amendment (and, generally, the majority of Americans who didn’t vote for Barack Obama) as “Right-wing extremists” — a report she still upholds and affirms. Though she’s “sorry” if veterans’ feelings are hurt, I guess, is the essence of her latest stupidity and absence of reason, ethics and service-responsibilities. Napolitano should be removed from public service immediately and never a second glance given her way in any regard to entrusting her with the safety of our nation or the public otherwise.
A few comments from Republicans in Congress:
“Has this homeland security secretary gone absolutely stark raving mad?” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn, said Wednesday.
“I think the appropriate thing for her to do would be to step down,” Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas, told Fox News on Thursday.
“Janet Napolitano should resign or be fired,” Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, said on Wednesday.
I agree with those opinions by those members of Congress. And I am not at all surprised that Barack Obama would deem these and others like them (many others) as “political theatre.” That’s Obama saying he agrees with Napolitano and considers her competent and pleasing in her office, which is Obama agreeing with utter incompetence and denigrating the opinions of responsible American citizens.
No, it is something far worse than incompetence, it’s corruption he’s embracing and supporting, a corruption that names many millions of lawful, well-balanced and courageous Americans as probable or likely enemies.