TeeJaw Blog

Napolitano: U.S.- Mexico Border ‘As Secure Now As It Has Ever Been’

Posted in Government and Politics by TeeJaw on Monday, May 3, 2010, 12: 34 PM

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If you fell asleep waiting for Senator Lindsey Gramnesty to finish his question you might have missed Janet Napolitano’s astounding statement, so here it is again:

“I say this again as someone who has walked that border,” she said. “I’ve ridden that border. I’ve flown it. I’ve driven it. I know that border I think as well as anyone, and I will tell you it is as secure now as it has ever been.”

Well, some folks who might be in a position to know are taking exception. They say that border security, at least in certain regards, is less secure than government statistics would indicate. Anthony Kimery, writing at the website for Homeland Security Today Magazine, has produced a good report on the disparity between government statements such as Napolitano’s and facts that appear on the ground. Mr. Kimery states:

There was a noticeable disconnect between Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano having just told the Senate Committee on the Judiciary last week that the southern border is “as secure now as it’s ever been,” and what federal, state and local law enforcement officials battling narcotics and human smuggling into the states bordering Mexico were telling attendees of the Border Security 2010 conference in Phoenix [April 28-29, 2010 at The Phoenix Convention Center].

Law enforcement officials have noticed that even though there has been a decline in the amount of drugs interdicted at the border, record amounts are making it to the streets. The flip side of the coin is a record amount of money is making its way back into Mexico. It’s the flow of money back over the border that is especially important because it’s the best indicator of the impact of interdiction. If the drug cartels are getting lots of money back to Mexico you know that drug seizures at the border are the tip of an ice berg that is getting through somehow. What appears to be a decline in narcotics smuggling is an illusion if the cartels are still raking in millions, and is an indication that the drug lords are finding new routes for moving drugs in and money back out, of the U.S.

Mr. Kimery writes,

This means two things, according to officials: The cartels have gotten better at finding ways of smuggling narcotics into the United States that US counter-narcotics authorities haven’t necessarily discovered or been able to dent, and that the cartels also have found better ways of getting bulk cash from the sales of these drugs back into Mexico.

There’s “a huge gap between the dollars flowing into Mexico from the US” from drug sales and the amounts that are being found trying to be physically smuggled into Mexico from here, said Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar. The amounts known to be making it back to Mexico “far exceeds” the amounts found being smuggled at the border or in narcotics busts, he said.

Janet Napolitano is the head of Homeland Security in the Obama administration. She either is not aware of these facts, or she is willing to lie to the U.S. Senate. Maybe it’s both.

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