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02 May 2010


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Clifford Kiracofe

Here is some background from 2007 on the Arizona situation and the federal response.

"The violence associated with the problem of migration and narcotics ... has reached epidemic proportions," Mr. Dupnik told reporters on March 30. "If we had the money for the kinds of resources that we need, we could make a huge impact on border violence and crime."

As Congress debates a comprehensive immigration program that many say is the only way to deal with the smuggling problems and the violence that it entails, Dupnik's remarks show that those law-enforcement officers and agencies on the front lines are beginning to speak out, unite, and search for their own solutions.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), for instance, recently sent a new special agent to lead Arizona's efforts.

"ICE is taking the lead in trying to consolidate the disparate and disjointed efforts – at least on the human smuggling side," says Alonzo Peña, special agent in charge of ICE for Arizona. "One of the initiatives I'm bringing forward with our state, local, and other federal partners is a system to better track and coordinate investigations and intelligence related to immigration in the state of Arizona."

Upon arrival in Phoenix last October, Mr. Peña was confronted with not only combating the highly sophisticated criminal organizations that smuggle more drugs and aliens into Arizona than any other state, but with building workable coalitions with local, state, and other federal law enforcement agencies..."

Here is an item on kidnapping related to Arizona:

"The case illustrates how a terrifyingly common crime in Latin America has moved across the border into the United States: Criminals and their family members are being kidnapped by fellow criminals and held for six-figure ransoms.
The abductions are occurring in the Phoenix area at the rate of practically one per day, and police suspect they have led to killings in which bound and bullet-riddled bodies have been found dumped in the desert.

The kidnap victims are typically drug or immigrant-smugglers, who are seen as inviting targets because they have a lot of money, they can raise large sums of cash on short notice, and they are unlikely to go to the police, for fear their own shady dealings will come to light.

"We have never had a victim that we have investigated that has been as clean as the new driven snow," said Sgt. Phil Roberts, who investigates the kidnappings. "There has always been some type of criminal element to it. Either they are criminals, drug dealers or human smugglers — or a close family member is."

The kidnappers themselves are fellow traffickers who are doing it for the money or to punish their rivals.

Rise in violence, kidnappings
Phoenix had more than 340 such kidnappings reported last year, but police said the real number is much higher because many cases go unreported."...

Newsweek in 2009:

""The tactics are moving north," says assistant police chief Andy Anderson. "We don't have the violence they have in Mexico yet—the killing of police officers and the beheadings—but in terms of kidnappings and home invasions, it has come."

That raises an unnerving prospect: that the turmoil in Mexico—where drug violence claimed more than 6,000 lives last year—is finally seeping across the border. According to a December report by the Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center, Mexican drug-trafficking organizations have established a presence in 230 U.S. cities, including such remote places as Anchorage, Alaska, and Sheboygan, Wis. The issue is preoccupying American officials. "This is getting the highest level of attention," including the president's, says Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. She tells NEWSWEEK that the administration is dispatching additional Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel to the border, and it's reviewing requests from the governors of Arizona and Texas for help from National Guard troops. Earlier this month, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, visited Mexico to discuss assistance and to share potentially relevant lessons that the United States has learned in Iraq and Afghanistan, says a senior Pentagon official familiar with details of the trip who wasn't authorized to speak on the record.

All the attention has stoked public debate on a particularly fraught question—whether Mexico is a failing state...."

Is it any wonder Arizonans are concerned? I believe some polls show about 70 percent of Arizonans support this recent legislation...

Adam L Silverman

Mr. Smith: I'm not trying to reduce the complexity, and I'm aware of the 2007 incident in Dalton, as well as many elsewhere. What I am asserting is that the bill just passed, and then quickly amended, in AZ isn't going to do anything to deal with these issues. I think that what COL Lang has proposed would be an interesting place to start, as would several other very good policy proposals dealing with the issue. The AZ legislation, however, is just not good Law or policy. And the only thing worse than having either no Law on an issue that needs Law or Law that isn't enforced is having bad Law.



Lo siento,
I forgot to look up the stats on the DHS intranet.

I really wish I could say I believe that if the current leadership of CBP was called up in front of Congress, they'd tell it how it is instead of throwing words around like "operational control" and "smart border technology", but I think the latter will be the case. It will be another dog and pony show, like last time. Obama is no friend of the Border Patrol, that much is clear.

Former Chief Aguilar (Now Asst. Commissioner) is known as "Prince David" or "Chief Hollywood" or "The Bobble Head Doll" by many Agents for his nodding his head and saying "Everything is fine on the Southwest" during Bush II's amnesty drive. Janet Napalitano is worse, since she seems to ignore the same complaints from her successor, Gov. Brewer, that she would issue daily.

On a different note, I don't think mass deportations are impossible - it was done once, it can be done again. The passing of this law has made it so uncomfortable for illegals that they're starting to leave the state and trying to Voluntary Return (VR).

I, for one, would be more than happy to do some serious interior city patrol.

Allen Thomson

On border violent crime:


Violence is not up on Arizona border
Mexico crime flares, but here, only flickers
by Dennis Wagner - May. 2, 2010 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic

NOGALES, Ariz. - Assistant Police Chief Roy Bermudez shakes his head and smiles when he hears politicians and pundits declaring that Mexican cartel violence is overrunning his Arizona border town.

"We have not, thank God, witnessed any spillover violence from Mexico," Bermudez says emphatically. "You can look at the crime stats. I think Nogales, Arizona, is one of the safest places to live in all of America."

FBI Uniform Crime Reports and statistics provided by police agencies, in fact, show that the crime rates in Nogales, Douglas, Yuma and other Arizona border towns have remained essentially flat for the past decade, even as drug-related violence has spiraled out of control on the other side of the international line. Statewide, rates of violent crime also are down.

[remainder of article snipped, but worth reading]

Clifford Kiracofe

Today from McClatchy:

"More than three years after President Felipe Calderon ordered 50,000 soldiers into the fight against organized crime, Mexico's military, some experts say, is mired in a conflict with no end in sight. Cartel gunmen now dare to harass military garrisons openly. And soldiers used to operating in rural areas now have to conduct security patrols in cities like this one, a metropolis of three million people...

By nearly all accounts, local and state police in much of Mexico are either too riddled with corruption or simply not up to the task of fighting traffickers, some of whom they consider sponsors and allies.

"The municipal and state police . . . carry out extortions, steal and kidnap, and when citizens complain nothing happens," said Consuelo Morales Elizondo, a Roman Catholic nun who heads Citizens in Support of Human Rights, a local advocacy group. "Amid this scenario, people see the soldiers as their only hope."

However, the army is facing difficulties. Despite a heavy presence on the periphery of this city, and across the surrounding state of Nuevo Leon, drug-related deaths have soared — rising from seven in January, to 12 in February, 62 in March and to 78 in April, the local El Norte newspaper said. Last month's death toll was higher than the toll of all of 2009...

A former deputy national security adviser, Raul Benitez Manaut, said the urban deployments are putting new stresses on the traditionally opaque military hierarchy, and exposing shortcomings of the troops, many of whom have only a primary school education and enlisted more for a paycheck than for a vocation.

"A debate has to take place within the armed forces over their modernization and the military has to open itself up more to civilian society," Benitez said.

In the past two months, cartel gunmen have grown bolder in confronting vulnerable military patrols with small arms fire, and even harassing garrisons with hand- and rocket-propelled grenade attacks or with brief ambushes. They've also commandeered tractor-trailers and SUVs to use in impromptu roadblocks against the military along Monterrey's highways."


Byron Raum


That is pretty much what I want..As I said earlier, I don't really have many good answers to these questions. The solutions will have to come from people considerably smarter than I am. The only thing I wanted to do was to say I don't believe that the presence of my gardener is an insult to the sovereignty of the US. These are a good and decent people, who take only what they earn. My life has been enriched by interacting with them, and only a cad would think I am speaking in a financial sense.


Allen Thomson

I ask the Colonel's indulgence for so many postings, but some seem relevant to the immigration story.

My local newspaper had a story this morning that definitely belongs in the Perversely Positive Consequences file:


Valley's real estate soars amid violence
By Lynn Brezosky - Express-News
Web Posted: 05/04/2010 12:00 CDT

MISSION — In what's nationally been a down market for real estate, Rio Grande Valley agent Nester Montemayor has been doing, well, great. He sold 273 properties valued at $27 million in 2009, and things look even better this year.

The tax credit for first-time homebuyers hasn't hurt, but Montemayor's real boon has been the violence in northern Mexico.

“Really, it's been happening for over a year now, but lately it seems like since things are getting worse in Mexico. We've been looking at at least a 50 percent increase,” he said. “There's a lot more people moving to this side of the border from Mexico.”

An upper-crust exodus has made the Sharyland Plantation area of Mission virtually a suburb of Monterrey, Mexico — and a nice one, with golf courses, private pools and gated subdivisions.

People call agent Noe Lopez looking for several properties at a time. If not ready to pay cash for homes in the $180,000 to $300,000 range, they're fine putting 50 percent or more down. And while wealthy Mexicans have for years been buying second homes in the Valley, they now are trying to relocate there altogether.

[ snip]

The Valley is just one hot spot.

Real estate agent Mariana Saldaña, a Mexican-born U.S. citizen based in Houston, has had Mexican clients send private aircraft to fly immigration attorneys to Mexico to consult.

“We have whole families moving over, five houses, six houses at a time,” she said. “They're looking to move to San Antonio, Austin and Houston. ... The border is too close. A lot of people want to get a little bit away.”

Saldaña says her agents run background checks on clients to ensure they have legitimate incomes.

“We don't want any bad boys to slip through our fingers here,” she said. “We do our due diligence because we're afraid also.”

[more snip]


I'll ignore your cad remark because nothing in your original post implied a hiring policy different from you and Tyson Foods. I did not impugn the dignity of your gardener, as a matter of fact, some of those hard working Hispanics have bought houses in my neighborhood and are good neighbors--their kids are sometimes more polite than the White ones. As I mentioned previously we have our share of illegal bad apples I'd like to see deported. I don't have all the answers either but do think living in a multicultural neighborhood gives me a more balanced view of the problem than an employer has. I'm not implying you have anything but a good relationship with your gardener but don't find it a convincing argument for granting blanket amnesty. As I've said before I'd be happy with an immigration fix that seperates the wheat from the chaff.

Sidney O. Smith III

Dr. Silverman

Thanks for the response. I am glad you are aware of the Johnson tragedy. I will note that the people of Dalton are not only aware of the tragedy but also experienced the Johnson tragedy and handled it heroically, imo.

The brilliant Dr. Robert Coles, author of the Children of Crisis series, is one of those in the academic world who appears to have the ability to empathize with those not like himself, and I always respected greatly his methodology. So I have wondered how he would have described this Dalton tragedy and others like it. My guess he would have recognized all the people involved and let them tell the story.

It is probably my fault, but I still am unable to determine whether or not you believe that the American people have a reasonable expectation that the USG should secure our nation’s internationally recognized borders. Worded differently, does the USG have a constitutional obligation (somewhat like a fiduciary duty) to keep the borders secure?

Let me try this approach.

I believe that Israel has the right to build a wall along the internationally recognized 1967 borders, in accordance with UN Resolution 242. In other words, Israelis have a reasonable expectation that the GOI will provide a secure border along those boundaries that, I stress, are internationally recognized.

Do you agree or disagree? If you agree, then is it reasonable for Americans to have the same expectation? If you disagree, then why?

At this point, there is no reason for me to ask you if you think Israel’s legal apparatus is race neutral or if any of the laws would survive the strict scrutiny judicial review in the land of E Pluribus Unum.

Again, I may be wrong, but much of your analysis overall at sst appears to be predicated upon the assumption that Israel is a "liberal democracy". That aspect of your analytical approach is what I am struggling with, so I am simply looking for a coherence that I can comprehend and apply to your extremely fine work, including the complicated immigration problem in the US.

And again, one of my concerns is that the lack of US border security is causing an erosion of our 4th amendment guarantees.

Clifford Kiracofe


Look forward to annualized tabulation 1980-present if possible.

Also, I notice so far in state and federal crime reporting on the border area that the general category "Hispanic" is used. But I have not yet found any distinctions made between "Hispanics" who are US citizens and Hispanics who are illegal aliens.

One would think local and state police records would indicate whether or not the criminal "Hispanic" for example was not a US citizen but rather an illegal alien? Are the stats being somewhat sanitized to muffle (for political or politically correct reasons or?) the illegal component in US border crime?

Do you have any insight into how such police records are kept and particularly as relates to illegal aliens arrested for criminal offenses other than immigration violation. The basic question would relate to how we are tracking the illegal alien component in our crime statistics and where this particular tracking would show up in various data bases. I haven't looked at this issue for about 25 years now and I imagine record keeping and data collection and analysis have changed quite a bit over the years.


Halliburton subsidiary (Kellog Brown & Root) won $385 million contract in 2006 to build and run detention centers for undocumented aliens. If we were to "fix" the borders, the continuous flow of prisoners would cease.


Registration may be nec to read NY Times article.

Clifford Kiracofe

Some crime data from Arizona:

"Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio has said about 20 percent of those in county jails are illegal immigrants. Former County Attorney Andrew Thomas estimated that illegal immigrants committed 36 percent of the kidnappings, 34 percent of the drug-related crimes and 17 percent of the violent crimes in the Valley in 2007.

"Nationally, illegal immigrants cost the U.S. health system $4 billion a year, according to the Center for Immigration Studies."

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