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Section A: General News


U.S.-Mexican border is not safe


U.S.-Mexican border is not safe
Steven McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety and former director of Texas Homeland Security


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Wilson County News
November 13, 2013
2,753 views
10 comments

Despite top national officials saying otherwise, violence along the U.S.-Mexican border is growing. Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steven McCraw spoke of “Protecting Our Ranches on the Border” June 28, during the annual convention of the Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas in Bastrop.

The former director of Texas Homeland Security who worked with the narcotics division in the late 1970s, McCraw served almost 20 years as a special agent with the FBI. As Drug Enforcement Agency/Caribbean division coordinator, he witnessed human trafficking and Mexican cartel activities in the 1980s. He has served with Texas Homeland Security for five years, and has seen the violence firsthand. He gave a report -- abandoning his prepared speech -- stating that the Texas border is not safe, despite what the Government Accountability Office and others want Texans and the nation to believe.

Weak borders

In 2001, after the 9-11 attacks in the United States, Texas adopted its first task force to track foreign terrorists, after the Canadian and the United States’ southwestern border were identified as the weakest areas regarding public safety and security.

Texas comprises 63 percent of the border between the United States and Mexico, and is a common gateway used by the cartels.

McCraw named six to eight cartels that not only smuggle drugs, such as cocaine, black tar heroin, and marijuana, but also are involved with human trafficking. The cartels target the border and retail cities across the nation.

Although many -- including Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano -- say the border is safe, McCraw states the opposite, citing border crime statistics.

Crime statistics

The Government Accountability Office does not include border-related crimes, such as spillover crimes, in its reports.

“We don’t count trespassing, cutting fences, and vandalism” in the index crimes, McCraw said. Index crimes include murder, aggravated assault, forcible rape, theft, and arson.

Farmers and ranchers are in harm’s way, since the government does not include such cases, McCraw emphasized.

In 2008, officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement -- the border patrol -- arrested and/or jailed approximately 150,000 individuals for non-immigration or non-gang or cartel-related violations, McCraw said. Records indicate for the same period, 500,000 crimes were reported for multiple cases, including larceny, trespassing, 2,000 murders, and 5,000 sexual-related crimes.

Today, the cartels are using military tactics, logistics power, and commando-style tactics against the United States. Law enforcement is needed for cities and rural areas as well, McCraw said.

Recruiting

Human trafficking and terrorist support cells have entered into the United States undetected, he said.

Cartels also have recruited children as drivers, using extortion and even kidnapping. Teens as young as 13 years old are being enticed to join a gang, membership that continues into their adulthood.

Mexico has “lost a generation of youth” due to drug cartels, McCraw said.

These same people are involved with human trafficking, as well.

McCraw spoke of an incident involving organized criminal activity when the drug lords took 76 shots at federals agents. To defend themselves, the Drug Enforcement Agency fired back, a maximum of 200 rounds. It was later found that the vehicle involved was stolen, and the cartels were defending drugs in their possession.

To avoid arrest, some “coyotes” -- people who smuggle illegal immigrants -- crash their vehicles and payload into fences. Some are captured by authorities, but others escape, to try later to enter the states again. (See Human trafficking below.)

This tactic has produced from 2,000 to 3,000 high-speed pursuits along the border that put the public at risk.

Combat

To combat the illegal traffic, McCraw said paramilitary-style techniques and equipment are needed, such as machine guns and other armament, helicopters, boats, and more manpower.

“We need to be proactive with technology,” McCraw said, including the use of aircraft, Ranger reconnaissance, and sniper rifles.

Approximately 21,000 border patrol officers defend this country, compared to 38,000 police officers to protect New York City, he said.

The U.S. government and state legislatures need to make border security a priority, McCraw said, concluding, with emphasis, “The border is not safe.”
 

Your Opinions and Comments

 
Facts only please  
TX  
November 18, 2013 7:55am
 
PRAIRIE: You do realize the National Guard operates under three different titles. State Active Duty, Title 32 and Title 10. So...maybe next time you and squawk should do your homework?

 
PRAIRIE GROUCH  
GRAND PRAIRIE TX  
November 18, 2013 6:28am
 
New Guy......And your point is ??????? Are you suggesting when the National Guard is activated for military service, that they are not subject to Title 10 ?

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
November 17, 2013 10:09pm
 
Squawk. The Posse act is for Title 10 Federal service. National Guard can do law enforcement.

 
squawk box  
Pandora, Tx  
November 14, 2013 2:45pm
 
Posse Comitatus Act 1878. If you can't normally use the military for law enforcement purposes, militarize law enforcement agencies. How's that for skirting the law.

 
7th Generation La Vernian  
La Vernia  
November 14, 2013 1:46pm
 
Muse, now that was funny.

 
The Marcelina Muse  
Dry Tank, TX  
November 14, 2013 1:38pm
 
Yeh, it was dumb to try to sniper the illegals from the helo. They should have used a rocket.

 
7th Generation La Vernian  
La Vernia  
November 13, 2013 2:37pm
 
Billy...if the driver who was shot hit head on a school bus with 30 kids onboard would that change your mind on shooting vehicles from a helo? Read the lawing from the judge....this is why the DPS stopped this practice. It ... More ›

 
Billy Bob  
Texas  
November 13, 2013 2:33pm
 
@New Guy.... The troopers had every right to stop the criminals before they killed innocent LEGAL citizens with their reckless driving. If they are too stupid to STOP with an officer behind them. In TEXAS protecting innocent ... More ›

 
New Guy  
Wilson County  
November 13, 2013 1:40pm
 
This guy is crazy...read up on his opinion about shooting at people from a helo..."We're Really Not Apologetic": DPS Director Steve McCraw and Texas' Airborne Snipers Source: http://www.burntorangereport.com/diary/14074/we ... More ›

 
Billy Bob  
Texas  
November 13, 2013 1:20pm
 
Is it still safe to go to Boy's Town?

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