Desert Invasion - U.S.


Op/Ed: Independence Day in Arizona

By John W. Slagle, published on, July 4, 2005

ndependence Day in Arizona will once again reach triple digit temperatures which is brutal for all who spend long periods of time in our deserts, law enforcement missions to search and rescue team medic operations. Illegal immigration, a problem most politicians prefer to ignore or condone in Washington, D.C. is a never ending and dangerous situation on the borderline of the Southwest.

Assaults against Agents continue to escalate, including "gunfire" from Mexico. Two Nogales Arizona, U.S. Border Patrol Agents were investigating a narcotics backpacking report, and both were "shot in the legs", rifle fire from across the line. This is an international incident, just one of many sent to the F.B.I. including Mexican Military Incursions reported from 2002.

Concerned citizens who have assisted authorities, rural residents, ranchers to home owners who for decades have reported suspicious activities, criminal events along the Border are still labeled by the "clueless" in D.C. as Vigilantes in 2005.

This Fourth of July weekend, as a property owner in a remote area, ranching community which is also a high density smuggling area 34 miles north of Sasabe, I had the opportunity to meet members of the Minutemen Project. After arrival on the 1st. of July, small teams were taken to various locations, smugglers trails on ranches to load up sites long used by human and narcotics traffickers. When illegal activity was observed, the U.S. Border Patrol was contacted and responded. Citizen's reports from rural to urban areas have always been an important part of effective law enforcement investigations during my tenure of service.

The only thing which seems to "upset" Washington is the fact that concerned citizens are becoming organized and very outspoken on the very serious issue of illegal immigration as well as national security concerns on our borders. As a person who been involved in an informal neighborhood watch program, as well as law enforcement duties, I contacted MMP to lend a hand for the Three Points operation, close to home and personal, but could not participate directly.

Contrary to popular opinion, Special Interest group nonsense, a background check is required which is paid for by the MMP volunteer citizen, no false names, social security verification, interview etc. to insure no "loose cannons" which is an outstanding point.

We have enough incidents on the Border, rarely reported with the exception of Congressman Tom Tancredo. In this politically correct society, with conservative values little different from Democrats in the State of Arizona, voters and taxpayers are basically on their own with little representation from any quarter. God Bless our Troops abroad, and citizens that "stand up" for their State and Country when elected officials will not.

John W. Slagle (ret) Special Agent Anti-Smuggling Unit, USBP, Three Points, Arizona

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