Desert Invasion - U.S.

Articles on the destruction of border National Parks, National Monuments, National Wildlife Refuges, and National Forests

Articles: 2003

See related articles:
2008 January - June     July - December
2007 January - June     July - December
2006 January - June     July - December
2005 January - June     July - December
2004 January - June     July - December
Before 2002

(Selections will open in a new browser window)
  • Punished for the Truth
    The Washington Post, December 23, 2003
    Unless wiser heads in the upper reaches of the Bush administration prevail, underlings in the Interior Department are about to deliver a low blow to honesty and integrity in government. For responding with the truth to questions from The Post and other news outlets about staffing in her department, U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa Chambers has been placed on leave and notified that superiors in the National Park Service and Interior want her fired. And what was the chief's transgression? She said her understaffed department had to curtail critical patrols in Park Service jurisdictions beyond the Mall, such as major parkways and crime-ridden U.S. parkland in neighborhoods, because of Interior Department orders requiring more officers to guard downtown national shrines. The impending action ought to be reversed. Ms. Chambers should be commended for speaking up for public safety. The Interior Department underlings trying to muzzle her are the ones who should be on their way out the door...

  • Mexican Troops Fire on U.S. Border Watchers
    By Jon E. Dougherty,, December 23, 2003
    An official with a civilian border group says a squad of Mexican soldiers opened fire on a position only moments after it was vacated by group volunteers patrolling private property near Douglas, Ariz...
    Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., head of the House Immigration Reform Caucus, says 115 incursions by Mexican military and police have been documented by the U.S. government since 1996.
    "The purpose of these incursions is not totally understood, but U.S. officials have speculated that they are designed to help facilitate the flow of illegal drugs into America, either by creating a diversion or by providing cover for the traffickers," Tancredo says, on his caucus Web site...

  • Agent found dead in Colorado River
    By Louie Vilialobos, Yuma Sun, December 20, 2003
    Agent James Epling was still wearing his U.S. Border Patrol hat when dive teams spotted him under water Friday night.
    Federal Bureau of Investigation agents now have control of both Epling’s body and the investigation of the initial incident, which took place Tuesday night when Epling was last seen running south down the California side of the river in a foot pursuit of four suspected illegal aliens.
    Prior to the chase, Epling and additional agents in the area successfully pulled a female Chinese national out of the river.
    Also on that night, agents took into custody four illegal aliens, three of which were Chinese citizens, the patrol has said. The fourth was a Mexican national believed to be a smuggler, sources have told The Sun.

  • The Candelaria Kidnappings: Why All The Secrecy?
    By Jon E. Dougherty, published on VDARE.comDecember 20, 2003
    If a foreign invader crossed into the United States and committed a crime, threatened U.S. citizens and law enforcement, or planned other mischief, don't the American people have a right to know about it? Furthermore, shouldn't a documented foreign incursion invoke as serious a threat of retaliation from American leaders as, say, an Arab nation only suspected of aiding anti-U.S. terrorists? If such incursions have happened hundreds of times per year for several years —without evoking a U.S. response—would that kind of inaction qualify as s the patience of Job or excessive negligence and dereliction of duty?...
    I was alone in reporting last week that, based on key and reliable sources, a squad of Mexican soldiers or paramilitary police crossed the U.S. border near Candelaria, Texas, about 170 miles southeast of El Paso, on Nov. 24 and kidnapped at gunpoint an entire family, then brought them back to Mexico. The validity of the story became clear when it was verified by local law enforcement officials, the U.S. Border Patrol and the FBI—information I included in a pair of news reports describing what happened.
    Within hours most of the five-member family—the mother and three minor children—were released, and local officials were notified. But Mexican authorities continued to hold the father for several more days, finally letting him go several days later.
    It was obvious from the start no one in authority wanted to discuss this incident... Now I hear the bureaucratic masters are upset the story was broken in the first place. I hear they want someone's head on a plate for leaking the incident to the press.
    In other words, they're upset that American citizens—the same people who pay their salaries—were told about this horrendous incident, which—again—occurred on American soil...
    it is very clear what happened—for some reason, Mexican authorities crossed our recognized international border and abducted a family on U.S. soil, then took them back across the border— at gunpoint —before eventually releasing them.
    Secrecy on the border isn't the same as security. Why, then, is secrecy the priority?

  • Pot sentries pose public lands peril - Mexican gangs growing weed in U.S.
    By Don Thompson, Associated Press, Arizona Republic, December 20, 2003
    Mexican cartels have taken over much of California's marijuana farming, boosting both the potency of the drug and the propensity for violence from armed guards protecting the crop, the nation's drug czar said this week....
    The multibillion-dollar Mexican cartels have discovered it's safer and more profitable to grow marijuana in the United States than to try to smuggle it across the border, he said. Instead, they're often importing guards and handing them firearms with orders to shoot at anyone coming by.
    They also are branching into methamphetamine production, often using what authorities have dubbed superlabs.

  • U.S. Park Police chief suspended after making public complaints
    By Marty Niland, Associated Press, reported in several newspapers, December 5, 2003
    The top uniformed officer of the U.S. Park Police was suspended Friday, days after she went public with complaints that her department was understaffed and underfunded...
    Chambers told various media outlets on Tuesday that she had been forced to cut back on patrols across the area because her officers are now required to guard national monuments...
    "She was told to clear out her desk and to relinquish her badge, her government ID and her firearm," Moran said. "She's under investigation."
    Chambers said her department had a $12 million budget shortfall this year and needed $8 million for next fiscal year.

  • Illegal immigration numbers don't show drop in county
    By Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald, December 2, 2003
    Slightly more than 58 percent of the illegal immigrants apprehended in the first two months of the new federal fiscal year in the U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson Sector occurred in Cochise County.
    And more than one out of three people taken into custody were by agents from the Naco Station, according to figures provided by Tucson Sector spokesman Rob Daniels...
    The flow of illegal immigrants into Arizona through what is called the Naco Corridor, an area east of the San Pedro River to the west side of the Huachuca Mountains, has led the federal agency to mount Operation Pipeline
    In the past, the Douglas area was the hottest of the hot spots in the sector. According to the two-month figures for the current fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, agents from the Douglas Station have apprehended 10,284 illegal immigrants.
    For the same two-month period in 2002, 11,000 people were taken into custody by Douglas Station agents.
    The slight decline in apprehensions in the Douglas area is offset by a major increase in illegal immigrants taken into custody by Naco Station agents this year compared to October and November of 2002 -- 18,487 versus 6,061.
    As for Willcox Station agents, apprehensions declined the first two months of this federal fiscal year compared to October and November of 2002 -- 1,427 versus 2,105.
    According to figures provided by Daniels, marijuana seizures for October and November this year are up in the sector and in Cochise County compared to the same two months in 2002 -- 75,185 pounds compared to 53,414 pounds.
    Based on $800 per pound, the estimated value of the marijuana seized throughout the sector is $60,148,000.
    Agents from the three stations in Cochise County were responsible for the seizure of 24,556 pounds of marijuana, or about a third of all the illegal substance confiscated in the sector in October and November this year. For the same two months in 2002, 8,761 pounds were seized.
    Agents at the Naco station had the most marijuana seizures in the county in October and November this year when compared to the same months in 2002 -- 15,861 pounds compared to 6,473 pounds.
    Douglas Station agents confiscated 8,525 pounds of the illegal substance the first two months of the current federal fiscal year compared to 2,154 in October and November of 2002...
    The street value of the marijuana seized in Cochise County this October and November is $19,644,800...

  • Terrorist base south of border Paraguay sees major influx of Arabic-speaking 'Europeans'
    By Joseph Farrah,, December 1, 2003
    International law-enforcement authorities combating terrorism have growing concerns about a major influx into the Latin American nation of Paraguay of Arabic-speaking visitors carrying European passports...
    Many of the visitors and emigres travel to the triple border region where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet. This region, often described as a lawless area, is nicknamed by some intelligence station agents as "The Muslim Triangle meeting zone."
    An Argentinean document seen by G2 Bulletin describes part of the drug-smuggling trail, as well as that of weapons and people. These elaborate trails run through a web of border crossings pointing also to the complex cooperation between various "smuggling experts." These belong to jihadi organizations such as al-Qaida, joining forces with local drug lords, developing and oiling their smuggling mechanism all the way to Mexico aiming ultimately to hit the U.S.
    Intelligence experts now assume the so-called jihadi spider web is moving north fast from Paraguay. It is just a question of time before terrorists use, and quite possibly already have used, the loosely guarded American-Mexican border. It should come as no surprise when, sometime in the not-too-far future, the U.S. will be attacked in a deadly way...
    Experienced anti-terror experts told G2 Bulletin the Mexican border is the Achilles heel of the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Heightened security puts park rangers in more danger
    By Karen Brooks, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, December 1, 2003
    On a routine patrol through Big Bend National Park on the Texas-Mexico border, law officer Cary Brown pulled over a speeding pickup truck and found an antsy driver with a two-way radio - and more than $2 million worth of marijuana.
    Narcotics interdiction is a major part of Brown's job... Brown is a National Park Service ranger, and it's been a long time since he and the 40 other park rangers have been able to focus on illegal camping and other such violations as they patrol some 300 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border.
    Today, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, rangers have shifted their focus to smugglers and fugitives in what has become one of the most dangerous jobs in federal law enforcement.
    A recent study by the Justice Department found that park rangers are 15 times more likely to be killed or injured on the job than an agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration... And two Texas parks - Amistad National Recreation Area near Del Rio and Big Bend National Park - were listed among the top 10 most dangerous parks in the United States for park rangers by the U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.
    Top 10 most dangerous national parks to be a ranger:
    1. Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (Arizona)
    2. Amistad National Recreation Area (Texas)
    3. Big Bend National Park (Texas)
    4. Lake Mead National Recreation Area (Nevada/Arizona)
    5. Coronado National Memorial (Arizona)
    6. Biscayne National Park (Florida)
    7. Shenandoah National Park (Virginia)
    8. Delaware Water Gap (New Jersey/Pennsylvania)
    9. Edison National Historic Site (New Jersey)
    10. Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)

  • Organ Pipe barrier expected to keep drugs, entrants out
    By Michael Marizco, Arizona Daily Star, November 30, 2003
    A new $17 million vehicle barrier at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument promises to help keep out loads of illegal drugs and immigrants along one of the U.S. border's most popular smuggling routes.
    The barrier, old railroad rails buried five feet deep and welded into a ribbon of steel, will do nothing to stop foot traffic and is designed only to deter cars and trucks and the damage they do when they tear across protected plants and carve rutted paths in fragile desert soil...
    U.S. Customs and Border Protection, part of the Department of Homeland Security, is considering lining much of the roughly 1,900-mile U.S.-Mexico border with the so-called "smart border" barriers. The agency has not decided who should pay for it, said spokesman Mario Villarreal in Washington, D.C.
    The National Park Service isn't waiting. The agency came up with the money for its Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, at $700,000 per mile of barrier, after ranger Kris Eggle was shot to death there in August 2002 by a drug smuggler running from Mexican agents.
    The barrier, slated for construction in December, will help protect the 516-square-mile monument's organ pipe cactus, saguaros, bighorn sheep and desert tortoise, which are suffering as smugglers race through, said Bill Wellman, a monument supervisor. The park service also installed the vehicle barriers at Coronado National Memorial in Southeastern Arizona and will finish that project in the next two weeks.
    Sometimes, the smugglers' vehicles break down or catch fire and are abandoned - 3,994 of them on the Tohono O'odham Nation and 34 in Organ Pipe in 2002. This year, 2,882 vehicles were dumped on the reservation and five at Organ Pipe.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, set aside $2 million this year for a barrier and will add another $5 million each year for the next four years. "By putting that in, we basically bankrupt construction projects for the rest of the U.S. with national wildlife refuges," Lusk said.

  • Lou Dobbs special report
    Lou Dobbs, CNN, November 19, 2003
    Tonight our special report "broken borders." The 10 million illegal aliens in this country are not only breaking our laws and enjoying benefits of citizenships, such as healthcare and education now illegal alien smugglers and drug traffickers are on the verge of ruining some of our national treasures. Oregon Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona is one of the country's most beautiful national park. It is also consistently rated the nation's most dangerous national park. The reason, illegal aliens and drug smugglers have made it a key smuggling route into this country.

  • Drug Seizure, Attempted Assault on Ranger
    Unknown source, November 17, 2003
    CORONADO NATIONAL MEMORIAL - AZ: Rangers seized almost two tons of marijuana and an AK-47 during a smuggling interdiction operation last weekend.

  • Border crossings harming wildlife, experts say
    By Sandy Yang, Associated Press, Casper Star Tribune, November 16, 2003
    The thousands of undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] who cross the border from Mexico into the United States daily could eventually take a toll on wildlife habitats and animals in southern Arizona, experts say.
    While studies haven't been done to show the effects of border crossings on wildlife, biologists say that trails used by illegal immigrants would be most detrimental to animals.
    Because many of these trails follow streams, the constant foot traffic keeps animals from frequenting their usual water sources, and in some cases, their home range.
    "They're forced to move away from areas with accessible water all the time," said Wayne Schifflett, manager of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge. "Less-preferred habitats would jeopardize their security. There are less trees, less water and more predation to the animals."
    Schifflett said up to 1,000 border crossers come through the refuge southwest of Tucson daily. And it's just one of the corridors that illegal immigrants use to get into Arizona, one of the hottest illegal crossing points on the U.S.-Mexico border.
    Other ecologically sensitive crossing points in the state include the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge.

  • Immigrant Smuggling Out Of Control
    CBS Evening News, November 10, 2003
    By the time police arrived, the bloody gun battle between two speeding vehicles along one of Arizona's main highways was over. Four people were dead.
    "When you have shootouts on your freeways and in your neighborhoods and your shopping areas, things are definitely out of control," Phoenix Police Chief Harold Hurtt told CBS Correspondent Sandra Hughes.
    Arizona authorities say this happens about once a week in the lucrative and ruthless world of people smuggling...
    Once here, illegal immigrants are kept in so-called "drop houses" -- often held hostage until someone pays the smugglers fee, usually about $1,500.
    "We've had reports of children having their hands cut off if family members didn't pay the smuggling fee," said federal agent Thomas DeRouchey.

  • 'It's the Wild West every night' along border
    By Judd Slivka, The Arizona Republic, USA Today, November 4, 2003
    ...National parks and other federal recreation sites in Arizona have some of the highest crime rates of any public lands in the country, and those in southern Arizona lead the list.
    Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge has more crimes per visitor than any other piece of public land in the West. The Coronado National Memorial in southeastern Arizona leads all forest lands in the number of crimes committed on it.
    Two rangers in Arizona have been shot in the past two years.
    Big Bend National Park, Padre Island National Seashore and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas have similarly high crime rates. All are driven by smuggling problems.
    North Cascades National Park in Washington has more serious crimes per visitor than any park in the country, and the national parks and forests that butt against the Canadian border have drug smuggling problems as well.

  • U.S.-Mexico Border Patrol Failing
    By Nike Price, Associated Press, November 2, 2003
    ...Several Border Patrol agents along the Arizona-Mexico line said that although they have become increasingly vigilant toward the possibility of terrorists using established people-smuggling routes, they have found none.
    "The people who are coming across this border are people who can only pay $1,500 to a smuggler. A terrorist can pay $30,000 or $40,000 and go to the northern border where we don't have the resources to stop them," said agent Matt Roggow.

  • Border crime ravaging parks in Arizona
    Judd Slivka, The Arizona Republic, October 26, 2003
    In 'Smugglers Crescent,' public is losing out as rangers are forced to act as border police... A smuggling suspect, caught with nine Brazilian nationals, is arrested during a September ambush by the Border Patrol and park rangers in the Coronado National Memorial near Sierra Vista...
    Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, southeast of Yuma, has more crimes per visitor than any other piece of public land in the West. The Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona leads all forest lands in the number of crimes committed on it...
    [the parks] are part of a swath of public lands in Arizona that extends in a crescent, 100 miles at its widest, from the state's southwestern corner to its southeastern corner.
    Within that crescent is one national forest, six national park sites, three national wildlife refuges, two national conservation areas and two national monuments.

  • More ICE Madness: DHS’s Detention and Removal Unit Admits Defeat
    By Juan Mann,, October 14, 2003
    The revolving door of immigration detention, which I described and denounced back in the days of the bad old INS, is alive and well in the new Department of Homeland Security...
    In June, 2003, the ICE Detention and Removal unit (DRO) released a ten-year strategic plan called Endgame. In the plan, DRO Director, Anthony S. Tangeman admits defeat in controlling the division’s “non-detained docket.”
    “Non-detained docket” is ICE’s euphemism for the 389,000 (and counting) illegal aliens and criminal alien residents the federal government already let out of custody, whereupon they’ve disappeared.
    The DRO’s own report reveals:
    “The Detention and Removal program does not have a program to effectively manage its non-detained docket. The appearance rate of individuals released from ICE custody is estimated to be 15 percent and the program does not have the resources to identify, locate, apprehend and process the remaining 85 percent.” [Section 2-5, PDF page 16]...
    In other words, the DRO is going to keep on releasing aliens. The aliens will keep on disappearing. Then the DRO will have to keep on going back out into the field to find them all over again.
    The DRO’s goal is merely to break even within ten years - while perpetuating the lunacy of the “catch and release” model...

  • Rangers ask help with pot gardens
    By Tim Sheehan, The Fresno Bee, October 12, 2003
    The hearing at Sequoia National Park's Wuksachi Lodge offered some surprises for the lawmakers and shed light on bureaucratic obstacles facing local, state and federal narcotics officers as they combat a burgeoning problem of marijuana and methamphetamine being produced in national forests and parks and on other public lands...
    Wittman, Jimenez and other law officers testified that they don't have the capability to link up with the U.S. Border Patrol's database of illegal immigrants [illegal aliens] to run identity checks on suspects arrested at pot gardens.

  • $289m pot garden dug up in foothills
    By Jason D. Plemons, The Fresno Bee, October 7, 2003
    TULE RIVER INDIAN RESERVATION -- Local, state and federal law enforcement officials on Monday finished cutting down a marijuana garden worth an estimated $289 million that agents discovered last week in a remote location along steep hills here.
    "This is perhaps the largest garden in the state this year, if not in history," said Tulare County sheriff's Lt. Donna Perry.
    Mexican cartels typically run the area's sophisticated gardens, Jimenez said, and agencies can use DNA to track plants from one cartel throughout the state.

  • Agency's illegal immigrant figures don't surprise local residents
    By Bill Hess, The Sierra Vista Herald, October 3, 2003
    The number of illegal immigrants [illegal aliens] encountered in Cochise County is increasing again in what Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever likens to a tidal wave.
    "Highway 80 is just humming as is Davis Road," Dever said Thursday. "You can see, smell and feel more of them coming. We're being drowned by a tidal wave. We are gasping for air."...
    According to the figures, of the 345,543 people apprehended in the Tucson Sector from Oct. 1, 2002, to Tuesday, 175,223 were taken into custody in Cochise County. The Tucson Sector apprehensions increased by 4 percent and the county's by 11 percent compared to those taken into custody from Oct. 1, 2001, to Sept. 30, 2002.
    For the entire 2,000-mile border with Mexico, the apprehension figures went down 2.4 percent -- from 955,310 to 932,000 -- from the previous federal fiscal year to the one that ended Tuesday.

  • Kolbe's office 'trashed': Protesters leave pungent reminder of immigration issue for congressman
    By Bill Hess, The Sierra Vista Herald, September 29, 2003
    Protesters who say Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe is doing nothing to stop illegal immigrants from dumping trash in Cochise County left a message at the congressman's office front door in Sierra Vista -- 22 bags of trash...
    Another message on a piece of cardboard was more direct with a message to Kolbe. It stated, "Mr. Kolbe It is your duty to uphold the constitution. Close our borders. Protect U.S. citizens and our environment." There was an arrow drawn to the word constitution.

  • Securing Our Borders
    By Dan Bear, American Daily, September 19, 2003
    ...The land borders between Canada, Mexico and the United States amount to 5317 miles in total length excluding the Alaska/Canada border. The land border between Canada and the lower 48 United States is 3987 miles in length and the border between Mexico and the U.S. is 1330 miles in length. For discussion purposes, let's use 4000 miles as the length of the U.S./Canada border and 1500 miles as the length of the U.S./Mexico border, 5500 miles total.
    Why not use electronic sensors, of various types as needs and conditions dictate, like those already in use at thousands of secured locations worldwide, to build an invisible, impenetrable without detection, environmentally friendly barrier, that will alert us to all intruders...
    With the electronic fence in place we can task the response teams, American soldiers one and all, to deal with intruder border crossing alerts and then station those response teams with helicopters every ten miles along the border. That's 550 choppers to cover the entire length of the 5500 miles of land border. Toss in 250 more helos as backups and that brings the total helicopters needed to secure our lower 48 land borders to 800.
    Let's figure ten soldiers to every mile, 100 for every ten mile zone(TMZ). That's 55000 men needed to secure our land borders with Mexico and Canada compared to the more than 35000 servicemen we have stationed in the tiny Republic of Korea. On duty in each TMZ, 24/7, would be a 10 man response team plus a three man flight crew, three support personnel and an officer in charge. That amounts to 17 men per shift. Figure three shifts a day, seven days a week and we need at least four shifts minimum but we will allow for five shifts. 5 times 17 is 85 which is less than the 100 men we have allocated and lowers the nationwide manpower commitment to 46750 from 55000 based on ten mile zones and 5500 miles of border.
    To get the border security system up and running, let's start with the shorter border, the less than 1500 miles of land bordering with Mexico. Now we need less than 15000 men and say one helicopter in reserve for every two choppers online, based on ten mile zones. That is 225 helicopters and less than half the men we have in Korea. The electronic fence can be built using off the shelf components in a very, very short time, less than six months, without invoking a National Security priority. Even if the fence cost was a million dollars per mile we'd only be talking about 15 billion in cost, the same amount we are giving to Africa to fight AIDS. This fence technology is not star wars stuff...
    So, to secure our southern border against intrusion we need 15000 soldiers, 225 helicopters and an off the shelf electronic fence...
    Why hasn't it been done?

  • In the vast desert, there's no escape
    Arizona Daily Star, September 14, 2003
    Some statistics regarding illegal border-crossing activity in Arizona.
    1,021 Arrests Tuesday
    1,229 Arrests Wednesday
    About 2,200* Deportations
    About 28,350* Legal vehicle crossings
    About 26,027* Pedestrian crossings at the ports
    * Projections based on annual figures.
    Sources: U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Tohono O'odham Police Department.
    * The Arizona-Mexico border spans 350 miles. The U.S. Border Patrol's Tucson sector stretches 281 miles from the New Mexico state line to a thin portion of the west end of the state around Yuma. The Tohono O'odham Indian Nation spans about 75 miles within the Tucson sector.

  • Homeland Insecurity: The Saftey Status of Organ Pipe Cactus National Park Today
    By Marthe Dare, the Sierra Times, September 12, 2003
    Cadillac Michigan -It will never go away-the lingering pain that Bonnie Eggle feels for the loss of her only son Kris [Organ Pipe National Monument Park Ranger Kris Eggle Killed Aug 9, 2002]. Fresh in her mind is the thought that her son's death did not have to happen, and should not have happened. If only, she daily laments, America's borders had been secure.
    Actions have been taken to commemorate her son, Kris Eggle a park ranger at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Kris was shot to death trying to protect the park after he heard foreign nationals fleeing Mexico had barreled through a huge, gaping hole in the international fence in a SUV. At that time a handful of rangers had the Herculean task of patrolling more than 30 miles of border...
    Bonnie declares, "This murderer was a hired assassin for a drug cartel in Sonoyta who had already been involved in quadruple murders the evening before." She pleads for United States citizens to drop the "politically correct" notion that just innocent farm laborers are sneaking across the border...
    Regarding the endless trek of illegal border crossers on foot, Thompson estimates there are, "At least 400 to 500 undocumented [illegal] aliens that cross into Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument Park from Mexico every day. He mentions that while patrolling during the evening rangers used night vision goggles that worked off of ambient starlight. "We would see as many as 150 illegal aliens coming across in a group at one time."...
    Patton adds, "Post 911, all of us are concerned about the integrity of our borders and the access of people that would care to do us harm. The Department of Homeland Security is in charge with the primary responsibility of protecting the park. On a day to day basis, we are concerned about the borders. Ours is protecting the resources of the park that are destroyed by countless illegal alien crossings and drug trafficking, as well." The Sonoran Pronghorn antelope, an endangered species, has had its feeding and breeding grounds significantly reduced because of all of the human activity. Trash is everywhere. Some of the springs along the migrant route show high levels of fecal coliform. One pair of tiny cactus pigmy owls--of which only 4 pairs exist in the park-did not nest after increased human traffic. Ocotillo shrubs and saguaro cactus have been mowed down by foot trails and car tracks...
    Bonnie urges Americans to ask Congress why it does not relieve tax paying US citizens of the burden of providing hospital care for illegal aliens when many US citizens do not have health coverage. Some members of Congress are trying to make illegal aliens eligible for in-state tuition rates at publicly funded colleges and universities.

  • STEALTH FORCE - BORTAC, Border Patrol's mobile tactical unit, working our desert
    By Gabriela Rico, The Tucson Citizen, September 8, 2003
    BORTAC has been deployed to work with border police in Albania, Guatemala, Bolivia and Honduras.
    In the United States, the unit participates in tracking terrorism, riot control, guarding foreign diplomats and catching human smugglers and drug traffickers.

  • Parks' security lax, report says
    By Jonathan D. Salant, Associated Press, Arizona Republic, September 6, 2003
    The National Park Service has failed to protect some of America's most prominent national monuments and memorials from terrorist attacks, according to a government report.
    The Interior Department's inspector general, Earl Devaney, said Friday that the Park Service has delayed, postponed or ignored steps to protect national "icons," as funding for enhanced security competes with other projects.

  • Marines upgrading road, fence near Naco
    By Ignacio Ibarra, Arizona Daily Star, August 28, 2003
    A Marine engineering company is on a month-long mission to improve the road and expand fencing along the border near Naco... Construction will focus on several low-water crossings that turn to slippery muck in the rainy season, making it difficult for Border Patrol vehicles to get to and through the area, said Armando Carrasco, a spokesman for the Defense Department's Joint Task Force Six headquartered at Fort Bliss, near El Paso.
    The Marines also will build a bollard-style fence that will be 12 feet tall and stretch for nearly half a mile. It will be made of steel posts placed about 8 inches apart in a zig-zag pattern that allows water to pass while stopping people and vehicles, he said.

  • Cross-border traffic ravages desert park - Drug runners, migrants blamed
    By Hugh Dellios, Chicago Tribune foreign correspondent, August 19, 2003
    ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL MONUMENT, Ariz. -- For a tract of desert wilderness that is supposed to be left alone by humans, this national park is a mess. Fragile ocotillo shrubs and saguaro cactuses lay lifeless where they were mowed down. Foot trails and car tracks scar the delicate sandy ground in all directions. Trash is everywhere.
    The problem is not neglect by the National Park Service. The park has been overrun by illegal immigrants and drug traffickers who use its remote valleys to elude and outrun the U.S. Border Patrol on their clandestine journeys from Mexico.
    Designated a national treasure by Congress in 1937 because of its unique cactus habitat, the park was placed off limits to all but backcountry hikers in 1978. But now biologists are struggling to maintain it, while National Park Service rangers have labeled it the "most dangerous" national park...
    The problem isn't limited to the 300,000-acre Organ Pipe preserve. Five parks lie along Arizona's border, including Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge and the Coronado National Memorial.
    A study last year found that 5,000 vehicles had ground their way through border wilderness areas in 2001. The names of Mexican villages had been carved into centuries-old saguaro cactuses, and archeological sites had been ruined along trails used by American Indians carting salt from the Sea of Cortez for thousands of years.
    Across the border, in Mexico's El Pinacate Biosphere Reserve, Mexican soldiers destroyed a 10,000-year-old archeological site after mistaking it for an illicit landing strip for drug traffickers' airplanes...
    Park officials say it could take 40 to 50 years to erase the visible damage to the terrain.

  • Drugs invade via Indian land
    By Kevin Johnson, USA Today, August 6, 2003
    TOHONO O'ODHAM INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — The old yellow school bus looked out of place as it rumbled along a remote dirt road near the U.S.-Mexico border...
    When a tribal police officer and U.S. Border Patrol agents stopped the northbound bus, the driver's intentions became clear: In every seat, there was a large, vacuum-packed bale of marijuana.
    The 1,867-pound load, worth about $1.8 million on the street, was one of the largest drug seizures on the Tohono O'odham reservation this year...
    Tohono O'odham officials estimate they and the Border Patrol stop only about 25% of the loads that pass through here...
    Reservations "are serving as a (drug) pipeline to major (cities) like Chicago, New York, Miami and Seattle,"... Along the 70-mile border that separates the Tohono O'odham reservation from Mexico - a rusty ribbon of sagging barbed wire - two tribal drug officers and some of the 70 Border Patrol agents assigned to the reservation are the only obstacles for the daily convoys of drug shipments from Mexico. Last year, Tohono O'odham police intercepted a record 65,000 pounds of illegal drugs, up more than 10,000 pounds from 2001... this year; through July, authorities had seized 58,000 pounds.
    The seizures last year represented a tiny fraction of the more than 1.2 million pounds of marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine confiscated along the 2,000-mile Southwest border...
    ... the increasing number of poverty-stricken Mexicans who are coming here illegally — about 1,500 a day, Tohono O'odham officials estimate... A record 85 illegal immigrants died last year while crossing Tohono O'odham land; 50 have died so far this year... in some cases, drug smugglers have set up operations in reservation communities by paying members of the tribe as much as $5,000 each time they store or transport drugs headed north...
    In 2002, Tohono O'odham police filed 138 drug-smuggling cases against tribal members, up 10% from 2001... In 2001, there were 4,259 drug-possession cases reported on Indian lands across the USA, up from 1,159 cases in 2000.
    The "Itak Gate," 15 miles southwest of the tribe's headquarters in Sells, Ariz... On a given night... at least 30 backpackers carrying up to 100 pounds of drugs each pass through the area and walk about 15 miles through razor-sharp choia cactus toward the Tohono O'odham villages south of Sells: Topawa, Cowlic and Vamori.
    Authorities didn't fully realize the sophistication of the smuggling efforts until earlier this year, when tribal police found campsites on 11 nearby mountaintops leading away from the Mexican border. At the sites, investigators found solar-powered cell phones and walkie-talkies that apparently had been used by lookouts to guide smugglers around police checkpoints and across the harsh terrain...
    "People just don't feel safe in their own community any more," says Vivian Juan-Saunders, the Tohono O'odham Nation's chairwoman and the police chief's wife. "They talk a lot about homeland security. But if I were living anywhere else in the country and saw this situation on our border, I would be horrified."

  • 300 Invade Top Secret Military Base - 63 OTMs Caught, Rest Flee at Home of Army Intelligence
    American Patrol, August 1, 2003
    Sierra Vista, Arizona -- American Patrol has received information about an incident on Fort Huachuca (Arizona) last night in which MPs encountered about 300 suspected illegal aliens on the base. Of the 300, 63 were rounded up and detained, while the remaining suspects escaped. All those captured turned out to be OTMs (other than Mexicans). The Border Patrol is prohibited from going on base unless they are invited.

  • Russian mafia helping Mexican cartels smuggle drugs into U.S., officials say
    By Susana Hayward, Knight Ridder Newspapers, August 1, 2003
    MEXICO CITY - The Russian mafia, including former KGB agents, has infiltrated Mexico's weakened drug cartels and is helping them smuggle illegal narcotics to the United States, according to U.S. and Mexican officials and independent drug experts.
    Russian mobsters have been most effective in penetrating drug gangs in the Tijuana-Baja California-San Diego region, Luis Santiago Vasconcelos, the head of the Mexican Attorney General's Special Unit for Organized Crime, told Knight Ridder. He described the Russians as highly skilled and "extremely dangerous."
    Bagley thinks the Russian gangs are more dangerous than U.S. and Mexican authorities have acknowledged, in part because of their power to corrupt public officials.
    "If one is interested in Mexican democracy, Russian mafias are a challenge we're ignoring at our peril," Bagley said. "They have wormed their way into Mexico."

  • The Border: Illegals turn desert into trash dump $2M to be spent on cleanup in S. Arizona
    By Luke Turf, Tucson Citizen, July 29, 2003
    HUACHUCA MOUNTAINS -- Stepping over bear and mountain lion dung with birds singing and snakes rattling nearby, three retiree hikers take a rocky trail a few miles into the backcountry. They go all the way to a once- beautiful ravine - now filled with a disheartening sea of trash...
    It's been a problem as long as people have illegally crossed the deserts. It increased in southern Arizona in the late 1990s when the U.S. Border Patrol cracked down on illegal immigration into Texas and California, pushing illegal immigrants - and their trash - into Arizona's remote deserts...
    About $2 million in newly approved federal funds should help address - though admittedly not solve - the problem in the short term... It's just a fraction of the $20 million a congressional report estimates is needed to remove trash in southeastern Arizona's deserts.
    ... about 1,500 immigrants sneak through the [Tohono O'odham] Nationreservation daily...

  • Busted! - Drug dealers are planting pot farms all over our national parks, and the Park Service is struggling to root them out
    By Margot Roosevelt, Time Magazine, July 27, 2003
    ...drug smugglers, methamphetamine cooks and cannabis cultivators are invading federal lands as never before... In Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest, 192 meth labs have been dismantled over the past three years. And marijuana farms are infesting Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest and Alabama's Talladega National Forest.
    Mexican traffickers have turned to creating vast marijuana plantations Stateside, that much closer to their main customers. Thanks to a mild climate, rich soil and a lengthy, March-to-October growing season, California cultivators routinely produce 10-ft.-high specimens worth up to $4,000 each

  • Trouble in Paradise - Are America's National Parks Becoming a Haven for Criminals?
    ABC News, July 25, 2003
    "Just about any type of crime that goes on in any urban environment happens out here," said Dale Antonich, chief ranger at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, located in Nevada and Arizona.
    "We've had rapes, we've had murders in the park, we've had bodies dumped in the park," Antonich said...
    The rangers at Organ Pipe wear camouflage and bulletproof vests, and carry assault rifles... Rangers estimate that nearly 250,000 people came through the park illegally just last year.
    Wirth gave 20/20 a look at surveillance photos showing illegal immigrants on the move. "If you could pick out the 10 al Qaeda cell members in that group - what you need to realize is this is just one small incident happening in one isolated area on a single night. This is literally happening hundreds of times across the border every night," Wirth said.

  • Mexico won't halt unlawful U.S. entry - Minister's stance defies spirit of deal
    By Jerry Kammer, Copley News Service, July 18, 2003
    "Two years ago, near the beginning of Jorge Castaneda's tenure as Mexico's foreign secretary, he floated a bold plan for managing the old problem of illegal immigration to the United States.
    If the United States would legalize millions of Mexicans already here and invite others to come as temporary workers, Mexico would end its laissez faire policy at the border and take firm steps to block illegal immigrants from crossing.
    But last week a member of Mexican President Vicente Fox's Cabinet flatly rejected the notion that Mexico would restrain its people's illegal movement into the United States."

  • Border Patrol Continues to Fight Flux of Illegal Immigrants
    Fox News July, 2003
    Border agents will voluntarily move from their southwestern border assignments up to the Canadian border to help prevent terrorist weapons, drugs and illegal immigrants (search) from entering the United States, the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (search) announced Wednesday.

  • The Border Monsters - Mexico's top druglords, the bloodthirsty Arellano Felix brothers, horrify even Tijuana
    Tim Padgett and Elaine Shannon,, July, 2003
    "There are two ways to get a piece of the action at any of the big drug markets along the border: pay off — or kill off — anyone who stands in your way. But to gain exclusive control of the most lucrative gateway of all, says a veteran U.S. drug cop, a drug cartel has to pay and kill 'beyond where any have ever gone before.'
    Via a multimillion-dollar monthly graft payroll and a string of chilling murders - including that of a key rival's wife, whose head was reportedly severed and delivered in a box of dry ice - the Arellanos realized their audacious goal: to own the coveted stretch of desert from Tijuana to Mexicali...
    Mexican ex-military and police officers filled out their ranks of assassins and helped train new members. They imported not only guns but also heavy weapons from U.S. arms traffickers (they once threatened to fire rocket-propelled grenades at U.S. drug czar Barry McCaffrey during a border visit) and assembled enough state-of-the-art surveillance equipment to know when even the lowliest dope trafficker is cutting a free-lance deal on his cell phone.

  • Standoff in South Texas - Rancher, protection group deny assaulting illegal immigrants
    By David McLemore/ The Dallas Morning News, June 29, 2003
    HEBBRONVILLE, Texas – State Highway 16 slices like a knife through the mesquite-choked landscape, past the tall fence that marks Joe Sutton's ranch. Signs posted in two languages leave the clear message that trespassers aren't welcome.
    They come anyway.
    For years, Mr. Sutton said, as many as 1,200 people a month have used his 5,000-acre Jim Hogg County ranch as the Ellis Island of Texas – an embarkation point on the journey north from the Mexican border, 50 miles away.
    "There's an 8-foot game fence that's 13 miles long. You can't get inside by accident," Mr. Sutton said. "But the illegals keep coming anyway, ruining my fence and trashing the place."...

  • The Guatemalan connection
    By Jim Behnke, Sierra Vista Herald/Review, AZ, June 27, 2003
 morning while reading Prensa Libre, Guatemala's largest newspaper, I was struck to see the headlines declare that "Ten percent of the population of Guatemala now lives in the USA."
    The route these poor people take to enter the USA goes through the border town of Tapachula, then to Mexico City and from there to a variety of border destination towns, including Cananea and Naco. The only problem is some of the buses from Tapachula are stopped by the Mexican police who rape the Guatemalan women and rob the men of all their money. This may happen two or three times before they reach Mexico City. I have personally talked to the victims... by the time they reach Mexico City they are destitute and helpless. Here's where the churches come in. They provide shelter, clothing and food for these distressed people... Certain churches and missionaries were involved in smuggling the Guatemalans from Mexico City into the United States. An underground railroad existed that took the Guatemalans from Distrito Federal to Tijuana, where they made a telephone call to certain churches on the USA side and members of those congregations then went over to Mexico to meet them and smuggle them into the USA in family cars...
    ...they arrive here today through a variety of other methods as well... when the Border Patrol catches Guatemalans who have crossed Mexico to get here, the Mexican government will not take them back. We have to transport them to Los Angeles and pay for their flight home from there. I hear one plane is full every evening flying illegals back to Guatemala City... illegals from 52 nations were caught by the Border Patrol in the Tucson Sector alone last year...
    The Border Patrol has run out of money and can't afford to fly them home any more so now they give them a notice to appear before an INS judge for a deportation hearing and then they are turned loose. Needless to say many do not show up for their hearing but just blend in with the 20 million other foreigners living in our country illegally...
    ...Middle East people are using Guatemala to enter the USA, too. (I received this information from a source in the Border Patrol.) They fly to the tri-country region of Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil, where they are welcomed by radical Islamic mosques -- as reported by "60 Minutes" -- and from there sent on to Guatemala and of course from there to the USA...
    We need to get serious about homeland defense. It makes no sense to have great organizations such as the Coast Guard and FBI working 24 hours a day and spending billions of dollars to guard our country when all a terrorist has to do is walk across the border right here in Cochise County.

  • A border incident
    By Terence Jeffrey, Creators Syndicate, June 25, 2003
    When Border Patrol officials in San Diego learned last June about circumstances surrounding a dead body deposited at the county medical examiner's office, they sent over an agent with a radiation detector.
 had an individual from the Middle East who was found along our border," said Raleigh Leonard, spokesman for the Border Patrol's San Diego sector. The man had been dropped off at a local hospital, Leonard told me, "by people who said that he had crossed illegally into the United States and was subsequently found . . . throwing up blood."
    He was 21-year-old Youseff Balaghi. He had come from faraway Lebanon to the border near Tijuana...
    Fortunately, the detector showed Balaghi was clean.
    That's the good news.
    The bad news: Balaghi wasn't the only Middle Eastern illegal who slipped across our Mexican border...

  • Border river is also sewage drain
    By Eric Niiler, MSNBC News, June 21, 2003
    As it flows north from Mexico into California’s Imperial Valley, the New River not only brings with it more than 20 million gallons of raw sewage daily, but also a human cargo of illegal immigrants that may be drenched in bacteria and pollutants that cause communicable diseases. Public health officials along the border worry about this toxic, infested river and the people who use it as a route into the United States.
    The river has been documented as the source of nearly 30 viruses from hepatitis A to polio, as well as caustic chemicals from the region’s maquiladora factories, heavy metals such as mercury, and pesticides from Mexican farms.
    Along the Texas-Mexico border, health officials are battling tuberculosis brought in by undocumented workers from Mexico and Central America. Of the 16,500 people apprehended last year in the Port Isabel, Texas, region, 89 percent tested positive for TB bacteria.

  • Opium plantation found in Sierra Nevada
    By Brian Melley, Associated Press, June 19, 2003
    Tens of thousands of opium poppies were seized Thursday in the Sierra Nevada, marking the first time the drug-producing plants have been found in a national forest in California, officials said...
    Officials have become increasingly wary of pot plantations that are sometimes patrolled by armed guards and have connections to Mexican drug cartels. Three years ago, a father and son hunting on their land in El Dorado County were shot and seriously injured when they stumbled upon a marijuana garden.

  • Graffiti at Yosemite may be tied to prison gang
    San Jose Mercury-News, June 13, 2003
    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - Investigators believe gang members with ties to the Mexican Mafia were behind the Memorial Day weekend defacing of rocks along a trail in Yosemite National Park.

  • They are not all nice people
    By Jim Behnke, Sierra Vista Herald/Review, Az, June 12, 2003
    Most of us think of the illegals who cross our border as honest, hard-working people looking for jobs. Such is not the case, however.
    Many are criminals who have been here before and have had prior convictions in the United States. I was talking to a Border Patrol official the other day and I made the statement that I had heard 3 percent of all those who cross had been here before and had been convicted of crimes. The senior agent quickly corrected me. "No," he said, "That is not true. It's closer to 7 percent." A retired INS official tells me he thinks it's closer to 10 percent.
    Approximately 3,500 illegals cross into Cochise County daily. The Border Patrol captures about 500. That means 3,000 a day are getting through, or more than 1 million a year. If 7 percent of them have been convicted of prior crimes, that means that 76,650 bad guys are entering Cochise County annually.
    This is supported by statistics from our Cochise County Jail. On a "good day," the illegal population can amount to 30 percent of the jail population. The annual cost of incarcerating illegals in the Cochise County Jail is $877,746, a tax burden that we should not have to bear.
    Bill O'Reilly of Fox News states that 30 percent of the prison population in California is composed of illegals. Here in Arizona the illegal prison population is 10.7 percent, or 3,239 illegals. I got that figure from the Arizona Department of Corrections, but I find it low. However, I suppose it is correct. The Arizona Department of Corrections states that it costs $19,500 per year per inmate to incarcerate the illegals. Multiply that figure by 3,239 confirmed illegals in the Arizona prison system, and you come up with an annual cost to the taxpayer of more than $63 million...
    Then we come to the drug smugglers. Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said they are so sophisticated that they bring along their own radio relay station when they cross from Mexico so they can keep in continuous contact with the "mules" from start point in Mexico to the point of delivery in the United States...
    Finally, we come to the Middle East illegals. They too have found our hole in the fence. They have been crossing since before Sept. 11 2001. A group crossed the week before 9-11 and were apprehended by the Border Patrol. (see Herald/Review article dated Sept. 2, 2001). They each had in their possession airline tickets to the target cities back East. Then there was the group of 21 who crossed last fall on Ghost Town Road west of Elfrida. We caught three. The other 19 got away. The three who were caught claim they had entered Mexico illegally, were caught and imprisoned, but later bribed their way out and were allowed to come to our border by Mexican officials. A senior Border Patrol agent recently told me the route for Middle East illegals starts in the Middle East, then to Madrid and then goes through the tri-border region of Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil in South America, and from there to Mexico and then into the good old USA.

  • Afghanistan Illegal Surfaces Locally, Humane Borders Not Surprised
    KOLD News 13, Tucson, June 11, 2003
    An Afghanistan illegal was taken into custody Tuesday by the US Border Patrol in Tucson. The man says two Mexican nationals smuggled him into the country.

  • Paving the way to Aztlán with propaganda, politics, racism - Planned invasion continues
    By Linda Bently, Sonoran News, June 11, 2003
 a Hispanic Studies textbook, “The Mexican American Heritage” by East Los Angeles high school teacher Carlos Jimenez, Aztlán is depicted on page 84 in a redrawn map of Mexico and the United States, showing Mexico with one third more territory. On page 107, Jimenez states, “Latinos are now realizing that the powers to control Aztlán may once again be in their hands.” The textbook teaches high-school students that Mexico is supposed to regain the states of Colorado, California, Arizona, Texas, Utah, New Mexico, Oregon and parts of Washington and that they rightly belong to the “mythical” homeland of Aztlán.
    The book contains no references or footnotes and teaches separatism, victimization and nationalism, while promoting an open border policy.
    The myth of Aztlán is heavily promoted through MEChA club meetings at college campuses across the nation, rapidly gaining acceptance at high school campuses as well. MEChA stands for Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán or Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán...
    The United States Government apparently believes, somehow, that "regularizing" illegal aliens from Mexico will get one party or the other elected, depending on who grants the "regularizing."
    They are most likely mistaken.
    These groups claim to hate Americans and all that is American. However, they keep coming ... coming to reclaim Aztlán.
    And, government officials seem to be paving their way with benefits, amnesty and "rights," at citizens' expense.

  • Fears grow among New Mexico ranchers as smugglers go high-tech
    By Chris Roberts, Associated Press, June 11, 2003
    ..."It's become markedly worse since the '80s and '90s, and there's a feeling of personal danger that did not exist before," said Albuquerque-based U.S. Attorney David Iglesias, who recently toured the Bootheel and talked to ranchers. "It's a sad indication of what's going on."...
    Experts say that modern smugglers are in it for the money and they use cell phones, night vision goggles, secure radios and other high-tech tools.
    "Their budgets are unlimited," said Richard Moody, Border Patrol agent in charge of the Deming Station. "If they need a bunch of cell phones, a new repeater (radio tower), a new tunnel - they buy it.
    The smugglers also are becoming chameleons in hopes of covering their illegal treks....
    "There's a dead ringer for my personal pickup truck and for my work pickup. That's really the most disturbing thing."
    Similar activity has been documented in rural areas of West Texas, including attempts to camouflage vehicles and blend in...
    But the smugglers weren't content to imitate the ranchers' vehicles. Last month, agents in Arizona found a vehicle painted to look like a Border Patrol cruiser.

  • Wild West: Drug cartels thrive in US national parks
    Daniel B. Wood, Christian Science Monitor, June 10, 2003
    SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK, CALIF. –Beside an abandoned camp scattered with trash and human waste, lie empty bags of fertilizer, gardening tools, irrigation tubing - and spent rifle casings. Illegal marijuana farming, once the province of small-time growers, has become big business on the nation's most visited public land: national parks...
    "This is massive-scale agriculture that is threatening the very mission of the national parks, which is to preserve the natural environment in perpetuity and provide for safe public recreation," says Bill Tweed, chief naturalist at Sequoia National Park. "[Growers] are killing wildlife, diverting streams, introducing nonnative plants, creating fire and pollution hazards, and bringing the specter of violence.

  • Homegrown Homeland Defense
    By Austin Bunn, New York Times, June 1, 2003
    The briefing takes place at dawn, about two miles from Arizona's southern frontier, in the driveway of a low-slung house with, perhaps not incidentally, a raised metal platform facing Mexico. Glenn Spencer's group checks for optics (binoculars), specs out their positions on a topo map and decides who gets to be "Delta," "Romeo" and "Foxtrot." Then, they caravan in trucks and S.U.V.'s to a private ranch northeast of Douglas, six blank miles from the border. There's no shade, just desert specked with mesquite shrubs, yuccas and prickly pear -- basically sand plus thorns.
    The first report of the day squawks over the walkie-talkie: "Be advised," says Spencer, the leader of this patrol. "Border Patrol just apprehended 30 S.B.I.'s just south of Naco." Michael King, Spencer's technical director and a 12-year veteran of the National Guard, explains that S.B.I. stands for "suspected border intruders," which is what we're watching for this morning.

  • Porous U.S. Border A 'War Zone'
    CBS Evening News May 26, 2003
    ORGAN PIPE CACTUS NATIONAL PARK, Ariz. - When it comes to securing our national borders in problem areas like Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Park along the Mexican border, nobody has a more profound interest than Robert Eggle.
    "It's a national problem that we have to deal with now," he says.
    Eggle was invited to come along with a congressional delegation investigating border security at the national park, on the Mexican border.
    His son, Kris, was a park ranger, gunned down last year by a fugitive fleeing Mexico -- a tragic testimonial to how porous the borders remain.
    Please take the time to watch the video, on the lower right portion of the page, under Multimedia.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (AZ) - Rangers Seize 25 Backpacks of Marijuana
    By Emily Gersemae, The Morning Report, National Park Service, May 23, 2003
    Earlier this week, rangers discovered evidence of drug smugglers who’d entered the country on foot in a remote area of the park. The backpackers were tracked cross-country for about eight miles to a spot where they were found resting on top of a ridgeline. With the assistance of the crew from an Arizona National Guard helicopter, they took five smugglers into custody at gunpoint; another twenty fled on foot, including one woman. Rangers seized 25 backpacks containing more than a half ton of marijuana. The smugglers were armed with knives and later admitted to having been paid between $700 and $1,500 to deliver the load. Evidence at the scene indicated that they were using light bulbs and small propane burners to make methamphetamine for their use. Other items found at the scene include binoculars and two-way radios. The case and evidence were transferred to Customs.
    [Submitted by Fred Patton, Chief Ranger]

  • Biological Toxins Found at Arizona's Southern Border
    Marthe Dare - Sierra, May 19, 2003
    "Cindy Kolb, homeowner in Hereford, says, 'Most of the feces that we walk upon starts at the border fence and can be found through all of the trails and campsites. Criminals that have broken into the country illegally camp out in public lands, national parks, in our neighborhoods and in rancher's fields. They sleep in groups of approximately two to one hundred and fifty. Women throw used feminine hygiene products on the ground for anyone to step on.'
    Dr. Mikles reports there are many diseases that one can get from living next to human waste. 'Viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal organisms will be present in this type of material. Some of the more common threats are infectious viral hepatitis--Hepatitis A.' Neal Rolfe Chamberlain, Ph.D, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, an expert in Medical Microbiology and Immunology, agrees that, 'Contact with the fecal material can result in any number of diseases including hepatitis, diarrhea, typhoid fever, dysentery and several different parasitic diseases.'
    Chris Simcox, editor of the Tombstone Tumbleweed, says that when he comes home after walking in the desert he sanitizes his boots in bleach. 'There are a series of layover sites that dot Cochise County. Bushes, washes and ravines are places used for drug smuggling and migrant trails. They are literally knee deep in human waste, water bottles, empty medicine, personal hygiene items, and clothing and backpacks that boggle the mind.'
    Bonnie, Eggle, mother of [slain] Park Ranger Kristopher William Eggle, questions why the government allows criminal trespass 24/7 that leaves US border citizens completely vulnerable to drug trafficking, possible terrorists, and now health hazards. In a letter Eggle has pleaded with Senators to remember their oath to protect and defend. She asks, 'Please consider how the open borders concept, the amnesty ploy for illegals, the agenda setters, the cheap labor group, the Hispanic vote panderers, the politically correct crowd, the multi culturalists, and the lobbyist's deep pockets have all helped to create this utter chaos in our land and on our borders.'
    'The garbage, litter and filth is everywhere through the National parks, the BLM lands, the National forests, the State parks, the Tohono O'oddam Indian Reservation, the Cabeza Prieta Refuge and all over the ranch lands and farm lands for as far as you can see..
    Eggle questions why the government refuses to secure the border with the US military and why they don't have, 'lookout towers--just like you all voted for to reinforce Afghanistan's border.'"

  • Park's Pot Problem Explodes
    By Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times, May 14, 2003
    "On the brink of the summer tourist season, officials here [at Sequoia National Park, CA] are confronting an ominous reality - multimillion-dollar stands of marijuana tended by armed growers who have menaced visitors, killed wildlife, polluted streams and trashed pristine countryside.
    The pot fields are financed by the Mexican drug cartels that dominate the methamphetamine trade in the adjacent Central Valley, drug enforcement officials say. The officials say there is evidence that the cartels, in turn, have financial ties to Middle Eastern smugglers linked to Hezbollah and other groups accused of terrorism.
    'This is the most serious and largest assault on this park since we took control of the land in the 19th century,' said Bill Tweed, Sequoia's chief naturalist. The park was established in 1890, one week before Yosemite was designated a national park.
    'To have people out there showing up with AK-47s to greet visitors - that's not how it's supposed to be in a national park.'"

  • Law Enforcement Officer Shot in Ironwood Forest National Monument northwest of Tucson
    by Jim Davis, Arizona Daily Star, May 10, 2003
    "A BLM law enforcement ranger and the man he stopped in a stolen truck were wounded Friday in a gunbattle in the Ironwood Forest National Monument northwest of Tucson, officials said... The ranger, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the leg and the abdomen, while the other man suffered gunshot wounds to the head, said Buck.
    This is the second shooting within a year in a federal park in Southern Arizona that resulted in the death or injury of a ranger.
    Ten months ago, 28-year-old Kris Eggle, a National Park Service ranger, was shot dead at the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument 150 miles southwest of Tucson.
    Eggle was shot by a man who was fleeing from Mexican police across the border. The man who killed Eggle was then fatally shot by Mexican officers standing on their side of the border...
    The shooting happened near the Silver Bell Mountains about 35 miles northwest of Tucson on Sasco Road, a dirt road about one mile south of Silverbell Road on the monument."

  • Trashed: Canyon residents outraged over illegal immigrants' garbage; Forest Service officials stumped on how to solve the problem
    by Bill Hess, Herald/Review, May 12, 2003
    "U.S. Forest Service officials know they have the responsibility to keep public land clean, but they just don't have the resources to pick up hundreds of pounds of trash left by illegal immigrants [illegal aliens], agency officials said.
    Residents of Stump Canyon said they have tried to keep the area clean, but it is becoming too much of a job because more illegal immigrants are using Forest Service land near their homes...
    On Wednesday there were 10 backpacks, clothing, opened canned food items, plastic water bottles, pieces of plastic sheeting and other debris, including discarded airline documents. A boarding pass for a woman's flight from Mexico City to Hermosillo, the capital of the state of Sonora. The document stated the woman boarded a 7:40 p.m. flight April 24. Cooper said he found 20 airline tickets when he cleaned up the area Saturday.
    He said he also found a document with a listing of all the Mexican consulates in the United States with their phone numbers."

  • Audit: Forests' Borders Aren't Patrolled
    By Emily Gersemae, The Associated Press, May 1, 2003
    About 1,000 miles of national forest land bordering Canada and Mexico go virtually unpatrolled by the U.S. Forest Service, creating wide swaths for terrorists and criminals to enter the country undetected, an internal government audit says.
    Even though the Forest Service is not the lead agency responsible for border security, it oversees areas "that are potentially vulnerable to infiltration by terrorists, smugglers, and other criminal agents," ...
    The Forest Service oversees 460 miles of land along the 3,000-mile border between the continental United States and Canada. It also monitors 450 miles between Alaska and Canada, and 60 miles along the border with Mexico.
    With just 620 officers to monitor the 196.1 million acres managed by the Forest Service, a "relatively small number" of those patrol 520 miles of forest land along those borders, they said. The remaining 450 border miles aren't patrolled at all, the auditors said.

  • Meth seizures on the rise in northern Arizona
    Arizona Daily Star, May 1, 2003
    FLAGSTAFF — Methamphetamine seizures in northern Arizona are up dramatically since the start of the year, law enforcement officials said...
    Some of the meth can be traced to domestic sources, but large labs in Mexico are manufacturing hundreds of pounds...

  • Forests along national borders aren't patrolled, audit says
    By Emily Gersema, The Associated Press, April 30, 2003
    About 1,000 miles of national forest land bordering Canada and Mexico go virtually unpatrolled by the U.S. Forest Service, creating wide swaths for terrorists and criminals to enter the country undetected, an internal government audit says.
    The Forest Service oversees 460 miles of land along the 3,000-mile border between the continental United States and Canada. It also monitors 450 miles between Alaska and Canada, and 60 miles along the border with Mexico.
    With just 620 officers to monitor the 196.1 million acres managed by the Forest Service, a "relatively small number" of those patrol 520 miles of forest land along those borders, they said. The remaining 450 border miles aren't patrolled at all, the auditors said....

  • Deadliest trail in U.S.- Reservation tries to cope with migrant influx, crisis
    Daniel Gonzalez, Arizona Republic, April 27, 2003
    "Baboquivari, Tohono O'odham Nation - Like a giant arrow, the saw-toothed peaks of the Baboquivari Mountains point northward, providing a natural compass for undocumented immigrants navigating through the desert into Arizona from Mexico.
    For years the Baboquivari Mountains and the 75 miles of relatively unprotected border the Tohono O'odham Nation shares with Mexico have made the Baboquivari Trail a popular route for immigrants [illegal aliens], many of whom brave summer temperatures that soar to 110 degrees and higher. But these days the trail (pronounced bah-bo-KEY-vree) has turned into the deadliest immigrant crossing in the nation.
    The flood of undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens], 1,500 a day, and a surge in drug smuggling have created a financial and social crisis for the Indian nation, already struggling to overcome high unemployment, poverty and one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country, tribal leaders say.
    Tribal leaders estimate border-related expenses, from investigating immigrant deaths to towing vehicles abandoned by smugglers, cost the Tohono O'odham Nation $6.5 million to $7 million in 2002."

  • Indian nation in crisis, Deluged with illegal aliens, smugglers
    Arizona Republic, April 27, 2003
    "The flood of undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] here in the Tohono O'odham Indian nation sometimes tops 1,500 a day, and a surge in drug smuggling has created a financial and social crisis for the Indian nation, already struggling to overcome high unemployment, poverty and one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country, tribal leaders say.
    The influx is the direct result of a shift in U.S. border policy that has increasingly funneled immigrants [illegal aliens] away from urban areas in Texas and California and into Arizona. And, they believe, the U.S. Border Patrol's emphasis on stopping illegal immigration through Douglas, Nogales and Naco has further funneled immigrants [illegal aliens] through the remote areas of the state's western desert, which includes the reservation. Almost 40 percent of the nearly 1 million undocumented immigrants [illegal aliens] apprehended last year were captured in Arizona."

  • Rebuilding barriers: Metal beams replaced in hopes of keeping traffic off BLM land
    By Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald, April 23, 2003
    An idea that came from wartime operations is being used today to protect public lands, a U.S. Bureau of Land Management official said Tuesday.
    "To maintain the integrity of the land, we put up something like tank traps," said Vic Brown, law enforcement supervisor for the BLM's Tucson office.

  • Cleanup of border crosser mess
    By Mitch Tobin, Arizona Daily Star, April 23, 2003
    "On Earth Day 2003, volunteers took a tiny, first step toward repairing the environmental damage caused by illegal border crossers along the San Pedro River.
    The trash collection and fence-mending marked the first uses of $695,000 that the federal government is giving to land agencies in southeast Arizona to help them cope with the human traffic's ecological fallout.
    'The money we did get to clean up is not enough, it's not even close,' said Patrick Call, chairman of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors... Call said Cochise County, which covers 4.5 percent of the U.S.-Mexican border, has become the 'county of choice' for illegal border crossers [illegal aliens]...
    'The reason we are here is the failure of the federal government to take care of the problem to begin with,' said Bernadette Polley, an aide to Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., who requested the study and helped secure the $695,000 for the land agencies."

  • Arizona border: Unwatched and unguarded
    By J. Zane Walley,, April 8, 2003
    "President Ronald Reagan nailed it hard and clean nearly two decades ago: 'The simple truth is that we've lost control of our own borders, and no nation can do that and survive. We ignore America's lost sovereignty at our peril.' The peril described by Reagan is glaringly apparent on the 'Cochise Strip' border of southern Arizona.
    The borderline was stripped of essential personnel on March 18. On that date, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano revealed in a conference call with the Cochise County Board of Supervisors that the Border Patrol will double the amount of people at the ports of entry, that the manpower to accomplish this will be taken from the regular patrol efforts, and that the result will be much fewer agents in the field. The governor said an increase in illegal border crossings is anticipated. The decision to reduce patrols in the very areas where the majority of illegal traffic occurs was made by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
    On the same date [March 29], the Daily News, Washington Bureau, reported that an Iraqi terror team armed with millions of dollars tried to be smuggled into the U.S. through Mexico to Crawford, Texas, the site of President Bush's ranch.
    Border Patrol spokesman Rob Daniels stated, 'Since Sept. 11, we're restricted in what we can say about OTMs (Illegal aliens Other Than Mexicans) because of national security.' This censorship garbed in the cloth of national security creates two situations. First, journalists cannot accurately report the actual numbers of illegals entering America. Second, the immigration hierarchy is not accountable to the public because the numbers cannot be reported.
    Retired patrolman Stoddard notes, 'There is so many OTMs that there is now a special designation for those that might pose a threat. They call them SIAs, or Special Interest Aliens.'"

  • Smugglers improve their odds by swamping drug agents
    By Will Weissert, The Associated Press, April 7, 2003
    SAN DIEGO - The two Americans in the blue-gray Ford F-150 were slow to make eye contact, and the veins in the driver's neck began to bulge slightly as he explained what the pair had been doing in Tijuana, Mexico.
    U.S. customs inspector Edric Ongsioco, pointing his flashlight under the truck, could see the bolts around the gas tanks had been loosened.
    Then Sasha, a drug-sniffing Belgian shepherd, let out a howl and made a beeline for the vehicle.
    Pulling apart the truck's underbelly, inspectors found two bread box-sized cavities in the gas tanks - but no drugs inside.
    "This truck has been used for smuggling, probably heroin or coke. But this was a dry run," Ongsioco said. "The smugglers are being careful; they are testing us. But you know they'll be back with full tanks."

  • House on Mexican side of drug tunnel searched
    By Anna Cearley and Janine Zúñiga, San Diego Union-Tribune, April 6, 2003
    TIJUANA - Federal authorities in Mexico yesterday searched the bottom floor of a two-story house believed to be the entry point of a drug tunnel that ended at a busy parking lot in San Ysidro.
    On the U.S. end of the tunnel, 3,300 pounds of marijuana was discovered early Friday morning by Border Patrol agents who were investigating suspected illegal immigrants.

  • Colonel says higher number of illegals is taxing resources
    By Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald-Review, March 25, 2003
    FORT HUACHUCA -- The increasing number of illegal immigrants found on the post is interfering with the fort's regular law enforcement operations, Garrison Commander Col. Lawrence Portouw said Monday...
    Except in a few incidents, most of the illegal immigrants avoid the post housing areas and are apprehended in the canyons at Slaughterhouse Wash on the far northern part of the post, he said.
    "Some of the coyotes (people smugglers) tell them Sierra Vista is Phoenix," the colonel said. Many of the illegal immigrants are trying to make it to Phoenix, which is about 180 miles northwest of Sierra Vista.

  • Mexican Army Invades U.S.
    By Phil Brennan,, March 12, 2003
    It’s the war nobody wants to talk about: well-armed Mexican soldiers storming across America’s southern border, sometimes with guns blazing.
    “We are in state of war,” Edward Nelson, chairman of U.S. Border Control, told Soldier of Fortune magazine. “And we are fighting enemies who have brought the battle to our shores. If ever there was a time for the United States to put troops on the border, it is now.”
    A blockbuster exposé in the magazine's March issue notes that over the past five years, there have been 120 documented incidents of Mexican military/police incursions, sometimes resulting in the arrest of Mexican army personnel on U.S. soil by Border Patrol agents.

  • Wildlife Refuge Sacrifices Pristine Property For Homeland Security
    By Bud Foster, KOLD-TV, March 4, 2003
    "Managers of the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge 50 miles South of Tucson, says it will sacrifice some of its pristine property for homeland defense.
    Just yards from the U.S./Mexican border ATV'S streak along, cutting trails on the refuge. Areas which were once lush, green grass are now barren, staging areas for border agencies. Smugglers leave behind trash, cut trails and paths through what was once a haven for wildlife."

  • U.S. Border Patrol agent is found dead in Mexico
    by Luke Turf, Tucson Citizen, February 27, 2003
    "Authorities are investigating the death of an off-duty 23-year-old Border Patrol agent whose body was found in Mexico... Border Patrol spokesman Rob Daniels would not release much information about the circumstances of the death, but said foul play has not been ruled out."
    Separate personal correspondence from friends of the Border Patrol along the border:
    A young Border Patrol agent, Jorge Solmon, who has family in Naco, Sonora [Mexico] has been murdered. He had gone to visit his family, and was spending time with some friends. Two men found out what Jorge did for a living and killed him. One has been apprehended and there are leads on the other. A couple weeks ago another B.P. agent [had] been attacked and airlifted to Tucson.

  • Agents stop fake federal vehicles, find drugs
    By Bill Hess, Sierra Vista Herald, February 21, 2003
    "PALOMINAS -- Early Wednesday morning, two vehicles that looked like a pair of U.S. Border Patrol SUVs were seen heading north from the U.S.-Mexico border.... But unlike in real Border Patrol vehicles, the two drivers were using fake U.S. government SUVs in an attempt to smuggle nearly a ton of marijuana into the United States, according to a U.S. Customs Service official."

  • How Illegal Aliens Destroy America's Health Care
    By Scott A. Lauf, USA Daily, February 20, 2003
    Over one million illegal aliens - mostly Mexicans - sneak into the U.S. every year costing Americans untold billions of dollars and creating chaos in every community they invade. Health care for these illegal aliens is one burden that is tapping the pocketbooks of Americans and decimating the quality of care in the process.
    Under a federal law known as the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, illegal aliens can receive emergency medical care at U.S. hospitals - and we, the taxpayers, pick up the tab through higher insurance premiums, fees, and taxes. Indeed, thousands of illegal aliens show up in emergency rooms of border hospitals every year and the costs are staggering. The U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition estimates that emergency medical treatment for illegal aliens in the year 2000 was over $200 million for 77 border-area hospitals in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The costs are nearly a billion dollars when other states are factored in.

  • Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument (AZ) Rangers Assist in Fatal Shooting Incident
    by Susan Morton, Special Agent, and Robert E. Stinson, Acting Chief Ranger, National Park Service, The Morning Report, February 18, 2003
    "On February 13, rangers responded to a shooting at the Lukeville port of entry. A man attempted to enter the country from Mexico; during the inspection process, he assaulted and began struggling with a Customs inspector. When the man began driving off, dragging the inspector, the inspector shot him."

  • Stemming the tide of illegal drugs and aliens
    by Phyllis Schlafly,, February 18, 2003
    Smuggling illegal drugs into the United States has been a big moneymaking scheme for years, but the industry of smuggling people may be getting even more profitable than marijuana or cocaine. Fees range from $1,000 for Mexicans to $4,000 for Central Americans and up to $50,000 for Chinese or Middle Easterners.
    The eighteen-wheeler is the smuggler's vehicle of choice. A loaded eighteen-wheeler can be worth $100,000 to $200,000. The business deal calls for a down payment before the ride starts. After crossing the border, the smugglers often hold the aliens until family or friends pay a ransom.
    In one of the largest operations, smugglers were indicted for bringing in at least 11 tractor-trailer loads of aliens between 1999 and 2002, receiving about $1,500 for each alien. Drugs, prostitutes and money were used to entice drivers into using their eighteen-wheelers to haul human cargo...
    In Brownsville, Texas, three men pleaded guilty in connection with another alien-smuggling ring that transported three truckloads of 30 people a day from Mexico to Houston, where people were hidden in houses until they could be shipped north. Western Union receipts showed that the smugglers raked in more than $5 million for their racket, which went on for years.
    A school bus mechanic was arrested in Syracuse, N.Y., on charges he tried to smuggle 15 Chinese nationals across the St. Lawrence River from Canada. The families had paid international smugglers between $15,000 and $40,000 for safe passage to the United States.
    Iraqi native George Tajirian ran a smuggling ring, charging $15,000 per head, importing more than 1,000 Middle Eastern aliens. Two men from Pakistan and Sri Lanka were arrested in Miami on charges that they smuggled Middle Easterners into the United States for $20,000 each....
    Two armed Mexicans, who had killed four men in a murder spree over drugs, crossed into the Arizona state park on Aug. 9, and three agents including National Park Service ranger Kris Eggle responded. One fugitive was captured but the other fled, and Eggle, who had been a cross-country runner, gave chase, was shot below his bulletproof vest and died in an ambulance.
    Where is any media or public outrage over this murder by an illegal alien on U.S. territory? One million illegal aliens are now entering our country each year.
    If a Mexican day laborer can sneak across our border, so can al-Qaeda terrorists. According to a Fox News poll, 79 percent of Americans support using the military to help secure U.S. borders.

  • Coronado National Memorial (AZ) Drug Smuggling, Threats to Rangers and Officers
    by Thane Weigand, Chief Ranger, National Park Service, The Morning Report, February 18, 2003
    "Rangers have been involved in a special, multi-agency drug interdiction operations since February 7. During that time, they've seized over 4,200 pounds of marijuana and three vehicles. On February 8, a drive-through took place in Montezuma Wash. Surveillance of the area began the day before when rangers saw two vehicles below the border and two people tampering with the fence...One vehicle was stopped and one passenger was apprehended. The driver of that vehicle and those in a second vehicle escaped. A third vehicle was thought to be involved, but was never seen.
    The arrested passenger said that the third vehicle was an SUV or van and had eight to ten people in it, all armed with AK-47's, AR-15's and MAC-90's."

  • Afghanistan Illegal Surfaces Locally, Humane Borders Not Surprised
    By Som Lisaius, KOLD News 13, Tucson, February 17, 2003
    "An Afghanistan illegal was taken into custody Tuesday by the US Border Patrol in Tucson. The man says two Mexican nationals smuggled him into the country...
    'There's people from Yemen, the people from Brazil, Saudi Arabia.' Or in this case...someone from Afghanistan. 'One need not leap automatically to think this is a terrorist from Afghanistan or that there's a war-related incident or terrorist incident going on here'... though... the possibility exists should Al Queda or Taliban forces take the initiative. 'It's relatively easy to get into Mexico using fake documents'."

  • Mexican Authorities Detain Iraqi Citizens at Border
    Fox News, February 13, 2003
    TIJUANA, Mexico — Mexican authorities have detained six Iraqi citizens who they believe intended to cross into the United States from Tijuana.

  • Border patrol agent attacked newr Palominas
    Tucson Citizen, February 13, 2003
    "A United States Border Patrol Agent was assulted Tuesday night in the Palominas area near the U.S. border with Mexico... According to sources, the officer was attacked from behind by a group of 10-12 illegal border intruders. The officer suffered blunt trauma to the head after being struck with a rock. Reliable sources reported the assailants allegedly stole the agent's gun, badge, radio and possibly other equipment from a patrol vehicle...
    Agents from San Diego have recently been transferred to the Cochise County border sector in response to an overwhelming increase in crossings, drug traffic and other crimes."

  • Border Shutdown
    By Bruce Barcott, Outside Magazine, February, 2003
    "America's park rangers are outnumbered and outgunned. So why won't congress pay more to keep them safe?
    Consider Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a 330,690-acre swath of beautiful, heat-blasted Sonoran Desert 100 miles south of Tucson, Arizona. There, every morning, six rangers are assigned to safeguard an area twice the size of greater New York, in a hopeless attempt to secure 30 miles of the Mexican border. Armed only with service revolvers when patrolling on foot, they face a yearly onslaught of 300,000 illegal immigrants and drug smugglers equipped with automatic weapons, night-vision goggles, and 4x4 SUVs.
    'The Park Service keeps better track of popcorn sales from its concessionaires than it does of hazards to its own workforce.'"

  • Chris Simcox: Patriot or Firebrand?
    by Marthe Dare, The Sierra Times, February 10, 2003
    "Last year ranger Weigand reports there were 1,800 illegal immigrants apprehended in Coronado National Memorial Park... Agent Bemiller, reports that for all of the Tucson sector there were 26,868 undocumented [illegal] aliens apprehended in January 2003... In the last 90 days of 2002, narcotic seizures totaled 9,349 pounds in Douglas and 10,708 pounds in Naco. Agent Bemiller states that during the last 90 days of 2002, there were 14,378 arrests of undocumented [illegal] aliens in Douglas and 7,586 in Naco.
    Weigand reports that, 'On any given day, approximately 3 rangers guard Coronado National Park.'"

  • Still tense at Organ Pipe
    By Luke Turf, Tucson Citizen, February 7, 2003
    "Six months after the slaying of ranger Kris Eggle, the monument is receiving more resources and attention. But the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants has not abated. Says one ranger: 'We're just keeping our heads above water.'...
    [Park ranger Julie] Horne says she encounters "hundreds" of illegal immigrants every night and several drug loads each week while she works to protect the monument from degradation caused by illegal traffic... Horne, speaking as an individual and not a ranger, said she thinks the U.S. -Mexico border needs to be militarized, with guard towers posted every 25 yards. 'We're out there protecting a lot of other countries' borders. We should secure ours first.'"

  • Porous U.S. Borders
    Bill O'Reilly, Fox News, February 7, 2003
    BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Unresolved Problem" Segment tonight, a new FOX News Opinion Dynamics poll says 79 percent of Americans favor putting U.S. military on the borders to stop illegal immigration. Yet the president will not order that.
    O'REILLY: The expense to put troops on the border would be dwarfed or is dwarfed by the amount of illegal narcotics that come through from Mexico. Seventy-two percent of all the cocaine in America comes from Mexico, 20 percent of all the heroin, and 2.3-million pounds of marijuana.
    The social problems that these drugs cause would dwarf any kind of military expenditure that would cut this by all estimates in half. If you put the military on the border, right away, tomorrow, half of the narcotics traffic would cease.

  • Slipping through
    By Jon Daugherty,, February 7, 2003
    "Along those roads are literally hundreds of 'runs' - trails worn into the earth by tens of thousands of human travelers... The trails crisscross private lands, and when landowner fences become obstacles, they are either cut by illegal aliens and their smugglers, or bent over and torn down completely.
    Trash is evident along the runs, but it is heaviest at 'rally points' - places where large groups of illegals meet before they make their way to the coyote pick-ups... In many others, it is, quite literally, strewn as far as the eye can see."

  • INS: 7 million illegal immigrants in United States - Mexicans make up nearly 70 percent of total, figures show
    By Terry Frieden, CNN News, February 1, 2003
    More than a million illegal immigrants have slipped into the United States in the past few years, raising the total in the country to 7 million, the Immigration and Naturalization Service said Friday....
    The figures show that between October 1996 and January 2000, the number of illegal immigrants grew from about 5.8 million to about 7 million, an increase of more than 300,000 annually....
    The proportion of the illegal immigrants who are Mexican has increased to nearly 70 percent from less than 60 percent, the INS said....
    Although California is home to the most undocumented immigrants, Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina have the greatest rate of increase, the figures showed.

  • Coming To America: A Walk In The Park
    CBS Evening News, January 29, 2003
    At Coronado National Park in Arizona, a human convoy walks unchallenged into the U.S. As amazing as it may seem, things are just as bad, if not worse, than before Sept. 11, according to a man who helps watch the park borders. "It's going on every single night," says Dan Wirth, the Southwest border coordinator for the U.S. Interior Department.
    National parks account for 10 percent, or 100 miles, of the Canadian border and 37 percent, or 300 miles, of the Mexican border, and a scant 40 park service agents do the job. There are 30 agents along the Mexican border and 10 along Canada.
    What's worse, some parks rangers complain they are ordered to look the other way. "They are to let traffic flow freely from across the boundary, and they are not to enforce customs and immigration law," says Randall Kendrick, executive director of U.S. Park Rangers Lodge of Fraternal Order of Police.
    Article contains a video of illegal aliens crossing National Monuments and Parks.

  • The Law Loses Out at U.S. Parks - Rangers say they aren't equipped to cope with illegal immigrants, armed smugglers.
    By Ralph Vartabedian, Los Angeles Times, January 23, 2003
    "Organ Pipe is widely regarded as the most dangerous, used daily by illegal immigrants and heavily armed drug smugglers who have cut hundreds of paths and roads in the remote back country and have left behind tons of litter.
    The park rangers 'are not trained, they are not staffed, they are not equipped for the mission,' said Doug Scott, the [Interior Department] agency's assistant inspector general. 'There are carjackings, robberies, sexual assaults, confrontations with drug runners.' 'The slow pace of law enforcement reform is putting park rangers, Interior police and park visitors at risk,' [senator Charles E. Grassley] said.
    'We have caught people from China, Pakistan and Yemen coming through,' [Bo Stone, an Organ Pipe ranger] said. 'If 1,000 illegal immigrants can walk through the desert here, so can 1,000 terrorists.'"

  • The Death of a Ranger Shows Venerable Job's New Hazards
    By John J. Fialka, The Wall Street Journal, January 22, 2003
    "At Organ Pipe... 'This park comes alive after dark,' explains Bo Jones, a 35-year-old ranger, as he bounces down a rutted desert road in a truck containing the tools of his trade -- including body armor and a semiautomatic rifle.
    Mr. Jones says that the expanding presence of U.S. border patrolmen near traditional border-crossing points has pushed more illegal aliens, and more crime, into this remote, 517-square-mile park. Here, the 30 miles of border are marked by a rusty, three-strand barbed-wire fence -- except in places where it is washed out or where smugglers have simply driven through it. At the time of Mr. Eggle's death, there were just three rangers assigned to guard it. After his murder, Washington raised the complement to 12 rangers and agreed to mark the border with a six-foot wall made out of railroad ties and steel posts sunk in concrete.
    On any given night, Mr. Jones estimates, as many as a thousand illegal aliens are moving north... At the same time... there may be a ton of marijuana being lugged north in 50-pound loads by husky backpackers. They sleep by day and move at night, guided by lookouts posted on mountains with solar-powered phones to warn them of approaching agents. "

  • Fuzzy Math At The Border
    By Marthe Dare, The Sierra Times, January 20, 2003
    " [owners] near Mexico contend that the flow of undocumented aliens has escalated and is nonstop. Cattle ranchers have reported seeing hundreds of illegals cross their ranches on a daily basis. They are alarmed and angry because they claim that the Border Patrol is not trying to apprehend all of the undocumented aliens that cross.
    'The Border Patrol knows the number of getaways, but they will never report it,' says Donald Barnett... in Bisbee. He, along with his brother Roger, hold aliens who trespass on their property at gunpoint and then call the Border Patrol. Barnett claims that in 2002 he and his brother 'hunted' and captured 2,369 aliens. A former Cochise County Deputy, Don Barnett reveals that he has purchased a night vision system for $18,000 and a motion sensor system for $30,000 that tracks movements and determines whether the disturbance was caused by an animal, human or vehicle. 'It's embarrassing to be doing somebody else's job.'
    Harris [owner of several cattle ranches] believes that the Border Patrol is mismanaged. 'They are stationed at obvious locations on the road, and ordered not to move. You see these guys sitting in their state of the art Ford SUV's reading newspapers.' An agent told Harris in confidence that after apprehending 50 aliens in one night, he was called into the office the next morning. Harris says, 'The recruit was told that after he caught his quota of about 8, that he should go out there and hide.'"

  • Mexican troops stray over border
    By Dwight Daniels, San Diego Union-Tribune, January 18, 2003
    A detachment of Mexican soldiers wearing black ski masks and carrying automatic rifles was confronted by U.S. Border Patrol agents Thursday after the Mexicans strayed into U.S territory.

  • U.S. border: A war zone
    by John Daugherty, WorldNetDaily, January 17, 2003
    "The Tucson sector of the Border Patrol has reported that midway through the month of January, drug seizures and apprehensions of illegal immigrants are already up over the same period last year...
    Agents in the busy Douglas and Naco areas of the Tucson patrol sector have, as of this writing, been shot at twice already...
    Meanwhile, talk-show host Roger Hedgecock and syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin report that Mexican consular officials are doubling as phony Immigration and Naturalization Service agents, in a bid to extract known smugglers of humans and drugs out of the clutches of U.S. law enforcement and back into Mexico, where they can reapply their trade... more tunnels have been discovered since December than in nearly all of the previous 10 years.
    This is Homeland Security? Obviously, no. Looks like the border follies will continue... Shame on this administration and Congress for making it one."

  • Mexican Ambulance Raids
    The New American, January 13, 2003
    "From Brownsville, Texas, to Douglas, Arizona, Mexican ambulance drivers 'are transporting hospital patients unable to pay for medical care or emergency-room services in their country to facilities in the United States, where their treatment is mandated by federal law.'"

  • The Mexican Fifth Column
    by Tom DeWeese, American Policy Center, January, 2003
    Each new report of activities along our 2,000-mile border with Mexico appears to be more outrageous than the last. The Mexican government has issued more than 800,000 slick, pocket-sized identification cards to both legal and illegal immigrants... The strategy is to work the system from the bottom up, making the cards acceptable on the local level before Congress can pass any legislation concerning the activity...
    Mexican ambulance drivers are transporting hospital patients, unable to pay for medical care in Mexico, to facilities in the United States. They know that the federal Emergency Medical Act mandates that U.S. hospitals with emergency-room services must treat anyone who requires care, including illegal aliens.
    Medical service for Americans in affected communities is being severely damaged as hospitals absorb more than $200 million in unreimbursed costs. Some emergency rooms have shut down because they cannot afford to stay open. Local tax-paying Americans are either denied medical care or have to wait in long lines for service as the illegals flood the facilities. In California, the losses are calculated to be about $79 million, with $74 million in Texas, $31 million in Arizona, and $6 million in New Mexico...
    The U.S. Border Patrol is using tax dollars to advertise the establishment of eight "rescue beacons" along the border to help illegal aliens find they way...
    This is our land, not Mexico's. It's high time we told that to our own leaders and especially to the government of Mexico.

  • Arizona Park "Most Dangerous" in U.S.
    Tom Clynes for National Geographic News, January 13, 2003
    "The park rangers at Arizona's Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument wear camouflage, carry assault rifles, and chase drug smugglers through the blazing desert. They're at the front lines of a violent border war - and they're losing.
    In August, a park ranger, 28-year-old Kris Eggle, was killed while helping Border Patrol agents catch two men suspected by Mexican officials in a drug-related quadruple murder.
    Meanwhile, a highly critical Interior Department report says that the department's law enforcement program is in disarray, and that the Park Service suffers from extreme organizational dysfunction...
    On any given night, rangers estimate, up to 1,000 people are inside the park. Nearly all of them have entered illegally... Last year, Organ Pipe rangers seized some 13,000 pounds... of marijuana, one-third of the total seized in all national parks and monuments combined.
    'Our budget isn't considered part of homeland defense, so it wasn't a priority,' Thompson [Organ Pipes former chief ranger, Dale Thompson] said, as he drove past the 20-foot (6-meter) hole in the border fence that Eggle's killer drove through. 'But how long will it be until someone figures out that you could easily drive a semi-truck with a nuclear device through here?'"
    (See online Kris Eggle memorial).

  • Someone Please Help Arizona - The Government Won't
    by Jim Moore,, January 16, 2003
    "Every day of our lives, every facet of our lives is threatened," says B.J. Kuykendall, an ER nurse, who owns a ranch. "We can't leave here for any length of time because there might be nothing left when We come back. We're afraid of losing everything if this keeps up."
    Illegal aliens have chased B.J down, and used their vehicles to run hers off the road. They've piled boulders across the road in an effort to steal her truck. They tried to steal her horses, too. One day, B.J found her Mastiff dog had been poisoned with strychnine "for the crime of barking". One of B.J.'s neighbors found his dog dead too, its throat slashed.
    Arizona ranchers wake up in the morning to find their water lines cut, cattle gates opened, and their pastures full of garbage and human waste.

  • Feds nab three tons of marijuana at BBNP [Big Bend National Park]
    by Daniel T. O'Melia, Alpine Observer, January 9, 2003
    In just over a month, federal officials have seized more than 10,000 pounds of marijuana in the Big Bend area, with much of the contraband entering the U.S. through Big Bend National Park, the region's most prominent attractions... the drug shipments were valued at about $4,860,000, adding to the estimated $3,895,000 in marijuana seizures recorded in the Big Bend since late November.

Fair Use: This site contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of issues related to mass immigration. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information, see:
In order to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.