Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter Jerry Kammer has a video report out today on the border in Cochise County, Ariz.:
He talks with a local rancher, a Border Patrol agent, an illegal who snuck through there, and others. Kammer concludes that “the fence isn’t much of an obstacle, especially when the Border Patrol is not around.” He also reports that Border Patrol checkpoints (which I’ve blogged on here) aren’t as effective as they should be because the Border Patrol doesn’t patrol its flanks, so smugglers just drop off the illegals short of the checkpoint, and pick them up on the other side after they’ve hiked around them.
None of this suggests that fences or checkpoints are bad ideas, just that there’s a lot more to enforcing America’s sovereignty than investing in static infrastructure — you need people to take advantage of these tools. And the Border Patrol, even with the Democrats’ election-year funding measure (which the House has just passed), is still smaller than the NYPD and, even if every agent were stationed on the Mexican border, there would still be an average of only about two agents per mile per shift.
Note to Secretary Napolitano: Keep insisting the border is really secure and people who disagree are simply deluded. Maybe someone will eventually believe you!