Uh...HELLO...Physical barriers work--sorry to rain on your parade La Raza
From the Tucson Citizen
Yuma border barriers working
The Arizona Republic
Between the Colorado River and a desolate rock hill to the east are 48 miles of various types of barriers dividing the United States and Mexico, almost all of them new.
While other parts of the southwestern border remain porous, this small part of Arizona has become an example in the federal government's effort to stop illegal immigration and other traffic.
In the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector, arrests of illegal immigrants have dropped from 119,000 in 2006 to 38,000 in the fiscal year that ended in September, and the trend continues downward.
Though the various barriers aren't impermeable - in some stretches, they block only vehicles, and some rocky hills aren't covered at all - they seem to be working.
Authorities in Mexico say they see fewer immigrants trying to traverse the border. Authorities in Arizona report that border crime has dropped significantly.
Federal, local and Mexican officials cite the fences as a major reason for the reduction in illegal traffic, arrests and crime in the region.
"We used to see groups of five to 20 illegals every other night during the busy season," said Michael Bernacke, a Border Patrol agent. "These days, we stop a group a week, just about."
But the future of the fencing program is unclear. A 2006 border-security law put the new fencing in place. Now, changes to that law, which Congress passed this week, ease the federal fence-building mandate. The process to build barriers will involve more collaboration with local leaders but could be more complicated than what the original law called for.
That move has infuriated border-security supporters. In the meantime, the Yuma area's fences, barriers and other obstructions are the most extensive border-deterrent system in the region.
The barriers are being built by a combination of regular Army and National Guard troops and private contractors under the direction of the Boeing Corp. Fence construction accelerated with passage of the Secure Fence Act in October 2006. It calls for 680 miles of double-layered fencing in select places along the 1,950-mile frontier. Almost all of Arizona is slated for some form of improvement.
This week, Congress passed a bill amending the act, giving Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff flexibility to decide where to build the fence, what form it should take and how much to build. The bill steered $1.2 billion for the work next year.
In towns and official border crossings, the fence strategy calls for metal walls to block people from illegally entering the United States on foot. A little farther out, the government has put up reinforced mesh fences to also stop cross-border trucks. In more remote areas, deemed unreachable by foot, metal bollards or welded sections of rail are in place to stop trucks.
The plan relies on sensors and cameras to monitor remote areas between the physical barriers.
Arizona, the busiest smuggling corridor on the border, has seen much of the early fence building. By the end of the federal fiscal year, the government had added 73 miles of fencing, bringing the total to 157 miles in Arizona, said Mike Friel, a Customs and Border Protection spokesman. Barriers of various kinds have gone up in or near San Luis, the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, Lukeville, Sasabe, Nogales, Lochiel, Naco and Douglas.
The fences aren't the only factor in the drop in arrests. Officials on both sides of the border also point to the presence of more U.S. Border Patrol agents or National Guard troops and a fear of jail time under a new program to prosecute first-time adult border-crossers in Yuma County.
In the past two months, border agents in the Yuma area have made one-third fewer arrests than the same time last year. The illegal immigrants who do attempt to cross tend to be more desperate and have longer criminal histories, authorities say. In Mexico, Ricardo Ramirez Piñal leads Grupos Beta teams out into the desert between San Luis Rio Colorado and Sonoyta to advise immigrants at staging camps against crossing north into the United States. In the past year, he has come across 70 percent fewer people attempting the trek.
Piñal said that immigrants will cross into what is widely regarded as the most inhospitable region of the entire frontier. "Three years ago, there were migrants every day, all day," Piñal said. "Now, the migrants hear they will be arrested and get 15 days in jail, so they don't cross here. They are afraid to cross here."
In the Yuma Sector, physical construction of the primary border-line fence is done, except for along the Colorado River. U.S. Customs and Border Protection plans to wire the border farther east with an array of sensors and cameras known as the "virtual fence."
And they say it wont work....poppycock...this is proof that the fence works.
Now, lets get the rest of it done, shall we? And while we are at it, lets start prosecuting employers who hire the illegals. And lets go a step further, lets start making sweeps of the areas where laborers hang out and do as I have seen done in other cities....sit down the street, wait for them to be picked up, pull them over then arrest the hiring person and deport the illegal.
Nah, cant do that, makes too much sense