February 25, 2023 -- Alpine -- Border 911!
Courtyard By Marriott
March 28, 2023
I was really glad I decided to attend this meeting. I learned a lot about the US-Mexico Border that I did not know -- and probably would not have learned except for being so near the border.
Among the important items I learned:
There are approximately 75 cartels in Mexico that control the flow of migrants into the US.
The cartels have spotters located in Mexico and in the US that look out for border patrol agents and communicate with their comrades via walkie-talkies.
Texas has started deputizing citizens and with the permission of landowners, stake out crossing areas and arrest migrants for trespassing. It is a bit of a SWAT team effort as they don't have enough people to monitor the whole border. This approach has resulted in overloading the county courts; the state attempts of supplement staffing in those areas so that cases can be hear quickly. Once the county is finished prosecuting the migrants, they are turned over to Border Patrol.
I sensed real tension between the former Border Patrol speakers and their experience interacting with Washington irregardless of the administration.
There are parts of the border that are so remote and rugged that there is no way to erect barriers in those areas. Of course the cartels know where those areas are; some migrants are so desperate to get away from their homeland that they risk their lives to enter the US in these places.
We've heard so much about the "border wall" as though it is The Solution. The belief is that it is at best a 30-60 second delay; those who want to get over and go through, find a way.
Many of the smugglers of both migrants and drugs are US citizens. One speaker said that 99 percent of the drugs are smuggled by US citizens. Wow! Even if that is an overstatement, I had no idea that our own citizens are part of the problem.
Unfortunately, there was more complaining than there were solutions presented.
I learned subsequently that Mexico has a beef with the US about the number of weapons that are smuggled into Mexico from the US. A couple of interesting articles on that topic: