Jim Kouri
Mexican gun battle spills over into El Paso
By Jim Kouri
July 6, 2010

A gun battle between Mexican suspects and Mexican police left seven bullet holes in El Paso City Hall. This latest incursion of Mexico's deadly crime war has intensified calls for tighter border security.

The State Attorney General Greg Abbott wrote an official letter to President Barack Obama to say Tuesday's "cross-border gunfire" was more proof that the state "is under constant assault from illegal activity threatening a porous border."

The gun battle between police and armed suspects in Ciudad Juarez — a city plagued by drug violence just across the Rio Grande from El Paso — occurred as police officers were trying to investigate a vehicle with no license plates in a border-area parking lot within view of El Paso City Hall.

Police and the armed Mexicans exchanged at least 40 shots, according to police officials. The El Paso Police commanders said they believe at least seven of those rounds crossed the border and hit El Paso's city hall. An Americans were wounded, but a Mexican cop and an innocent bystander in Juarez were reported killed as a result of the shootout.

This latest incident, while being played down by most members of the new media, has increased calls for the Obama White House to do more than just pontificate about the benefits of having illegal aliens continuing their lawbreaking in the U.S.

"Border security and national security are inextricably linked. A porous border is an open invitation to those who wish to harm America, and for too long our borders have been an especially inviting access point for drug smugglers, human traffickers, and potential terrorists," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)

A few weeks ago, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, during his visit to the United States, criticized Arizona's tough new illegal immigration law from the well of Congress before a joint session. Not surprising was the Democrat lawmakers reaction to his rhetoric — a standing ovation.

According to Tom Fitton, president of public-interest group Judicial Watch, he should have taken some time to explain why Mexican government officials, including members of the Mexican military, continue to flood across the border and attack U.S. Border Patrol agents.

On March 22, 2010, Fitton's group of legal experts obtained records from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) concerning Mexican government incursions and encounters along the U.S. border. The documents were incomplete and included huge gaps in the data, but nonetheless indicate an increase in the number of incursions in 2008 and 2009.

Analysis of the data by JW staff shows:

  • 76 Mexican Government incursions from January 2008 to December 2009 (data missing from February 2009)

  • 50 Mexican Government incursions in 2008 alone, which is double the number of incursions from the previous year

  • 528 assaults against CBP agents from January — June 2008

  • 11 assaults against National Guard troops from January — June 2008

By comparison, CBP statistics previously obtained revealed 25 incursions in Fiscal Year 2007. Overall, Judicial Watch has documented 226 Mexican government incursions between 1996 and 2005.

In addition to the incursion data, the CBP also records the number of tunnels discovered along the border which are allegedly used for smuggling and human trafficking. In 2008 alone, CBP discovered 25 of these tunnels. Overall, between 1990 and March 2009, CBP discovered 103 tunnels along U.S. borders — one along the U.S border with Canada and 102 along the U.S. border with Mexico.

"Just one nuclear weapon provided to terrorists by a rogue nation like Iran and smuggled across our border could bring social cataclysm to our country and would forever change America's national security equation. Such scenarios are not at all unrealistic, considering Iran's relentless pursuit of nuclear weapons and the fact that terrorist organizations like Hamas and Hezbollah maintain long-running ties to South American drug cartels," said Arizona Republican Rep. Trent Franks.

"Indeed, recent reports indicate that Hezbollah may now be operating near America's southern border. To address these potentially disastrous vulnerabilities, I have introduced The National Border and Homeland Security Act of 2010, which addresses the major components necessary to securing our porous borders," said Franks.

According to Fitton, the most recent batch of documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the CBP is missing large amounts of data. Through FOIA, Judicial Watch requested incursion and encounter reports from January 2008 to present. However, CBP provided full statistical reports for the first six months of 2008 only. The remaining reports only include the numbers of incursions. Moreover, data for February 2009 is missing entirely. Fitton states that Judicial Watch already filed an appeal with CBP to obtain the missing information.

But even with incomplete information, the documents clearly show that President Obama and the federal government continue to be derelict in securing the nation's southern border. These new government documents depict a chaotic and dangerous situation for our nation's Border Patrol agents — and for border states such as Arizona.

Previous Mexican government incursion documents obtained by Judicial Watch describe incidents involving shots fired on both sides of the border, unmarked helicopters invading U.S. airspace, drug smuggling, and confrontations between U.S. Border Patrol agents and members of the Mexican military.

"Agents of the Mexican government violate our sovereign border on a regular basis, and something needs to be done about it," says Fitton.

© Jim Kouri


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police... (more)


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