The U.S. Border Patrol has warned agents in Arizona of incursions by Mexican soldiers “trained to escape, evade and counter-ambush,” a Washington newspaper reports.
The warning to Border Patrol agents in Tucson comes after increased sightings of what authorities described as heavily armed Mexican military units on the U.S. side of the border. The warning asks the agents to report the size, activity, location, time and equipment of any units observed.
Agents were cautioned to keep “a low profile,” to use “cover and concealment” in approaching the Mexican units, to employ “shadows and camouflage” to conceal themselves and to “stay as quiet as possible.”
Salvador Zamora, a Border Patrol spokesman, confirmed that a “military incursion” warning was given to Tucson agents.
Rafael Laveaga, spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, denied that Mexican military personnel are crossing into the United States. He said some drug smugglers headed “both north and south” wear uniforms and drive military-type vehicles, and might have “confused” U.S. authorities.
“Give me a break,” said T.J. Bonner, a 27-year veteran of the Border Patrol who heads the National Border Patrol Council. “Intrusions by the Mexican military to protect drug lords happen all the time and represent a significant threat to the agents. Why else would they be in the area, firing at federal agents in the United States?” Bonner asked. “There is no other explanation.”
He also dismissed claims that Mexican troops had entered the United States by mistake. “Every country’s military has a [global positioning system] nowadays, including Mexico’s. If the border is so poorly marked, why don’t the thousands of Border Patrol agents working 24-7 along it ever seem to get lost?”
A total of 216 incursions by suspected Mexican military units have been documented since 1996—75 in California, 63 in Arizona and 78 in Texas, according to a Department of Homeland Security report.
Foreign troops crossing the U.S. border and firing upon U.S. law enforcement constitute an act of war, yet the feckless U.S. government can only issue “a warning” to its officers who patrol the 2,000 mile border with Mexico.
The reports of incursions come on the heels of legislation passed by Congress in December, which provides $2.2 billion to build 700 more miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, makes illegal immigration a felony and enables U.S. soldiers and police to enforce immigration laws.
The Mexican government has complained about the proposed border fence extension, likening it to the Berlin Wall, and has argued that illegal immigrants from Mexico must have the right to seek jobs in the United States.
However, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza shot back a blunt response, saying: “There is no human right to enter another country in violation of its laws. . . . Illegal immigration is a threat to our system of laws and an affront to the millions around the world, including in Mexico, who play by the rules in seeking to come to the United States.”
Garza also dismissed the Mexican government’s claim that Americans are “anti-immigrant.” In 2005, he said, the United States issued 36,000 immigrant visas, 80,000 work visas and 940,000 visitor visas to Mexican citizens who sought to enter the United States legally. On the other hand, he said, there were over 1 million reported arrests in the United States of illegal immigrants from Mexico.
James P. Tucker Jr., American Free Press