On Thursday, July 15th, my wife, Sally, and I attended a noon media briefing at the National Press Club sponsored by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). It featured a film made by CIS' Director of National Security Policy, Janice Kephart, with substantial help from others, showing our continuing and huge Southern border problem.
In the panel discussion that followed the 10 minute film, Kephart reported that
“Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border 2: Drugs, Guns and 850 Illegal Aliens is the Center for Immigration Studies' second web-based film on the impact of illegal alien activity in Arizona. The Center's first video on the subject, Hidden Cameras on the Arizona Border: Coyotes, Bears, and Trails, has received over 50,000 views to date. This new 10-minute mini-documentary raises the bar, featuring footage of both illegal-alien entry as well as gun- and drug-smuggling. At minimum, the inescapable conclusion is that hidden cameras reveal a reality that illegal-alien activity is escalating."Watching this dramatic film, which showed illegal immigrant and after illegal immigrant walking into our country without any concern about being apprehended, seemed to me like saying let's not bother capping that BP oil well—it's merely polluting our environment and costing America citizens tax dollars and jobs too!
"The hidden camera footage, acquired from a variety of sources, indicates that there is an unfortunate lack of federal law enforcement presence on Arizona's federal land on the border in Nogales, in the Coronado National Forest (15 miles inside the border), and the Casa Grande Sector (80 miles inside the border)."
Watch the video below:
One of the photographers who provided Kephart with this dramatic footage spoke to us at the CIS briefing by phone—because if he could be identified by the smugglers and drug cartels, he would likely be assassinated.
What a brave guy to plant these cameras and get this revealing footage. A real patriot.
And how outrageous is it for a law-abiding American citizen to face that kind of risk in his own country due to the failure (or should we say treasonable nullification) of Federal laws.
Kephart's co-panelist, Congressman, Rob Bishop (R-Utah) spoke eloquently about a dreadful anomaly: US Border Patrol agents can perform quite effective border protection on private lands located on the border and in highly populated areas such as Yuma (where illegal numbers have gone down substantially recently). But US Border Patrol agents are not allowed by law to perform the same enforcement on public lands–National Parks– which comprise 40% of the Arizona border.
New laws to fix this flaw have been put forward in both houses of Congress, but are stalled. On purpose? Bishop did not say, except to roll his eyes.
Representative Bishop commented wryly that these folks are not coming for low level jobs such as picking tomatoes.
The film makers were frequently hampered, for example by the most unhelpful responses to Freedom of Information Act requests made by Kephart, a veteran expert on security, a lawyer, and staffer on the 911 Commission report. Further, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Kephart said, told people in his department not to cooperate with her requests.
Imagine! Yes—of course you can!
Also featured in the film is a 2004 federal government PowerPoint showing the near-complete devastation of a borderland National Park due to illegal-alien activity, with tons of ugly trash everywhere, highlighting the disconnect between the situation on the ground and Washington rhetoric.
My own emphasis has long been on policies which will permanently give us control of the runaway immigration invasion, such as getting our Federal Government to enact a system of National ID cards and permanently extending the highly successful E-verify program.
However, when watching this horrifying display of open border madness, I find myself agreeing with Congressman Bishop: his first priority is a law that would allow our Border Patrol to stop the illegal traffic through our National Parks. The continuing flood of dangerous people will not be staunched until we do!
And I mean dangerous. As Thomas Burr reported in the Salt Lake Tribune:
"Shortly after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, a secret government report highlighted a way terrorists might easily enter the United States carting weapons of mass destruction.Naturally, the Federal officials in Interior and Homeland Security claim that report is outdated. But they refuse to provide "updated assessments."
“It wasn't by air or sea.
The classified analysis pointed to an arid and sparsely populated stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona teeming with drug runners.
“'This area has become very active with smuggling and encrypted radio traffic," says the report titled 'Threat Assessment for Public Lands' completed by the Interior Department in late 2002. 'This would be an ideal area to smuggle a weapon of mass destruction.'
“The report, marked 'sensitive,' surfaced recently in a load of documents uncovered by Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop."[Documents identify terrorism threat in border gaps, Salt Lake Tribune, December 7, 2009]
Also, any thinking observer already knows that legalizing marijuana in the U.S. would cut the Mexican drug cartels' cash flow dramatically and reduce border violence from that source.
Can you believe how this government of ours is handling the nation's security, our security, and our future welfare? I can't.
But I surely welcomed this powerful new film from CIS.
Don't fail to view it!
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.