I watch television shows on channels such as Discovery, History, The Learning Channel and National Geographic. One television show that has captured my interest is Border Wars on the National Geographic channel.
National Geographic describes Border Wars as follows:
“Every day thousands of men, women and children attempt to enter the United States illegally - some looking for work, some seeking a new life and others trying to smuggle drugs or other contraband. Many will do whatever it takes, often risking their lives by crossing Arizona’s treacherous Sonoran Desert. Now, follow the officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as they scour the inhospitable landscape at one of the busiest border crossings in the country, seeking to fight terrorism and intercept illegal entrants from the air, on the ground and at the ports of entry.”
As I have witnessed, through this look inside the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, the men and women working to protect our borders are simply overwhelmed. There is no possible way these officers can patrol every mile of the 1,969 miles of border between the United States and Mexico 24/7.
What has truly been an eye-opener to me is the amount of drug trafficking at the southern border. The Mexican drug cartel uses humans (Mexican Nationals), called “mules”, to literally carry drugs across the border on foot. Mules tend to travel in groups and the television show has shown as many as 10 - 20 mules in a group, each carrying a load of illegal drugs across the border. During one broadcast border agents were fortunate to catch a large group of mules hauling hundreds of pounds of marijuana across the border. The large discovery kept several hundred thousand dollars worth in illegal drugs from hitting streets across our country, possibly even our community.
But how much is being missed?
According to a number of reports, Mexico is a major drug producing and transit country. It is the main foreign supplier of marijuana and a major supplier of methamphetamine to the U.S. Although Mexico accounts for only a small share of worldwide heroin production, it supplies a large share of the heroin distributed in the United States. Drug cartels in Mexico control approximately 70 percent of the foreign narcotics that flow into the United States.
The US State Department estimates that 90 percent of cocaine entering the United States enters through Mexico, with Colombia being the main cocaine producer - and that wholesale of illicit drug sale earnings estimates range from $13.6 billion to $48.4 billion annually. Mexican drug traffickers increasingly smuggle money back into Mexico.
Now let’s factor in the violence that has stemmed from the drug cartel in Mexico. We have all witnessed the terrible violence in Mexico, especially in 2010, the bloodiest year so far with 15,273 drug-related murders. Some of this violence is beginning to spill over into U.S. border towns, along the U.S. and Mexico border, and illegal immigrants are flooding these areas trying to escape the violence.
What will it take for our government to realize that the southern border must be shut down? I encourage you to watch this show and draw your own opinion.