The Obama administration asserts that as a result of its two-year Southwest Border Initiative, the southern boundary never has been more secure, reports NPR in the second in a series. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said, “It is inaccurate to state, as too many have, that the United States side of the border is overrun with violence or out of control,” Texas officials and some border ranchers disagree; they say the violence in Mexico is spilling over and the president is not protecting the homeland.
The Government Accountability Office says the U.S. Border Patrol has achieved operational control of 44 percent of the southern border. Its mission is hindered by difficult terrain, lack of roads and a need to prioritize hot spots on the western border. What that means is that, basically, everything downstream of El Paso, Texas, is under less control. Mike Vickers, who has a ranch not too far from the border, says he frequently finds the bodies of immigrants who were abandoned by their smugglers, and perished in these hot, dry, thorny pastures. He says, “We’re tired of it. We’re fed up with it. And for President Obama to go to El Paso and say that the border is secure. I just can’t understand that. So we’re here to say otherwise.”