Skip to comments.Officials want action - Incursions by Mexican military focus of Congressional hearing (Send Troops!)
Posted on 02/08/2006 9:45:57 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - The U.S. military should be called out to protect the U.S. border against military-style incursions from Mexico, the head of the Border Patrol union told a congressional homeland security committee Tuesday.
TJ Bonner, president of the National Border Council that represents 10,500 agents, recommended active or reserve U.S. military units be stationed "on stand" at strategic locations along the border. "If the Mexican military is coming into the United States, our law enforcement agents do not have the training to deal with that," Bonner told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Investigations.
The proposal was one of several that Bonner and Texas law enforcement agents laid out as Congress launched its first investigation into Mexican incursions.
The hearing, which will be followed one in the Senate next month, comes in the wake of a high-profile Texas incident in which sheriff's deputies said they confronted drug runners who were wearing Mexican military uniforms, driving a military-issue Humvee and using military tactics. The Mexican Embassy maintains the suspected smugglers, who were not caught, were members of a drug cartel posing as soldiers, and not actual members of the Mexican military. But Texas officials testifying Tuesday said they think they might be both.
"It's everything,' said El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego. "It's the military, it's cartels buying off military, buying off civilians and dressing as the military."
Bonner, who also said he believes the incursions are the work of actual military officials, added, "It's immaterial. If Mexico is allowing this to happen, they bear a large part of the responsibility."
But lawmakers and even the Texas deputies had mixed reactions to Bonner's suggestion that the U.S. military be called out.
"I think he's crazy," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, and a former Border Patrol agent who cautioned against "sensationalism" in addressing the incursions.
Sending troops, Reyes said, would convey the wrong message to Mexico and would be a poor use of America's military resources.
Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., said he is hesitant about the idea, but willing to examine it.
Sheriff Arvin West of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department -- where deputies faced off with military-clad drug smugglers last month east of El Paso -- said military force along the border would not help in the long run.
"They're not trained peace officers, they're trained killers," he said.
Unauthorized Mexican military have entered the United States 231 times over the past decade in what Department of Homeland Security officials call "incursions."
Federal officials say the vast majority of those incidents are non-confrontational and that the numbers are declining.
David Aguilar, chief of the Border Patrol for the Department of Homeland Security, noted Tuesday that the number of incursions has declined more than 50 percent since 2001, and that the agency has no evidence of systematic incursions. Aguilar said the Border Patrol in the past has detained Mexican military officials who made unauthorized border crossings, but that to his knowledge none were involved in drug trafficking.
He also said the agency has apprehended several people over the years who were dressed in military garb but were not members of the Mexican military.
Bonner called the Southwest border "completely out of control" and lambasted Aguilar and other top brass for saying that the situation is coming quickly under control.
"The folks at the top get paid to say nice things about Mexico, they get paid to reassure the public," he said. "(But) just about anyone who wants to get into the country can."
That's some way to refer to the head of a union called to speak before you pukes, Representative Reyes.
"our law enforcement agents do not have the training to deal with that" WTF?
I'm sure there's a few hundred folks from across the country that'd love to come down there and clean up those banditos.
At times, I still have a hard time believing that our country is suffering armed incursions from foreign country, and we are doing nothing about it. Acutally, scratch that. Our government is actively stonewalling about addressing the issue. I guess they are just trying to get us ready to bend over and take it for the North American Union.
Yes, let the military loose, release the hounds, and build the 30 foot tall wall of solid kryptonite. Then we can shoot them all back over using giant circus cannons.
I think the law can handle the incursions. By law, I mean, of course thte L.A.W. (Light Anti-tank Weapon).
Arm our border patrol with javelins!
"The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,
1. The act of invading; the act of encroaching upon the rights or possessions of another; encroachment; trespass.
But I thought it was the federal governments duty to protect each state against incursion?
Oh, wait, I re-read it. It says invasion.
Are you kin to Bayourod?
Forget my last reply- I see now that you joined FR three days ago. Welcome to FR!
"Yes, let the military loose, release the hounds, and build the 30 foot tall wall of solid kryptonite. Then we can shoot them all back over using giant circus cannons."
Kryptonite only works on Superman and his Kryptonian pals. I think most folks would simply prefer the dual-fence corridor that is currently in place near Tijuana be extended to the whole border, and the laws that are currently in place be enforced. No hounds, no military, no cannons--just do what the law says, Dubya. Especially the law that allows immigration enforcement to fine EMPLOYERS for violations.
"If the Mexican military is coming into the United States, our law enforcement agents do not have the training to deal with that," Bonner told the House Homeland Security subcommittee on Investigations."
I think he meant he'd like to see a fair fight.
How about the sheriff who called our military killers', while stating they're not 'trained peace officers'?
Might help if they all get their heads together. Doesn't make sense to me to fight military with law enforcement.
Sounds good to me.
Let me guess: You are a one-post runaway.
Where is General "Blackjack" Pershing when we need him?
"Are you kin to Bayourod?"
I used to argue with him all the time. He was obnoxious but polite. I really believe he worked for a foreign government.
"Sheriff Arvin West of the Hudspeth County Sheriff's Department... said military force along the border would not help in the long run.
"They're not trained peace officers, they're trained killers,"
And so... we have a problem with that, Amigo?
Look! It's Border Bob!!
It's the right message for Americans! We need to utterly destroy any and ALL invaders! I'll mow my own grass... as usual!
Wrong message to Mexico?! A lot of Freepers have defended Reyes in the past, based on his career in the Border Patrol, but this convinces me that he is now just another paid puppet turning his back on his former coworkers.
The wrong message to Mexico is our continual lack of action. The cartels who "own" Northern Mexico and have Mexico's central government under threat/payoff understands only one message: overwhelming force. It's 230 "incidents" past time for military deployment.
"I think he's crazy," said Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, and a former Border Patrol agent who cautioned against "sensationalism" in addressing the incursions."
The Dems in EP think Sylvestre is the one who's crazy.
El Paso Dems Question Reyes [Texas U.S. Democrat Rep. on border security with online survey]
Here's a better idea.
El Paso County Sheriff Leo Samaniego questions whose side U.S. Representative Silvestre Reyes (D) El Paso, is on.
Rep. Reyes addressed members of a Congressional subcommittee in Washington on Tuesday, following testimony by border Sheriff's, including Samaniego and Hudspeth County Sheriff Arvin West. The Sheriff's believe incursions along the border are frequent, and getting more dangerous. And they believe the Mexican military is involved - particularly in the January 23rd incursion in Hudspeth County in which drug smugglers were rescued by heavily armed men who crossed the Rio Grande to help them return to Mexico.
Representative Reyes believes that Deputies may be sensationalizing their accounts of the incursions, and that it's dangerous to draw conclusions before a full investigation is completed.
Sheriff Samaniego had to leave Tuesday's hearing before listening to all of Rep. Reyes' statements.
On Wednesday, KFOX's Ben Swann showed the Congressman's testimony to Samaniego in our Washington, DC Bureau. The Sheriff was stunned.
"For a glimpse there he sounded more like a member of the Mexican government, rather than the American government," said Samaniego.
On Tuesday, Reyes told KFOX that he's concerned about how the facts are being presented. "I think that maybe there are some agendas working here," Reyes told us. "And that's why we need to be very clear about what happened, how it happened, who was involved and where we need to go from here."
Samaniego replied to that saying "I don't need to make a bigger deal out of something, other than what it is. I think it's big enough."
KFOX also asked the Sheriff about Reyes' comments that the Deputies who were involved in the Jan. 23 incident in Hudspeth County were wrong about the type of weapons they encountered.
A Deputy Sheriff testified that he saw a Mexican military Humvee with a 50-caliber weapon mounted on the back on U.S. soil. Reyes testified that he could understand in the heat of the moment someone could make a mistake, but that his own Army experience made him question the Deputy's claim that such a powerful weapon could be on the vehicle.
"He's (the deputy) a Marine, a Marine Corps veteran," said Samaniego. "He (Reyes) made it sound like the guy doesn't know what the heck he is talking about."
Also on Wednesday, the border sheriffs' briefed White House officials on the recent incursions. They tell KFOX that they felt it was a good meeting and that the White House was interested in the information they provided.
Yup, Reyes is going on my Un-American Activities Committee list of suspected traitors. If Congress ever cranks that much-needed body back up...
Spinning in his grave, or shaking his head in disgust at the Bush administration.
'Nuff said. I do not understand why a border governor has not gone to the President and if need be, the media and demand that his state be defended.
Why doesn't the Lone Star state reorganize the Texas Rangers? They have a history of dealing with border problems.
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The original is truly amazing, it is one of the old panoramics, and those men are solid as far as you can see in both directions.
This is a forgotten time in BP history. When the Border Patrol we have now was formed, they did not want to be associated with these guys, and started a new agency. The men in the pic. were mostly retired Texas Rangers and US Marshalls that were recruited to guard the border because the LE at the time was overwhelmed. They were known to be pretty rough in keeping illegal traffic out. I bet some of the BP officers today would like to have these guys watching their backs.
LOL. The US Border Patrol is chock full of former Marines, Rangers, Green Berets and Navy Seals. Each Border Patrol Sector has their own SRT in addition to BORTAC the national Border Patrol SWAT. You can put all the military on the border you want is in't going to amount to anything. It's about management.