Photo: CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin Fires Back Against Gov. Perry's Claims the US-Mexico Border is Lawless
Despite presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry’s claims that the U.S.-Mexico border is completely lawless, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials argue that it is safer and more secure than it has ever been.
Gov. Perry recently told reporters that he’d asked Washington for 1,000 National Guard troops at the border, as the current methods are ineffective and building a fence along the entire 1,200-mile border is just “ridiculous”.
He slammed the Obama administration for saying the border is far more secure than ever, saying, “Six week ago, the president went to El Paso and said the border is safer than it’s ever been. I have no idea, maybe he was talking about the Canadian border. I will assure you one thing, if I’m president of the United States, the border will be secure.”
CBP Commissioner Alan Bersin fired back at claims of a lawless border, saying the residents of the area will attest to the increased safety.
Bersin told the Texas Tribune, “It is incumbent to those of us who live and work on the border to dispel this myth that the border is out of control, that the border is unsafe.”
He believes the reason Arizona saw such an increase in undocumented immigrants was due to the fact that Texas and California was becoming more successful in controlling their borders, causing the immigrants to, in essence, “funnel through” to Arizona.
When looking at the stats, Bersin said, “Lets go back to 1993, when the border truly was out of control, when, in fact, 1.8 million people were just walking across the border,” he said. “In 1993, 286,000 Mexicans were arrested crossing in to the country illegally [from Chihuahua into Texas]. Fast-forward to last year and the number is down to 12,000, under 12,000. And, in fact, that accounts for 80 or 90 percent of the people trying to cross here illegally.”
Bersin said he believes Arizona will soon see similar success.
The commissioner fairly pointed out that border towns are not without drug-related violence, and admitted that the towns being so close to the border do require specialized attention not otherwise needed in areas further away, but said that if someone is going to point to the crime statistics of towns like El Paso, those stats should be compared to those of non-border towns.
“If the standard that is to be applied to any particular incident, one incident, two incidents or 10 murders that happened in El Paso make this an unsafe place, that’s a standard that Los Angeles would fail, that Boston would fail and Detroit would fail.”