US-Mexico border is a safe place to be?
That’s the AP headline this morning.
MEXICO CITY — It’s one of the safest parts of America, and it’s getting safer.
It’s the U.S.-Mexico border, and even as politicians say more federal troops are needed to fight rising violence, government data obtained by The Associated Press show it actually isn’t so dangerous after all.
The top four big cities in America with the lowest rates of violent crime are all in border states: San Diego, Phoenix, El Paso and Austin, according to a new FBI report. And an in-house Customs and Border Protection report shows that Border Patrol agents face far less danger than street cops in most U.S. cities.
The Customs and Border Protection study, obtained with a Freedom of Information Act request, shows 3 percent of Border Patrol agents and officers were assaulted last year, mostly when assailants threw rocks at them. That compares with 11 percent of police officers and sheriff’s deputies assaulted during the same period, usually with guns or knives.
In addition, violent attacks against agents declined in 2009 along most of the border for the first time in seven years. So far this year assaults are slightly up, but data is incomplete.
“The border is safer now than it’s ever been,” said U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Lloyd Easterling.
OK, so this article, originating from MEXICO CITY is making a claim that seems to run counter to everything we’ve been told for the last decade or so. So, I started by researching who wrote this fact-stating article. It was written by Martha Mendoza.
“Politicians are hyping up this incredible fear across the country about the border, but these numbers show these are lies being perpetrated on the American public,” said immigrant advocate Isabel Garcia at Tucson-based Derechos Humanos. “The warnings about violence are just an excuse to crack down on migrants who want to work and be with their families.”
Martha rattles off a bunch of “facts” based on numbers no one actually shows. Let’s look at the ramifications of the porous border. Let’s do that by looking at the top 10 most violent cities in the US and why:
- #10: Baltimore, Maryland. Not a border city by most people’s definition.
- #9: Nashville, Tennessee. Not a border city by most people’s definition.
- #8: Charleston, South Carolina. Not a border city by most people’s defintion.
- #7: Little Rock, Arkansas. Not a border city by most people’s defintion.
- #6: Orlando, Florida. Not a border city by most people’s definition.
- #5: Stockton, California. Not a border city by most people’s defintion.
- #4: Las Vegas, Nevada. Not a border city by most people’s defintion.
- #3: Miami, Florida. Not a border city by most people’s defintion.
- #2: Memphis, Tennessee. Not a border city by most people’s definition.
- #1: Detroit, Michigan. Most definitely a border city. But not the border Martha Mendoza is talking about.
All ten of these cities do have one thing in common.
All 10 of the most dangerous cities were among those identified by the Department of Justice as transit points for Mexican drug cartels.
Run by crime lords like Joaquin Guzman Lorea, these gangs–and their violent turf wars–are spreading into the American Southwest and beyond. Places like Stockton, Calif., nearly 500 miles from Tijuana, have seen an uptick in related violent crime.
“Stockton is a major transit point along the I-5 corridor on the way to Seattle and Vancouver,” says Wolfram. “A lot of it is similar to crime happening in the Southwest. For the most part, it’s drug gang on drug gang.”
Anyone with just a tiny bit of interest would find immediate overwhelming evidence that the problem is not the drugs stopping at the border and causing problems. The problem is drugs going into our cities and causing huge problems. Read the national headlines. Almost every day you’ll find some story referencing Mexican drug cartels. Here’s one from today:
Hours later, police found the bodies of a local traffic police officer and a trainee inside a car in the nearby town of Santiago. Prosecutors said they also found two automatic rifles, a handgun and a bulletproof vest.
If it’s all the same to Martha, I’m doing three things. First of all, I’m not believing her article. At all. Not in the least bit. I”m gonna bet I’m doing what most of the people near that border are doing to keep it so “safe”. They’re staying away from it. Second, I’m not scheduling any vacations to that area. Not even close. There’s nothing there that appeals to me anyway. Lastly, I’m supporting Arizona’s efforts to make it not only safer for themselves, but safer for people living in those cities and communities infested by drug cartels bringing their drugs in by the truckload.
Next I’m sure Martha will write an AP story about what a pleasant place to live Mexico City is.