Last week former Border Patrol Agent, George Taylor, testified before a Congressional Committee hearing regarding America’s growing border security issues. After 43 years law enforcement experience Taylor calls it like he sees it and this former BP Agent points to the National Parks and designated Wilderness Land along the southern border as the main culprit in the uptick of cartel smuggling activities.
“The root problem remains, Federal Wildlife Refuges, Wilderness and Designated Wildernesses of various varieties that serve to keep Border Patrol Agents from effectively and safely securing the border on these federal lands,” Taylor explained.
Retired Border Patrol Agent Taylor, who testified on behalf of an organization he co-founded, National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFPBO), a non-political group committed to securing the nation’s borders, gave Congressional members a frank assessment of the unrelenting violence along the border region.
The designation of millions of acres in Wilderness Parks means one thing- keeping Border Patrol out. The result is much more ominous- drug cartels can now operate without law enforcement distraction.
“The violence continues to escalate. Thousands of pounds of illegal drugs and thousands of illegal aliens from all over the world are traversing the area,” Taylor contends. With this new right-of-way, the smugglers are now free to commit atrocities like rape, murder and robbery as well as considerable environmental damage.
This vast federal land set the stage for the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry in December of last year.
On that fateful day, Terry’s Border Patrol team was responding to reports that “rip crews” (those who rob/rape illegal aliens making their way into the U.S.) were operating in the area. It is well-known to Border Patrol Agents that “rip crews” are heavily armed and very dangerous.
“As the violence becomes more common it begins to spread out and become more prevalent. Wounded, robbed, raped and murder humans have begun showing up in the periphery, on streets, in yards and at homes,” Taylor says.
So what’s the solution? Taylor educated the Congressional panel that Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) has put a bill forward that would tackle the Border Patrol’s inability to monitor these Wilderness areas.
“This legislation takes the necessary and responsible steps to address the unacceptable restrictions that prevent Border Security experts from doing their jobs,” Bishop said.
Currently there are more than 20 million acres of federal land along America’s southern border most of which is off limits to Border Patrol Agents.
“Allowing public land managers and restrictive environmental policies, not Border Security experts, to dictate how we secure our nation’s borders and keep our country safe is counterintuitive, and as a result, has jeopardized the safety and security of all Americans,” Bishop said.
Bishop also contends that these “protected lands” inadvertently creates a safe haven for criminals to operate. “The same environmental policies that are supposed to be protecting the lands are actually allowing them to be destroyed.”
As for the solution, Taylor says it is imperative that Border Patrol Agents have unencumbered access to every inch of land along the southern border. “Also they must be willing to give Border Patrol Agents on the ground all the tools necessary to secure the border.”
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