Thursday, January 19, 2006

Border Crossings

The Mexican military crosses into the United States on a regular basis, the head of Homeland Security confirms.

But Homeleand Security chief Michael Chertoff tells the Dallas Morning News it might just be criminals dressed as military personnel.
"It's a regular occurrence – military incursions, paramilitary or Mexican military holding off sheriffs or Border Patrol agents," said Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, one of five Texas lawmakers who toured the Laredo area with Mr. Chertoff this month. He said he had spoken with sheriffs and Border Patrol agents who have had standoffs with "uniformed, machine gun-toting military people."

Last week, the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario, Calif., reported that the Department of Homeland Security had documented 216 incidents since 1996 in which Mexican troops crossed the border. The Washington Times repeated the assertion Tuesday. Nine incidents were reported last year, down from a peak of 40 in 2002.
There's a lot of corruption in Mexico, fueled by the obscene profits resulting from drug smuggling. If we legalized drugs, the price would fall and the corruption would decrease. After all, how many cases of alcohol smuggling are there today?

ADDENDUM: The Associated Press article takes the angle that Chertoff is downplaying the incursions as overblown:
"I think to create the image that somehow there is a deliberate effort by the Mexican military to cross the border would be to traffic in scare tactics," he said Wednesday.


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