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01/26/2005 Archived Entry: "Vigilantes on the border"

THOUGH I GENERALLY STAY AWAY FROM IMMIGRATION ISSUES this personal account of a vigilante's day on the border was too fascinating to ignore. He sent the account to some acquaintances, asking that his personal information be excluded.

I spent today at the border, 70 miles east of San Diego. There's a private ranch with one mile of border frontage which is being trampled by aliens (the same as the other 2000 miles of Mexican border.) I was there for the AM Border Patrol change of shift, when many of the illegals cross. During that well-known hour, there is ZERO coverage along the border.

Three of us volunteers captured 40 (FORTY) of them in the past day (Jan 21 to 22, 2005) on this one mile wide property. The volunteers only come once in a while to help the rancher. The rest of the time, his ranch is a wide open path into the USA, not much different from any other mile of border. If they make it 1-2 miles inland, there are lots of houses/shacks/trailers which are "pick up sites." There are only a few Border Patrolmen to cover each 20 mile sector of the actual border, which is only a token effort, just minor window dressing, to show the sheeple that "Uncle Sam is on the job." They basically don't catch anybody, maybe 2% of the crossers by actual truthful and frank (not official PR) Border Patrolmen's estimates. Anyone they catch in this sector is by pure blind luck, or they are the ones which private citizens stop, hold and call in, and they pick up and count as captures.

This 2% true catch rate is meaningless, since the illegals just get taken to the border, and cross again tomorrow or the day after, with a fresh 98% chance of success. Pretty pitiful, huh?

The crossers are timid, they just obey our orders to "HALTO!" and sit down. Then we call the BP on our radios, and after an hour or so, the BP's drive down the private dirt road a few hundred yards from the federal dirt border perimeter road. They pick them up in their white jeeps and SUVs, load them up and take them away to be released across the border, (to try again tomorrow).

We three armed gringos (on private property) can stop them, but only while we're there on that one mile of border, on "duty." The illegals don't know who we are. Because they come from Mexico, where anybody with a weapon and a radio "must" be some kind of police/federale etc, they obey us, assuming we have official sanction. Being Americans, our "official sanction" is being on private property, and the 2nd Amendment.

They are also compliant, because running isn't worth it. Why bother? They can try again tomorrow, with a 98% chance of success. The 2% apprehension rate is just a nuisance, "mala suerte," bad luck.

One of the 7 we got this morning was a 14 year old girl who speaks perfect English. I asked her where she learned to speak it so well, and she named the public middle school in LA where she has gone for the last 6 years. Your California taxes at work. She was visiting her granny in Mexico for Christmas, and was just coming "home" to LA. She'll make it back across tomorrow. I said you can write a paper for school: "What I did on my Christmas vacation." The seven were only wearing sneakers and jeans and light jackets and t-shirts, with about one liter of water each, carried by hand. They were not preparing for some long march into the interior, but just a 1-2 mile hike to a pre-arranged pickup.

I was able to chat with them in Spanish for the hour or so until the BP picked them up. They said that they did not have to pay until they were delivered in LA. Relatives in LA have the money. The cost is now down to only $500 a head, from $1500 a few years ago. Going to a "pay on delivery only" system also shows that the "market" for border crossing is looser than ever. Formerly, illegals had to pay coyotes up front, and lost their money if caught. Now, they don't pay until and unless they make it. This shows that the "coyotes" must lower their prices and give better terms to attract business from their many customers. The "market" at work! It's a great time to be an illegal alien! Prices are down, pay on delivery in LA is standard, results are guaranteed! If not today (2% chance of capture) then tomorrow, (98% chance of success).

"Homeland Security." What a joke. The three BPs on duty in these huge sectors rarely get out of their tall white vehicles, and basically just drive on the road along our side of the steel fence. The coyotes and their lookouts with walkie talkies just say when the big white BP vehicles are gone, and "the coast is clear." Then the illegals walk into the USA, and wait at nearby houses and are picked up by vehicles on American roads a mile or two north of the border. That's it. There is no meaningful law enforcement presence on these roads with the "pick up houses."

The BPs are one man per vehicle, and if they leave their vehicle to patrol on foot, the vehicle may be vandalized. So the BPs don't get out of their easily seen white vehicles and get "in the weeds" where they might actually find anyone. They just drive along the fence, in the open, where they can be seen for miles and miles in all directions. "Here I come! Here comes the Border Patrol! Everybody hide until I pass on by!" When they pass out of sight, the aliens cross. A mile north, at the waiting and pick up points, there is ZERO law enforcement presence, NONE. A mile into the USA, they're home free, unless they just have terrible luck. Worst case: they try again tomorrow.

Here's an anecdote which would be funny if it was not so sad. The BPs have big surveillance towers, on construction-type vertical extending towers, spread on vantage points along the border. These are very expensive, with IR scopes, day video telescopes etc. Most of the time, these towers are broken, or have no personnel to man them, so they just stand there, deaf, blind and mute. One of these surveillance towers near the ranch had its big diesel generator stolen right off of it and taken to Mexico.

The seven illegals we found this AM spent last night in the Mexican town of Tecate in a convenient and reasonably priced "migrant motel." Then they took a taxi to their crossing point, and at dawn they hiked over "la frontera." THIS time, they were stopped, by three crazy gringo civilian volunteers on private property. Any other time, they'd be in the USA and home free, after an easy two mile walk.

And this was just one mile of 2000, on a rare day of effective coverage.
One mile. One day. Forty illegals captured.
Do the math.

This is your border security, America.

(Probably even more than 40 illegals would have crossed the ranch on a typical day, but we think all of the visible Border Patrol activity on that mile--called in by us--was noted and reported by the lookouts, so the coyotes held up the rest of their groups waiting to cross here. Judging by all of the fresh footprints, trash etc, the number is probably much greater than 40.)

Posted by Claire @ 09:16 PM CST

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