|NBC News -- December 26
Faced with gun-toting drug smugglers, Arizona ranchers demand security at the border
Arivaca, Az. -- Just before nightfall, 73-year-old rancher Jim Chilton hikes quickly up and down the hills on his rugged cattle-grazing land south of Tucson, escorting two U.S. Border Patrol agents.
He wants to show them the disturbing discovery he made earlier in the day: a drug-smugglers' camp on his private property. Stacked together under a stand of trees are blankets, jackets, food, water, binoculars and bales of marijuana from Mexico wrapped in burlap. The smugglers, themselves, are nowhere in sight and are believed to have fled the area, which is about 10 miles north of the Mexican border. [...]
The Beckhams, like the Chiltons, scoff at the Obama administration's claims the U.S.-Mexican border is safer than ever.
"It's a joke, they can believe what they want. They can live in candy land," said Beckham. "You can't have a safe and secure country without a safe and secure border, and we don't have it. We don't."
Sue Chilton says she believes a U.S. government decision to not to heavily patrol right along the border is, in effect, creating a free-access zone for Mexican smugglers.
"We have, without any reason or logic to it, decided to cede as much as 15 or 20 miles of the United States to the cartels, and we live in that section that has been ceded," she said.
American Patrol Report Comment
Our thanks to NBC News for this excellent report. We hope they next pay a visit to American Border Patrol to see solutions to the problem.
Note: Our Person of The Year helped make this report possible.