POSTED: Friday, November 13, 2009 - 2:32pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 8, 2010 - 3:57am
UNDATED — Two images come to mind as we think about border security.
Shootouts on the Mexican border between drug-dealing cartels, "absolutely because it's a real war. i mean this is not..we're not faking what we're doing," says Jorge Ramos, mayor of Tijuana.
And, immigrants crossing the border without permission. This sheriff's solution — locking up anyone in the country illegally.
"Evidently they don't like what i'm doing, so they took away authority on the law enforcement part of our operation. But that's ok, it doesn't bother me, i'm still going to lock them all up," says Joe Arpaio, Sheriff of Maricopa County in Arizona.
Governor Rick Perry thinks officers are the answer, "a substantial amount of resources needs to be focused if we're going to keep our citizen's safe."
Looking at the numbers, it's hard to see if anything is working..
Customs and Border Patrol say the number of undocumented immigrants arrested on the border is actually down. About 30,000 less on the Texas-Mexico border alone. But many experts agree, the bad economy has more to do with it than law enforcement.
What about the "war on drugs," battles on the Mexico-side of the border translating into big busts; even right here in east texas. After both the state and federal governments spend millions on enforcement and new projects to curb the drug smuggling, that's still unclear too. Customs and border agents report a larger number drug seizures on the border; about 500,00 pounds more this year than last.
However these numbers only show what drugs are found, not what actually comes across the border and into communities across the country.