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Homeland Security official outlines plans for dealing with border violence

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by WoodysGirl, Mar 13, 2009.

  1. WoodysGirl

    WoodysGirl Do it for the Vine! Staff Member

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    National Guard called last resort at border

    Homeland Security official outlines plans for dealing with violence

    By STEWART M. POWELL WASHINGTON BUREAU

    March 12, 2009, 6:33PM

    WASHINGTON — A top Homeland Security official told Congress Thursday that National Guard troops will intervene on the U.S.-Mexico border only as a “last resort” to combat drug violence.

    Roger T. Rufe Jr., the Homeland Security Department’s head of operations, outlined still evolving contingency plans for dealing with the violence, one day after President Barack Obama said “we’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployment would make sense.”

    The violence between Mexican drug gangs fighting for trafficking routes to the U.S. killed about 6,000 people in Mexico last year, including more than 500 police and soldiers. Some American officials, including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, have demanded that the federal government send troops to reinforce local law officers.

    Not a danger to tourists
    However, the Homeland Security Department’s representative in Mexico, Alonzo Pena, told a House subcommittee on border security that the violence in Mexico is not as dangerous to U.S. tourists as has been portrayed.

    The violence is in isolated areas of the country, Pena said, and affects only the people involved in criminal activity. He said the violence is not affecting U.S. citizens visiting Mexico, and Americans should not cancel their vacations in the country.

    Rufe told the panel that the Obama administration is working on a four-phase blueprint for dealing with the violence on the border should the need arise. He emphasized, however, that the administration will not permanently militarize the border.

    The first, or lowest, phase would require the Homeland Security Department to respond to Mexican drug-gang violence with its own personnel. The second phase would involve other federal agencies. The third, or most severe stage, would deploy military forces to the border. The fourth phase would demobilize the force.

    A controversial plan
    Rep. Michael McCaul, R-Austin, pressed Rufe about when the Obama administration would “hit the tipping point” to use troops on the border.

    McCaul didn’t get a direct answer. “There’s no real bright line as to what that tipping point would be, because the scenarios are so different,” Rufe replied.

    National Guard deployments have been controversial along the border for years. U.S. Marines deployed in counter-drug operations in 1997 shot and killed an 18-year-old shepherd in Texas, sparking investigations and resistance in the Pentagon to deploying combat forces to assist police forces.

    Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, who attended Thursday’s hearing, said the testimony suggested that law enforcement agencies were poorly coordinating their efforts along the border. She said she was preparing legislation designed to force greater border security cooperation between federal agencies.

    Re-examining laws
    Another member of the panel, Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., said the border violence can be solved only if all parts of the equation are examined.

    “Let’s examine our gun laws,” he said. “Let’s cut down on U.S. drug consumption, let’s ask there to be more resources to root out drug money laundering.”

    stewart.powell@chron.com

    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6308426.html
  2. BigDFan5

    BigDFan5 In Tebow I Trust

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    Thats the ticket :rolleyes:


    My owning a semi automatic assault rifle in east Texas is the reason they are having drug wars in Mexico
  3. ThaBigP

    ThaBigP New Member

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    Uugh, don't you get it? If we restrict your access to semi-auto firearms and their ammunition, it will prevent the Mexican cartels from obtaining machine guns, hand grenades and RPGs. Somehow.
  4. ScipioCowboy

    ScipioCowboy More than meets the eye. Zone Supporter

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    Proposed, no less, by a Congressman from Massachusetts, where people are every bit as effected by border violence as people in Texas.;)
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Obviously intelligence is not a prerequisite for Mass politicians.

    (then again is it anywhere?)
  6. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    Where are the leaders on this issue? Obama, where are you on this issue? Why are we not taking a stronger stand with regards to the drugs and Mexico. How will the Democrat party secure our border? Details? The other party has no say in the matter, so it is up to team Obama to protect our citizens.

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