Friday, July 27, 2007

Article in Today's Nogales International about the Tubac Townhall

There is an article in today' s Nogales International describing the CSSB townhall in Tubac. The article said that the meeting, "demonstrated a much stronger advocacy role than seen before and the unveiling of a new 15-minute Power Point and video program that presents a sophisticated argument against the Border Patrol's rationale for the checkpoint."

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Feature Added to CSSB Blog -- Subscribe by E-Mail

You will notice in the column on the left hand side of the page, a form had been added for you to subscribe by e-mail. This will enable you to automatically receive in your e-mail inbox new posts to the blog.

When you do this, an initial e-mail will be sent to you confirming your subscription by e-mail. Just click on the link.

Easy as 1,2,3:
  1. Put your e-mail in the box on the left hand side of the page.
  2. Confirm your subscription to the blog
  3. Receive via e-mail update postings and keep-up-to-date on happening related to the permanent Border Patrol checkpoints.
Because we respect your privacy (and hate spam), your e-mail address will only be used to send you updates from this blog.

Border Security --- Status Quo (aka Permanent Checkpoints) vs Securing the Border -- Report from the Tubac Townhall

Last night, an overflow crowd of over a 150 packed the Tubac Community Center to hear a presentation from the Citizens for a Safe and Secure Border. The presentation focussed on the impacts of a permanent checkpoint and presented an alternative, comprehensive approach to border security. Today's article in the Green Valley News provides a very good overview of the proceedings.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

DON'T FORGET -- Tubac Townhall on Permanent Checkpoints -- TONIGHT, Tues. July 24, 5:30 PM

It is open to the public. Bring your friends and your neighbors.

It will take place at the Tubac Community Center, 50 Bridge Road.

More Gun Play near Tubac --- Smugglers "Flanking" Checkpoint

The Arizona Daily Star reports this morning about a shootout occurring west of Tubac with drug smugglers. The article points out that activity such as this is the result of smugglers "flanking" (going around) the checkpoint at kilometer 42.

If the Border Patrol is successful in building a permanent checkpoint, expect more incidents such as this.

A wise person recently pointed out what Benjamin Franklin said about doing something over and and expecting different results.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

CSSB Blog Mentioned on Arizona Daily Star Website

In his "Working the Line" Border Blog, Arizona Daily Star Reporter Brady McCombs mentioned that the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border had a blog up and running.

Rep. Grijalva Joins the Chorus of Voices Speaking Out Against Permanent Checkpoint

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Representative Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), strongly expressed his opposition to permanent checkpoints. He cites the General Accounting Office study indicating that the Border Patrol does not have sufficient data to determine the effectiveness of permanent checkpoints. He also refers to the real and significant impact to public safety that will occur as a result of smugglers going around the permanent checkpoints and through communities and neighborhoods in the region.

Bravo Congressman Grijalva!!! If you support his views on permanent checkpoints, send him a note thanking him. Here is a link where you can send him an e-mail.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Secure Border Initiative Public Meeting --- TONIGHT, Tuesday July 17, 7:00 to 10:00 PM

Thanks to a very thorough newspaper reader, we have become aware of a Border Patrol public meeting on SBInet (and I mean thorough newspaper reader -- the public notice was buried in the dogs, cats and fish for sale section of the classified ads.)

One can infer by this apparent minimal public notice effort, the Border Patrol does not want any public participation.

The stated purpose of the meeting is to "identify, rather than debate, significant issues related to" the construction of the Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) a technology-based border security system.

The meeting will take place TONIGHT, Tuesday July 17 from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM at the Holiday Palo Verde, 4550 S. Palo Verde Rd., Tucson. (Click here for a map)

NEPA scoping meetings are intended to be an opportunity for the public to raise issues they would like to have addressed in the environmental assessment (EA) that will ultimately be undertaken. The Border Patrol will likely provide a brief overview of the SBInet project and then open it up for comments. These comments will become part of the docket for this NEPA process. So speak up.

"Santa Cruz Sheriff against permanent checkpoint " --- KVOA

Channel 4 ran a story last night on the permanent checkpoint issue. Once again, frontline law enforcement officials made the case against a permanent Border Patrol checkpoint. Sheriff Estrada said it will result in an increase in crime around the checkpoint and that smuggling and illegal immigration should be stopped at the border.

Combined with concerns about checkpoint effectiveness in other regions and the public safety implications with a permanent I-19 checkpoint, it is unbelievable that the Border Patrol persists on building a permanent checkpoint.

It is laughable and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of our constitution for some to suggest that the I-19 permanent checkpoint is a foregone conclusion. Our current Congressional delegation could easily stop this travesty and force the Border Patrol to examine other options to secure our border. It would require nothing more than Congress exercising their constitutionally mandated power of the purse. That is precisely what former Congressman Kolbe did when he was in office.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Arizona Daily Star Article Underscores Flaws with Border Patrol's Permanent Checkpoint Strategy

The Arizona Daily Star reports today that auto theft in Tucson is increasing contrary to the national trend. The proximity to the border is an obvious reason for this increase.

However, in the article, the reporter Jack Gillum points out that in San Diego the auto theft rate has dropped and, "some partly credit the overall decrease in crime to tightened border security from Operation Gatekeeper, which began in October 1994 and essentially sealed the border."

As part of its justification for permanent checkpoints, the Border Patrol says that it is impossible to "seal the border" in the Tucson Sector. Rather the Border Patrol's response is to retreat 30 to 50 miles north of the Border and cede approximately 7,800 square miles of U.S. territory to the smugglers (261 miles of border in the Tucson sector X 30 miles.) The question remains that if the border can be sealed in both the San Diego and El Paso sectors, why can't it be done in the Tucson sector.

Also, the article points out that the strategies to address this increase in auto theft "includes frequent changes in tactics, such as a new checkpoint set up last week to catch criminal activity heading to and from the border." A fixed, permanent checkpoint clearly precludes "frequent changes on tactics." In order to be effective, tactical checkpoints need to be mobile and able to be relocated based on intelligence.

Op-Ed in Today's Green Valley News

Green Valley/Sahuarita Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jim DiGiacomo's has an op-ed in today's Green Valley News. It makes several the key points.

  • Though the workgroup was assured repeatedly by Giffords that “no idea is off the table,” it appears that the Border Patrol is little interested in the community’s input.
  • By the Border Patrol’s own admission, a permanent checkpoint will drive the drug smugglers and human traffickers off the highway and into surrounding communities, with their multi-million- dollar cargos and their automatic weapons.
  • Permanent checkpoints are an archaic strategy. They are fixed landmarks for smugglers to avoid. The Border Patrol’s only apparent rationale for moving forward with this flawed approach is, “we have done it before.”
  • There is a way to secure the border and keep our neighborhoods safe. There is a way for the Border Patrol to become a technologically advanced and agile law enforcement agency, capable of deterring illegal entry into the country and effectively responding to all incursions. Throwing in the towel and setting up shop at a permanent checkpoint - shifting the burden to local law enforcement - is not the answer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Former Congressman Speaks on Permanent Checkpoints

Former Congressman Kolbe was on KUAT's Arizona Illustrated last night and among the topics he addressed was the Border Patrol's ongoing effort to construct a permanent checkpoint. You will find his comments on this topic at approximately 3:39 into the segment.

Former Congressman Kolbe's longstanding opposition to these checkpoints is well known. In fact, he was able to stop the Border Patrol from proceeding with fairly simple legislative language in an appropriations bill. His efforts in this regard completely rebut the notion that a permanent checkpoint on I-19 is a fait accompli.

Congressman Kolbe's opposition joins a long bi-partisan list of former and current members of Congress that have spoken out against permanent Border Patrol checkpoints. This list includes Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT), former Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT), House Immigration Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Representative Darrell Issa (R-CA), Represenative John Sweeney (R-NY) and former Representative John McHugh (R-NY).

Welcome to the Citizens for a Safe Secure Border Blog

Welcome to the Coalition for a Safe and Secure Border (CSSB) blog. The purpose of this blog is to share information about the Border Patrol's plans to construct a permanent checkpoint on the I-19 corridor between Nogales and Tucson. Many residents and law enforcement officials are concerned about the impact that this checkpoint will have on their safety. A fixed checkpoint is essentially a monument to over 3 decades of this obviously flawed strategy that will be circumvented by smugglers. This will inevitably result in illegal and violent activities moving into our neighborhoods along the I-19 corridor.

It is also important to note that it is not the intent of the CSSB or this blog to criticize the service of the men and women serving in the Border Patrol. In fact, many residents in this area have been victims of crime perpetrated by smugglers and the Border Patrol has often been the first responders. Rather, we are exercising our right as citizens to ask our government to think "outside of the box" and come up with a solution to border security beyond a strategy that has been in place for three decades with what could be characterized as at best questionable results.

Check back often, we will post information as we get it. If you have information you would like have shared, please let us know.