Even as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is instructing U.S. Border Patrol agents to run away from violent criminals, the Lone Star State is preparing to meet force with force. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has announced that it is deploying two gunboats armed with machine guns to patrol the waters of the Rio Grande to stop Mexican cartel thugs from running drugs across the border.
A news article for the KSAT-San Antonio website (“DPS gunboats prepare to patrol border waters”) reports that Texas law enforcement has created a new "Tactical Marine Unit" to cope with the strategies of Mexican drug runners:
As a preview of what’s to come, the Texas Department of Public Safety put two fast-moving gun boats in the water, with imposing .30-caliber machines guns and a crew of six heavily armed DPS troopers, scanning the U.S. and Mexican sides of the river.
All was quiet on that particular day, but over the last three years, DPS reports at least 65 “splashdowns” where smugglers being pursued by U.S. law enforcement on land, ditch their stolen trucks in the Rio Grande.
Lt. Charlie Goble said by then, others on the Mexican side have rafts at the ready.
“They will come over here and recover all the narcotics they can recover and go right back,” Goble, who commands the Tactical Marine Unit, said. “That is why we’re here."
For those Texans — and other Americans — who have grown weary of the Keystone Cops routine of the Obama administration when it comes to controlling America’s southern border, the new gunboats may seem like a step in the right direction. Mexican cartels have become increasingly bold in the commission of a wide range of crimes on American soil, and have begun recruiting American children as young as 12 years of age to function as “expendables” — drug couriers whose arrest will not hamper the operations of the cartel.
According to a story for KHOU-Houston, the fleet of gunboats will be growing quite quickly:
Texas now has a small navy of gunboats patrolling the Rio Grande and the Intercoastal Waterway. Right now, the DPS has four of the 34-foot shallow water vessels, but the fleet will soon grow to six. Each of the boats, equipped with armor-plating, night vision equipment and a small arsenal of weaponry, costs about $580,000 in state and federal funds.
For those who are charged with the responsibility of patrolling an increasingly dangerous border, the cost is justified. And with the DHS signaling that its agents are to flee rather than resist violent illegal aliens, it would appear that effective resistance to such border crossings must come at the state level.
The recently publicized policy of the federal DHS requiring Border Patrol agents to run away from violent criminals has raised awareness of the unwillingness of federal officials to defend the American people from the growing danger along the border; as reported for FoxNews.com, agents find the new restrictions insulting and a danger to public safety:
It's one thing to tell civilian employees to cower under a desk if a gunman starts spraying fire in a confined area, say members of Tucson Local 2544/National Border Patrol Council, but to give armed law enforcement professionals the same advice is downright insulting. The instructions from DHS come in the form of pamphlets and a mandatory computer tutorial.
“We are now taught in an ‘Active Shooter’ course that if we encounter a shooter in a public place we are to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’" union leader Brandon Judd wrote on the website of 3,300-member union local. “If we are cornered by such a shooter we are to (only as a last resort) become ‘aggressive’ and ‘throw things’ at him or her. We are then advised to ‘call law enforcement’ and wait for their arrival (presumably, while more innocent victims are slaughtered)."
Cartels are used to evading justice within Mexico — studies have shown that less than two percent of crimes are ever judicially punished. The cartels have in consequence become increasingly brazen in their activities along the border. Thus officers told KHOU that cartel operatives brazenly observe the activities of U.S. law enforcement on the border, so as to better coordinate their criminal activity:
"They’ve got radios, they’ve got their telephones, there’s somebody right here in this abandoned house right here," Goble says, gesturing to people hanging around on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande. "There’s somebody there now. They’re watching what we’re doing."
They’re watching, troopers explain, mainly because they’re providing real-time intelligence to smugglers who dump bales of drugs into the river and let the current carry them to the U.S. shoreline. Smugglers typically steal trucks in south Texas, load them up with drugs on the river and drive inland.
If they’re caught close to the border, many of the smugglers make a run back to the river, speeding down the dusty roads and crashing their trucks into the water. Then they climb out of their vehicles and quickly unload their contraband cargo, helped by confederates splashing into the river from the Mexican side. They haul their bales of dope back onto the dry land in Mexico, ready to try again another day.
"They fear Texas law enforcement, but not as much as they fear going back and saying they’ve lost their load," Goble says. "Everything’s at stake. They will go to any extreme to get away from law enforcement and to get the contraband back to the owner."
It is little surprise that cartel members are more afraid of their own leadership than they are of law enforcement. With both the Mexican and American governments proving their ineptness and unwillingness at the federal level to cope with the problems at the border, state governments are now stepping up their involvement as a matter of necessity. With the recent election of PRI candidate Enrique Peña Nieto as the new president of Mexico, it remains to be seen whether or not the Mexican government will even continue its war against the cartels. From the perspective of the United States, the cartels are simply one more aspect of illegal immigration — an aspect which has expanded the range of crimes committed by those who have entered the country in violation of the law.
As one Texas DPS officer told FoxNews concerning the new gunboats which the state now brings into the defense of the citizenry: “This is just another asset to be in those remote areas where the cartels exploit our border, our river, our citizens.”
Photo: From "Video recorded after the June 9, 2011, shooting on the Rio Grande," Texas Department of Public Safety