Whenever I talk about the border I always get someone who claims that there is a conspiracy. Not that someone is allowing our country to be conquered, but that high ranking Border Patrol and government officials are on the take. In other words ... the reason they don't stop illegals and the drugs coming across the border is that they are being paid off. Most likely by the drug cartels who not only smuggle drugs across the border, but people too.
To prove my point ... I will link four major stories dealing with the current Border Patrol sector chief of Laredo, Carlos X. Carrillo.
Carrillo made headlines a couple of weeks ago when he proclaimed that it was not the Border Patrol's job to stop illegal immigrants, or narcotics, from crossing the border. Naturally this was outrageous, yielded great criticism.
Carrillo's comments soon became laughable as he went on to proclaim that the Border Patrol was not equipped to stop illegals or drugs ... yet was somehow was equipped to stop terrorism.
I decided to go to the Border Patrol's website to see if, in fact, their mission did not include illegals or drugs. I knew the answer, but it was still worth looking into. After I confirmed the Border Patrols mission, I decided to go the the Laredo sector's webpage. What I found sent me into gut-busting laughter, and left me with tears running down my cheeks.
Only days after Laredo sector chief Carrillo said that immigration and drugs were not his problem ... there it was. Right there on the Laredo sector's page of the Border Patrol's website was a letter written by, and signed by, Laredo sector chief Carlos X. Carrillo.
It contradicted everything Carrillo had said just days before. In the letter posted on the site, Carrillo says:
Our primary function is to enforce the immigration laws and prevent illegal entry of aliens into the country.
I ended my previous with a question. "I wonder what changed his mind," I said.
Now, I think I have the answer, but more on that in a minute.
After Carrillo's ludicrous comments, Republican presidential candidate, Tom Tancredo, called for Carrillo to be fired.
U.S. Border Patrol sector chief Carlos X. Carrillo should be removed from his post after telling a town hall meeting in Texas the agency's job "is not to stop illegal immigrants," says Republican presidential candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo.
Tancredo called on David Aguilar, the chief of the U.S, Office of Border Patrol, to remove Carrillo from his leadership position.
"I hope David Aguilar will repudiate Carrillo's statements and remove him from a leadership position in the agency," Tancredo said in a statement released by his office. "Anything less will leave doubts about the integrity of the agency's top management and its commitments to controlling illegal entry into our country."
To the surprise of many, Aguilar defended Carrillo's statements.
Aguilar, however, defended Carrillo and said the comments were taken out of context. He said the Border Patrol's mission "is to protect our country's borders from all threats. Our highest priority is keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering our country."
The problem with Aguilar's defense of Carrillo is that they weren't taken out of context at all, and Carrillo did not say that the Border Patrol's job is to protect our border from all threats. He said:
"I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Border Patrol's job is not to stop illegal immigrants. The Border Patrol's job is not to stop narcotics � or contraband or narcotics � the Border Patrol's mission is not to stop criminals. The Border Patrol's mission is to stop terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the country."
Kind of hard to take that out of context, isn't it?
So far, Tancredo's call for Carrillo's job hasn't come to fruition. However, a few days after Tancredo's statements ... Carrillo apologized.
A Border Patrol chief yesterday apologized for saying the agency's mission is stopping terrorists, not illegal aliens or drug smugglers, a stance that outraged congressional lawmakers.
"It's painfully obvious to me that I could have done a better job of articulating my talking points," said sector Chief Carlos X. Carrillo, who made the controversial comments last week at a town hall meeting in Laredo, Texas.
The article goes on to describe the outrage of Republican lawmakers at Carrillo's comments.
Carrillo also describes what he "really" said.
"It was a two-hour town hall meeting," Chief Carrillo said. "One of the issues we discussed was illegal immigration. I said the Border Patrol cannot address the causes of illegal immigration. We're not supposed to address it. Our focus is enforcement, our focus is enforcement at the border."
A far cry different than what was reported.
Shortly after Carrillo's apology, there was another big story about Laredo in the news.
The AP did an expose on the drug cartels in Laredo, and how violent they are.
Mexican drug lords locked in a bloody fight for control of a pipeline that runs from Mexico to Dallas and up through middle America have brazenly stationed hit squads and reconnaissance teams in Laredo.
Maybe, just maybe it's not so brazen if the sector chief of the Border Patrol doesn't feel it's in his job description to deal with drug cartels.
Over the past few years, the Mexican Gulf Cartel and its rival Sinaloa Cartel have carried out a terrifying bloodbath in Nuevo Laredo, where the traffickers have a saying: "Plata o plomo" — "Silver or lead." So far, the worst of the violence has been confined to Mexico.
"Our mission is to make sure it doesn't cross over," said Jesse Guillen, a Laredo prosecutor who obtained guilty pleas from Reta and another hitman for the Gulf Cartel earlier this year. "Is it under control? Let's see."
Unlike many other drug-related killings, the Laredo slayings often involve careful planning, explicit orders and surveillance of law enforcement officers, Guillen said. And arrests aren't easy: In most cases, the killers flee back across the border.
Gee, if only we had an agency to prevent them from going back and forth across the border. Too bad sector chief Carrillo has better things to do ... like hunt Osama bin Laden.
Gone also is the grudging respect once accorded U.S. law enforcement. Holdridge said he and his wife have occasionally been followed by suspected cartel members as they drive around town.
You can't respect people you've paid off, can you?
Hitmen were paid $500 a week, according to Laredo police. When a job was done, they could get a bonus of $10,000 and two kilos of cocaine, police said in court documents.
The cartels have studied U.S. law enforcement procedures and know how to stymie officers.
Yeah, with cold, hard cash.
Cartels sometimes send out "suicide loads" — smaller piles of marijuana or cash that traffickers know will get caught by local law enforcement. Such busts tie up officers with paperwork for hours, giving traffickers time to drive a bigger load through unnoticed, Holdridge said.
I left that last part in there to illustrate what may have happened in the Ramos, Compean case.
Is Carrillo on the take? I don't know, but his behavior is dubious at best. Tancredo's calls for him to be removed are correct, and should go without saying. We need sector chiefs that don't double-talk, and contradict themselves. We need tough, smart agents who will not allow Laredo to turn into killing fields. Regardless of if Carrillo is corrupt ... he has shown he can not get the job done in his sector.