Bordering on a War Zone: Andy Ramirez, the Chairman of a Non-Profit Organization Supporting the U.S. Border Patrol, Describes the Perilous Situation along the U.S.-Mexico Border

By Jasper, William F. | The New American, May 15, 2006 | Go to article overview

Bordering on a War Zone: Andy Ramirez, the Chairman of a Non-Profit Organization Supporting the U.S. Border Patrol, Describes the Perilous Situation along the U.S.-Mexico Border


Jasper, William F., The New American


Andy Ramirez serves as chairman of Friends of the Border Patrol (FBP), a non-profit organization that was created to support the U.S. Border Patrol and defend U.S. national security. Founded in 2004, FBP works with the Border Patrol and law enforcement officials across the United States and is using surveillance cameras on the U.S.-Mexico border to serve as a "neighborhood watch" and as "eyes and ears" for the Border Patrol in high-traffic areas where the Border Patrol does not have cameras operating. With his many contacts in the Border Patrol, Mr. Ramirez also breaks important stories that have been neglected or covered up by the politicians and the major media.

THE NEW AMERICAN: You've just returned from the Canadian border and, of course, you live near the Mexican border. As you are well aware, our borders have been neglected, undermanned, and overrun for many years. So what's your overall assessment right now, on our present situation? Is it getting better or worse?

Andy Ramirez: Having observed both borders and spoken with law enforcement officials, the Southern border is a war zone, while the Northern border has been completely neglected by both DHS and the administration. In terms of the numbers, it's an invasion. In terms of politics, the current administration and the politicians in both major parties continue to talk about taking back control of our borders, but they haven't done anything remotely close to what is necessary. The Border Patrol is still hopelessly undermanned; they can't even hope to come close to fulfilling their mission of protecting our country if we don't increase personnel, replace outdated equipment, and resume sweeps.

Agents know that their superiors in Washington--going all the way up to President Bush himself--not only are refusing to back them up but are also making life miserable for them by transferring them around in a continuous shell game.

Instead of providing the force levels needed, the president simply responds by robbing Peter to pay Paul. Arizonans are getting very upset about the increased alien and drug traffic through their area? Oh, okay, we'll just steal several hundred Border Patrol agents from another sector, say, California's San Diego sector, and make a big media show of "cracking down" in the Tucson sector for a while. But meanwhile, the sectors you've raided are falling apart.

Additionally, the agents you've moved are unhappy because it's disrupted their family lives, they're not being properly reimbursed for moving and living expenses, and they know it's all for show, so they get discouraged. There are many good, experienced Border Patrol agents who have retired or resigned out of anger and frustration, and we can't afford to lose these guys. Unfortunately, that attrition rate will continue unless the American people make politicians get serious about border security and real immigration reform.

TNA: You don't sound convinced that this really is a new serious effort. Maybe the administration really has finally gotten the message.

Ramirez: I'd like to think so, but I need to see proof of it, and so far we see exactly the opposite. If the White House really is serious about the border, it will drop all these amnesty and "guest worker" plans that will only add to the problem. It's the president's well-known support for these things that has given the McCain-Kennedy forces such a boost in Congress and encouraged the open borders lobby among both the Democrats and Republicans.

TNA: Do you see the administration's response--or rather, lack of response--to the recent Mexican military incursions into the U.S. as proof positive that the administration has abandoned our borders?

Ramirez: Exactly. George Bush is the best ambassador Mexico ever had! He's doing everything to please Mexico, and I say that as a Republican who had hoped that after the eight-year disaster of the Clinton administration, we might see some desperately needed relief for our overwhelmed borders. …

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