WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

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WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

Chivis
Administrator
The Chapo Bridge? First the truck treaty now a manless border....IMO..this is extremely ill-timed..
foto is The border between Big Bend National Park in Texas and the Mexican village of Boquillas del Carmen.

Construction will begin Monday on an unmanned border checkpoint at Big Bend, a national park in a remote corner of southwest Texas, even as the federal government has been adding agents to patrol other parts of the U.S.-Mexico boundary

U.S. officials say the crossing, the first of its kind on the southern border, is a concession to trade and tourism in an isolated stretch of hard country where visitors now have to travel a long distance to legally get across the Rio Grande and enter the U.S.

U.S. Customs agents stationed miles away will remotely scan travelers' documents, allowing visitors to pass easily between Big Bend and the Mexican village of Boquillas del Carmen, which has fallen on hard times as beefed-up border security has cut down on U.S. visitors.

Under the plan, surveillance cameras will monitor crossers at the entry point, which will be part of a visitors' center on the U.S. side. Park staff would be available to answer questions, and Border Patrol agents in the area would be on call to intervene if someone tries to skirt the system.

"It's one of the best things that's happened down here in the last several years," said Doug Lant of Terlingua, Texas, a small community just outside the national park. He said he was looking forward to frequenting Boquillas again to reconnect with a friend who ran the burro concession across the river.


Critics fear the absence of border agents will open the door to criminals—from visitors with fake IDs to drug traffickers moving illicit cargo. "Crooks will find a hole in the defense and that's what an unmanned border point is," said Kent Lundgren, chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers, a group that says its mission is to advocate for a safe and secure border.

The number of illegal immigrants apprehended by border agents in the sector that includes Big Bend and stretches all the way to Oklahoma has fallen in recent years from more than 12,000 in 2001 to about 5,300 last year. That was the lowest number of apprehensions in any sector of the Southern border, where almost 450,000 illegal crossers were intercepted in 2010, according to Border Patrol statistics.

The unmanned checkpoint is expected to open in the spring, although U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say plans are subject to change. It comes at a time when Republican presidential candidates are stressing the need for tougher border barriers. Rep. Michele Bachmann recently pledged to complete a fence to block northbound undocumented immigrants if elected president. Rival Herman Cain suggested an electrified wall, though he later said this was a joke.  

U.S. Customs spokesman Bill Brooks said in a statement this weekend that the crossing would "build upon the already robust security resources deployed in the area along the border" and declined further comment. In earlier interviews, he said fencing wasn't appropriate at Big Bend.

The national park, which attracts about 365,000 visitors a year, stretches over 800,000 acres of rugged mountains and desert, isolated from major roads and cities. The nearest legal crossing point is in Presidio, Texas, more than 100 miles away. The new entry point, similar to unmanned crossings already used on the U.S.-Canada border, will shorten that trip to just a few minutes.

Mexicans and Americans had historically traveled freely in the Big Bend-Boquillas border region, crossing back and forth for more than a century. In the late 19th century, the traffic was driven by lead- and silver-mining operations in Mexico. In more recent times, it was mainly U.S. tourists crossing south to ride burros and buy handicrafts, and Boquillas residents going north to shop at the park store, where they accounted for about 40% of business at the general store, according to a report from the National Park Service.

But after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, informal crossings such as the one at Boquillas ended. Since then, contact between the two communities has been mostly limited to the occasional serenades that some Mexicans volunteer to Americans canoeing down the river in hopes of garnering a tip.

In Boquillas, enterprising artisans tried to make sales by wading across the river and dropping off crafts on the U.S. side with a tin can requesting payment. Such measures have largely failed; the village's population is estimated to have shrunk by two-thirds, with only 30 families remaining, according to the National Park Service report.

Now residents on the U.S. side are hoping the renewed access will restore commercial and personal ties. Greg Henington, who owns the Far Flung Outdoor Center in Terlingua, said he might start tours to Boquillas so his clients can have a beer and experience rural Mexico.

"A border is not fences or lines of demarcation," he said. "People ebb and flow."


Source: WSJ  Ana Campoy


 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

drattler
Right  up there with the ATF gunrunner fiasco,you can always trust the US Fed  to be innovative ,or was that hope and change? I sometimes forget. Another Mess brought to Texas by the Washington DC brain trust 35,000 overweight black women now holding executive positions in OUR Fed.
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

SmootheDaHustler
In reply to this post by Chivis
Have you heard? There's a war down south.
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

Chivis
Administrator
In reply to this post by drattler
This was jaw dropping to me...forget the cost, it will now be a snap to run those humans and drugs in fact new roads and bridges just to give a little help along the way...but what are neighbors for?  right?

Meanwhile miles away the POE is "watched" and the expectation of honorable folks crossing is laughable.
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

rpmbcs
I attended college near this crossing a number of years ago.  This has always been an area to cross without any BP of any kind.  I am shocked to see they are building a crossing but as far as it being unmanned, it has always been like that.

We would drive through Big Bend National park.  You would park your vehicle at the river and a gentleman from Mexico on the US side would "watch" your vehicle for you.  You would then ride a canoe across the river to the other side.  Then you could ride a donkey or a horse or pile in the back of an old pickup truck they had.  They would take you to the town where you could eat and drink.  When you had your fill, you would just ride back to the river and the guys would transport you back across the border to the US.  

This happened many times and there was never a BP anywhere.  I will admit that it is a remote part of Texas but so are other parts of Texas, Arizona, etc where drugs and humans are already smuggled.  

This has always been an area of ease to transport back and forth but again I am shocked to see they are going to build a crossing.

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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

AztecWarrior13
In reply to this post by Chivis
Google Earth Image of BDC

Being Geographic nerd, i couldn't resist and upload a pic of the area regarding the unmanned BP crossing. As you can see in some areas, you can probably just hop across. So a crossing all is going to do, is keep the bad guys  from getting somewhat wet.
TRC
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

TRC
I know a little about that area. Ojinaga was kind of similar to it in the 70s. That area is full of mountains and canyon. It has lots of wildlife and the illegals need to be wary of the cougars. Mexico has no highways to the area on the other side. There is some drugs crossing but it is grown close by and the Rio Grande is used to irrigate it. The only violence I have heard about is the pot farmers occasionally shooting at the canoes but that brings heat and it is rare. There is lots of electronic surveillance and I just don'e see it being a problem. My thought is that the Americans having access may corrupt an otherwise serene place. This is not going to become the next Nuevo Laredo but where ever their is a criminal, a crime will soon happen.
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

Chivis
Administrator
Thanks for the info..i am unfamiliar with the place.  I knew it was used for crossing, BUT to construct it as a POE entry and the frist official unmanned one is ridiculous...thanks!
 
The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

Bones
In reply to this post by Chivis
How much of the drugs do you think border patrol agents even find? 10% at the most? Doesnt sound like this unprotected area will make much of a difference
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

Chivis
Administrator
that is the point isn't it?
 
What is the benefit?
 
what spend the money
From: Bones [via Borderland Beat] <[hidden email]>
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Subject: Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

How much of the drugs do you think border patrol agents even find? 10% at the most? Doesnt sound like this unprotected area will make much of a difference

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The way I see it.... the more people that don't like me, the less people I have to please
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Re: WTF?? Unmanned Border Crossing Begins Construction in Tx

La Pera
In reply to this post by Chivis
I look forward to having a beer and lunch in Boquillas again someday.