Rancher Richard Hodges explains how traffic by illegals dropped to almost zero when the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps started installing a security fence on his property abutting Mexico

A new federal report on illegal immigration shows the National Guard troops should be returned to their border posts to help agents already on duty there, and the U.S. needs a border fence, according to
The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

“The [General Accounting Office] report proves the need for Minutemen to continue monitoring our borders until the government allocates the appropriate resources to ensure our nation’s borders are secured,” said MCDC President Chris Simcox.

“Border Patrol agents continue to receive an endless supply of empty political rhetoric – and little else – from Washington lawmakers and this administration, who refuse to set the priorities or provide the necessary support while the agents’ high-risk situation worsens, especially since the drawn-down of the National Guard in August.”

The federal report called “Border Security: Despite Progress, Weaknesses in Traveler Inspections Exist at Our Nation’s Ports of Entry,” was released just days ago. It comments on the procedures and performances of the Customs and Border Patrol operations.

“The new GAO report concluded some things that are just too obvious for some politicians to comprehend, like: THE NATIONAL GUARD SHOULD GO BACK TO GUARDING OUR NATIONAL BORDERS! And BUILD A BORDER FENCE,” said the MCDC statement.

“The Minuteman Civil Defense Corps are in agreement with the thrust of the congressional oversight report, and urge all citizens to contact their elected officials to expedite the construction of physical barrier fencing, and to increase, re-commit and re-deploy National Guard troops on our nation’s southwestern border in light of this week’s dismal GAO findings,” the group said.

Agents along the U.S. border are understaffed and overworked by official policy, and “their efforts alone will not stop the relentless onslaught of illegal aliens, drug and sex trafficking that occurs on the U.S.-Mexican border,” the organization said.

The MCDC noted the report confirms, “officers exhausted from double shifts called in sick to avoid overtime duty; poor morale had driven officers out of the agency; there are instances of officers’ waving vehicles and pedestrians into the country without stopping them; [and] travelers were allowed into the country by verbally telling an officer that they are U.S. citizens without being compelled to show identification.”

The organization said its members already are serving in gaps left by U.S. government policy, and its donors are funding sections of border fence as donations allow.

“It is our duty to ensure that the overworked Border Patrol agents, the withdrawal of the National Guard presence and a lack of a full-border physical fence does not send the wrong message to international drug dealers, career criminals and terrorists with designs upon American,” said Simcox.

Bisbee, Ariz., rancher Richard Hodges told MCDC when some of the first donated fence went up on his property, he immediately noticed an almost complete reduction in foot traffic by illegals and drug smugglers.

“It’s showing the government how to get a job done,” he said.

The GAO report confirmed that the staff roster for border guards “needs up to several thousand more staff. Field office managers said that staffing shortages affected their ability to carry out anti-terrorism programs and created other vulnerabilities in the inspections process.”

And while it did turn away 200,000 illegal aliens in 2006, captured 600,000 pounds of illegal drugs and confiscated more than 40,000 fake documents, “its analyses indicate that several thousand inadmissible aliens and other violators entered the country at land and air ports of entry in fiscal year 2006.

“When CBP does not apprehend a potentially dangerous person, this increases the potential that national security may be compromised. Weaknesses that contributed to the failed inspections relate both to procedures and to infrastructure,” the report said.

The government report said the estimated needs for infrastructure would cost $4 billion, and needed are several thousand more officers and specialists to run the nation’s ports of entry, as well as training time and facilities.

“Untrained or poorly trained officers can increase the probability that terrorists, inadmissible aliens, and illicit goods will enter the country,” the GAO report said.

There are 326 official ports of entry to the United States, ranging from small roads into Canada that see only a few thousand vehicles a year to airports like New York’s JFK and the busiest land crossing, at San Ysidro, Calif., which processes more than 17 million vehicles a year.

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