Rep. McSally shines light on cartel threats to ranchers on Arizona border

Making an issue

Sierra Vista Herald

“What is accurate are the continuing public statements of ranchers and other rural residents who report that smuggling and cartel activity threatens their livelihood and sometimes their lives.” 

U.S. Rep. Martha McSally used her incumbent “bully pulpit” to draw media attention to a long-standing complaint among ranchers in Cochise County this week.

On Tuesday, McSally sat as the chairperson of a subcommittee on border security and grilled Mark Morgan, the new chief of the Border Patrol, about the agency’s “defense in depth” strategy.

Morgan relied on his new employment status to buy more time on the question.

Rep. McSally, who will face Democrat Dr. Matt Heinz on the Nov. 8 ballot, has to walk a fine line between creating alarm about our border security and promoting economic prosperity in Southeast Arizona.

Statistics show that urban areas in Cochise County are just as safe as other cities of comparable size anywhere else in the United States. When public awareness focuses on the dangers of life on the border, it’s not accurate to report that Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Tombstone, Benson and Willcox are dangerous places to live, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

cartel

What is accurate are the continuing public statements of ranchers and other rural residents who report that smuggling and cartel activity threatens their livelihood and sometimes their lives.

Rep. McSally was effective in changing the opinion of the Air Force on the necessity to continue the A-10 mission at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. She won that argument with a dogged pursuit of the issue and frequent public statements that questioned the military’s decision-making process.

Changing the Border Patrol’s strategy to improve security for ranchers and rural residents requires a bit more diplomacy to prevent an impact on tourism in Southeast Arizona. The consequences of raising public awareness must be focused on the definition of the problem.

Cities within the 100-mile “buffer zone” maintained by the Border Patrol are comparably safe.

Ranchers and rural residents need more protection.

Free Range Report Admin.

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