Security on the Border

Arizona lawmakers have been at the forefront of local border control, only to have mainstream media and the federal government criticize them for doing what they feel is best for the state and its residents.

Like their neighbors Texas, New Mexico and California, Arizona has a problem at the U.S./Mexico border. There are so many holes in the border that illegal immigrants stream through with ease.

First, Arizona State Sen. Russell Pearce introduces legislation about immigration and illegal alien status, only to rebuffed by Washington insiders and the media. I believe his legislation was the right thing to do to protect not only Arizona and its residents, but a start for the rest of the country.

Now, Arizona State Rep. Jack Harper is going to reintroduce a bill that would allow a state-sanctioned border militia to be formed. He tried this in 2007, got it passed -- but was vetoed by then Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. Just a reminder, Napolitano now serves as Department of Homeland Security secretary.

If the bill passes now, current Gov. Jan Brewer will likely sign the bill. Also if passed, the militia would be overseen by the State Guard, and volunteers would be subject to a background check before they are able to participate. Twenty-three other states and Puerto Rico already have volunteers to augment their National Guard, but in this case they will be used to observe the border and report to the Guard.

Arizona needs this to happen because shortly officials will be losing federally funded National Guard troops, and state officials are certain they will be crushed by an increase of smuggling of illegal aliens and drugs. Harper’s initiative makes sense. Let’s hope other state legislators feel the same way -- as well as the governor -- who has final say

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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