We had a great presentation given by two border patrol officers from the Naco station! It was informative, but also a depressing look into a darker side of life. I will be recounting some of the information given from memory and hopefully with more accuracy than not! I learned that we are in the border patrol's Tucson Sector. As Americans full of a sense of freedom, it came as a bit of a shock to our psyches to think of being in a patrolled sector while at home in the U.S.A.!
We are staying at Tombstone Territories R.V. Park, which is eight mile east on highway 82 between Huachuca City and Tombstone, AZ. We are located at least 60 miles from the border of Mexico! The yellow square is our approximate location. The orange squares are approximate locations of U.S. Customs/Border Patrol checkpoints on the highways in our vicinity. Check points are naturally located along the U.S./Mexico border at points of entry, but are also located 60-75 miles into the U.S. all across Arizona. The American Civil Liberties Union reports that southern Arizona has 11 checkpoints located away from the border. This has been a point of contention for not only the residents of southern Arizona, but retirees Wintering in Arizona. There has been an outcry to keep border patrol checkpoints on the borders. The questioning at border checkpoints that are away from the border has been so offensive to some American's sense of freedom that they are choosing to no longer Winter in southern Arizona and are spending their dollars elsewhere! Roy and I have already discussed not returning to areas of Arizona with an interior U.S. checkpoint present.
Highway 82 is very active with border patrol trucks. They will be sitting facing the road and we presume they are monitoring something such as familiarity of vehicle traffic.
They are also seen cruising the ATV trails along barb wire fenced desert areas. I asked if the trails and fencing were established by border patrol and was told that they weren't.
An observation blimp floats above the community of Sierra Vista. We were told that it scans for illegal aircraft coming over the mountains from Mexico. The picture shown is from the Internet and the community was unidentified.
We occasionally see low flying drones over the desert.
There are also helicopters flying low, as if searching.
Horses are utilized, but we haven't seen them. Officers use hunting techniques to track illegal aliens much like any type of hunting. They watch for footprints, paths, broken branches, trodden plants, and anything left along the way.
ATV's are used. There are thousands of miles of ATV trails reported to be in the area. Some areas are so remote that officers take one week shifts staying in camps, so as to eliminate the commute time. Officers often work alone with back-up as far as 30 miles away. The Tucson Sector has had 4 officers killed in the last 18 years.
Here is a statistics chart for the Tucson Sector regarding illegal alien apprehensions, deaths, and rescues from 2010-August 2013. The presenting border patrol officers said that prior to the improved border fencing that has come about in the last 5 years, 1,000 illegal aliens were being apprehended on each shift of a 3 shift day! They had no choice but to just send them back to Mexico, as there weren't enough hours in the day to do the 2 hours of paperwork per capture required!