CBP Director: ‘Some of the Safest Communities in America’ Are on U.S.-Mexico Border

Edwin Mora, CNS News, May 2, 2012

The U.S. side of the southwest border is home to “some of the safest communities in America,” Gene Garza, the director of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in the Laredo, Texas field office, told lawmakers on Tuesday.

Garza testified before the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security on May 1 at a hearing entitled, “Using Technology to Facilitate Trade and Enhance Security at Our Ports of Entry.” The CBP is a component of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Garza said he based his assessment of the safety of U.S. communities along the southwest border to information derived from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), a compilation of annual U.S. crime statistics.

However, the U.S. Attorneys’ Annual Statistical Report for Fiscal Year 2011 paints a different picture, showing that 80 percent of all cases filed against criminal defendants in U.S. Magistrate Courts were filed in districts along the U.S.-Mexican border.

{snip}

Although the most recent U.S. Attorneys’ report makes no direct mention of U.S. border violence, the FY 2010 report states, “Violence along the border of the United States and Mexico has increased dramatically during recent years. The violence associated with Mexican drug trafficking organizations poses a serious problem for law enforcement personnel.”

In addition, in May 2011, Steven McCraw, the director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, when testifying before lawmakers, questioned the ability of the FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) to fully assess the crime situation in border areas.

McCraw said the FBI crime statistics highlighted by the CBP about safe border communities fail to provide a full assessment of the situation on the ground.

As McCraw testified, “To accurately assess the overall criminal impact of an unsecure border on Texas requires the syntheses of several different variables within and outside the border region. For example, if we were to use only Index Crimes as reported through the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system, it would not include essential variables such as extortions, kidnappings, smuggling incidents, corruption, smuggling-related trespassing and vandalism, arrests of aliens from countries with strong terrorist networks, seizures of Cartel drugs, weapons and bulk cash on the 10 major smuggling corridors throughout Texas, Cartel command and control networks operating in Texas, increases in Cartel-related gang activity, death squad members living in Texas, Cartel-related killings of U.S. citizens in Mexico, Cartel-related violence along the border directed at U.S. law enforcement and the recruitment of Texas children in our border region to support Cartel operations on both sides of the border.”

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports include data on “violent crime” and “property crime,” but not all the criminal actions and activities cited by McGraw. The FBI’s violent crime index covers murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. The FBI’s property crime list includes data on burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft and arson.

Nonetheless, CBP’s Garza used the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports data in claiming that border communities are among the safest in America.

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  • Hunter Morrow

    Look at all the crime you have to ignore for this claim to be “true”

    “Extortions, kidnappings, smuggling
    incidents, corruption, smuggling-related trespassing and vandalism,
    arrests of aliens from countries with strong terrorist networks,
    seizures of Cartel drugs, weapons and bulk cash on the 10 major
    smuggling corridors throughout Texas, Cartel command and control
    networks operating in Texas, increases in Cartel-related gang activity,
    death squad members living in Texas, Cartel-related killings of U.S.
    citizens in Mexico, Cartel-related violence along the border directed at
    U.S. law enforcement and the recruitment of Texas children in our
    border region to support Cartel operations on both sides of the border.”

    Lies, damned lies and statistics!

  • Southern__Hoosier

    Aren’t there any agencies  that the Obama administration has corrupted for his own purpose? Whoever the next president is, is going really clean house.

    • Church_of_Jed

      FREE JAENELLE!

  • Church_of_Jed

    The elites’ habit for lying comes to the fore once again.  Too bad for them that information accessibility helps us root them out. 

    Too bad for us, they all fail upwards.

  • Well considering the US-Mexican Border now resides at the break between LA County and Ventura County I would say this article is right.  Ventura County is one of the SAFEST counties in the entire US, with the city of Ventura ranking in the top 25 for Women’s safety.

  • I W

    Then by all means let us move the entire government, lock stock and barrel to the border -without their Secret Service pimps- and see how safe they feel then.

  • IstvanIN

    All the Mexicans are in New Jersey now so I guess I should move to Mexico.

  • No

    Read between the lines.  This is about making then case that agancies need to sustain or increase funding levels for technological solutions to security issues.  it’s like Obama and his drones.  The CIA is no longer capturing anyone and developing good human intel (HUMINT) but boy, we’re bombing the heck out of those Al Qaida leaders, aren’t we? 

    It’s a farce.  it’s just an attempt to fight a war without getting your hands dirty.  The best way to stop penetrations of the southern border is to station heavily armed border patrol agents on key corridors with shoot-to-kill orders.  Mines, electric fencing, guard dogs . . . same stuff we use between North and South Korea.

    You start racking up a nice healthy body count every month and watch this problem disappear.

  • ageofknowledge

    Lying is what the  modern liberal corporate conglomerate that passes for the media in the U.S. does much of the time. Almost every article is skewed to indoctrination of the public to accomplish their favored political ends.

  • BunnyOlesen

    Jesse my name is Bunny and I live in Sweden now myself, but am from USA.  You are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.  Extortion affects civilians because they are the ones who get extorted – for example – a particular drug cartel told the parents of a mexican town on the border to each pay 500 pesos ‘protection money’ for their children who go to school or their children would be murdered.  The entire town.  They do the same thing in the US, corruption affects civilians because it affects construction jobs & factory work, the ‘illegal aliens’ they are talking about are Somalian Al-Shebaab members or Pakistani Taliban members who get smuggled into the US via Mexico, not just more mexicans.   People who live in the border towns see these things themselves all the time, not just on the news.
    Mexico is so HEINOUS that there is at least one state in mexico that is completely controlled by a drug cartel, the money for the salary of the cops comes from the cartel.  People are hostage in their individual towns because driving to the next town means roadblocks by cartel members for robbery, murder, or taking people for slave labor to work their marijuana farms or their brothels as forced prostitutes.  
    Kidnapping is endemic in Mexico, and the city with the 2nd largest amount of kidnap victims of mexicans is PHOENIX ARIZONA it’s not even on the border. 
    Why don’t you google the words ‘narco killings’ on google images.  Check the pictures if you can stomach it.
    The drug lords have so much money they have submarines, tanks, SUVs that look like police or army units, they assassinate governors of states and there’s even a ‘hit’ out on the president of mexico.
    NO WAY can MILLIONS of people like that cross the borders and live right next to you without a big problem.
    Check out a couple of dot coms  borderlandbeat is my favorite, then there’s  historiadelnarco, usopenborders = they are easy to find.
    In 2010, 3,075 homicides took place in Juárez also known as Ciudad Juarez, a BORDER town on the United States Line.  The violence is so bad in Juarez, that the american border town of El Paso has stray bullets striking civilians walking on the sidewalk (from mexico) and during one battle, many bullets struck through city hall, into the offices of they mayor and his employees. It’s BAD.

  • The liberal media LICKING THE BOOTS of the Socio-Fascist Government will SAY ANY LIE to get people to believe in PC garbage.

  • anonymous_amren

    I guess there must be less black people in the Mexican-invaded areas.

    • geraldmartin

      “Less black people” is a huge reason why stats show the border areas are “low crime.” They are low crime compared to black dominated areas, like inner cities, but not white suburbs. The best example of this is El Paso, Texas which has less violent crime than the other major Texas cities, precisely because it has the smallest black population.

  • JohnEngelman

    El Paso, Texas in on the border of Mexico. The population is 62.5 percent Hispanic.
     
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/El_Paso,_Texas 
     
    According to Morgan Quinto, El Paso is the third safest city in the United States with a population higher than 500,000. Dallas and Houston are among the most dangerous.
     
    http://www.morganquitno.com/cit07pop.htm#25 
     
    According to Neighborhood Scout El Paso has a crime index of 22, with 0 being most dangerous, and 100 being safest.
     
    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/tx/el-paso/crime/     

    • Strider73

      I grew up on the west side of El Paso, which back then (1960s to mid-1970s) was predominantly white. Out of ~2000 students at my high school I can count all the blacks that were ever there on one hand. No black schoolmates at all in grades K-8, and no black faculty or administrators at any school I attended. Other than right along the border, the highest crime area was around Ft. Bliss (all the black soldiers). Even with the high Mexican population, it was a nice place to live. When I last visited my old neighborhood in the mid-1990s, at least 1/4 of the homes had burglar bars over the windows — something unheard-of in my childhood. No way would I ever live there again, the great Mexican food notwithstanding.

      No doubt the near-total absence of blacks explains why I was so naive about that race and its social pathologies until I reached my 30s — and why the epiphany was so shocking.

    • CourtneyfromAlabama

      Knowing your history on here, you are probably trying to use this one exception to the rule to show the rest of us that mestizos are equal if not better than whites when it comes to low crime rates, even though stats show overall that the opposite is true.

  • Jesse from Sweden

     I think you misunderstand what I’m trying to say.

    Yes, close the borders (even though, as my name implies, I’m not from USA, but then again, all white nations should close their borders) because immigration causes problems like crime, welfare overuse and other undesirable things.

    What I am arguing is that the UCR is a good measurement of how safe a community is for the normal law-abiding people living there.

    After all, statistics can only track figures that are reported, so what crime happens that isn’t reported cannot be accurately measured.

    And I don’t think the world is a nice place because the crimes aren’t happening to me, but I think the place I live in is a nice place when the crimes aren’t happening to me or anyone I know of who lives there.

    What matters in your local community for your sense of security is street crime, and that’s what the UCR is measuring.