The Arizona Cattleman's Association is not impressed with a speech given by Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano this week, in which, the group says, she "abandoned her mantra of the past year that the U.S. Mexican Border...'is more secure than ever.'"
During a speech at the University of Texas' El Paso campus, Napolitano touted the efforts of the federal government in curbing border violence and preventing drugs and illegal immigrants from coming across the border.
"The Obama administration has engaged in an unprecedented effort to bring focus and intensity to Southwest border security, coupled with a reinvigorated, smart and effective approach to enforcing immigration laws in the interior of our country," Napolitano said during the speech. "Almost two years into the Southwest Border Initiative and the verdict is in: our approach is working--illegal immigration is decreasing, deportations are increasing and crime rates have gone down."
The ACA isn't satisfied with Napolitano's assessment and feels she "has focused herself on border cities where emergency response is seconds away leaving rural areas in the cold once again."
The group also says it's unfair of the homeland security chief to charge those who point out unchecked dangers on the border with trying to "score political points."
"The secretary fails to recognize that Mexican cartels don't really care if their targets or their victims are Democrats or Republicans," Arizona Cattle Grower's Association President Steve Brophy says.
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The ACGA says it deems Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords one of its greatest allies in the fight for border security, but says it's also worked closely with other members of Arizona's Congressional delegation, like Republican senators John McCain and Jon Kyl.
"Secretary Napolitano also says that calling attention to the border security situation in southern Arizona is bad for business on the Border," the group says. "Is a cry for help to the Department of Homeland Security bad for business? Would it be better for business that we not speak of the problem, the threat and the dangers, and just hope it goes away?
"Is hope a strategy to secure the border?"
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