One of the most transparent problems with effectively policing our southern border is its sheer vastness. Over 1,900 miles in length, it is one of the longest land borders on the planet, and the largest stretch of land that exists between two nations whose differential in wage scale and standard of living is as great as that which currently exists between the United States and Mexico. No one recognizes the daunting challenge presented by these ineluctable facts more than those law enforcement officials who patrol Maricopa County, Arizona, which is one of the chief sites for trafficking of both human beings and illegal narcotics into this country.
It’s within this frame of reference that we have to view the recent, tragic news of the deaths of two Border Patrol agents in Gila Bend, Arizona. Apparently, they were chasing a suspected drug trafficker when the vehicle they were riding in was hit by a train, an accident that proved fatal for agents Edward Rosas and Hector Clark. You can find the full Associated Press report on Youtube.
Although Arizona border crossings are more heavily policed than those along other stretches of the Mexican-American border, the deaths of these two dedicated Border Patrol agents reminds us once again of the extraordinary job with which the federal government has tasked them. That fact comes into stark relief when you consider that we currently have less than 10,000 agents patrolling an inconceivably long border, barely a quarter of the number of officers serving in the New York Police Department. Hopefully, the deaths of these two brave agents will not have been in vain.