Secure Border Initiative Proves Itself Again

By Janice Kephart on March 8, 2011

Two weeks ago the Border Patrol caught an unusually large group of more than 100 illegals trying to cross the desert under the eyes of the now-canceled Secure Border Initiative (SBInet) located on federal lands in the national park known as Organ Pipe National Monument. I discussed that apprehension, and provided a previously unpublished map showing this sector of SBInet known as "Ajo-1", in my blog "Large Group Nabbed Where SBInet Operational".

This past weekend, it happened again, with the most far western Ajo SBInet tower detecting a group of illegal crossers in a remote area of Organ Pipe, enabling the Border Patrol to track and capture the entire group. The event was described by local Arizona news as follows:

AJO, AZ - U.S. Border Patrol agents say they used radar to spot and track a very large group of illegal immigrants crossing the desert in a remote area near Ajo.

The group of 76 illegal immigrants were spotted walking north in the desert using a remote tracking system. Border Patrol agents responded to the area and detained 71 men and five women after they were detected on Saturday.

The Border Patrol says it now has nearly 130 modern detection and surveillance systems of various kinds deployed in Arizona.

Once again, like it did two weeks ago, the Border Patrol is hyping the contribution of technology to apprehending groups that otherwise may have gone undetected. And yes, SBInet is still operational where it was deployed, despite the widespread notion that the light switch was turned off on both the Tucson and Ajo sectors due to cancellation. The reason SBInet is still operating is because it works. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano admitted it still works, and that decided to cancel it because it does not solve enough border problems. I'm wondering which border problems, exactly, she is concerned about? I always conceived that "operational control of the border" entailed the ability to detect, track, and apprehend illegal aliens.