Five years ago this month, then-Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano declared a state of emergency at the border.
New Mexico’s Governor, Bill Richardson, quickly followed suit in his own state.
The border was out of control.
Napolitano “fixed things” by sending the National Guard for a two-year stint on the border.
This is mentioned to refresh those memories, since Napolitano appears to be suffering from from a full-blown case of amnesia in her current post as United States Secretary of Homeland Security. At the same time, border residents are baffled as we all experience a mass episode of Déjà vu (also called “promnesia”).
In the following New York Times article from 2005, Governors Napolitano and Richardson were strongly suspected of raising the border issue ruckus to aid in their separate bids for re-election.
The Federal government failed us, as stated by Napolitano in 2005. (Governor Jan Brewer cites the very same thing today.)
Border residents were at their wits’ end, Napolitano added in 2005. (Brewer says the same thing about the residents’ current frustration.)
Napolitano declared a state of emergency in 2005. Brewer drew worldwide attention to Arizona with SB1070 this year. Politicians raise all that ruckus until the elections are over.
The players have mostly changed, but the scenario is the same.
All the while, border residents are still suffering from loss of property in dangerous border regions. Nothing has changed there, either.
Citing Violence, 2 Border States Declare a Crisis
Published: August 17, 2005
The New York Times
DEMING, N.M., Aug. 16 – Citing a surge of smuggling and violence along the border, the governors of Arizona and New Mexico have issued state of emergency declarations in recent days, faulting the American and Mexican authorities and freeing up federal and state money to strengthen local law enforcement efforts.
Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico say the federal authorities are failing at border security.
“Both federal governments let us down – there doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency,” Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, a Democrat seeking re-election next year, said in a telephone interview Tuesday, a day after declaring a state of emergency in four border counties. Ms. Napolitano said that “ranchers are at their wits’ end” with smuggled immigrants who damage their property and livestock.
Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, a Democrat who is also seeking re-election and who may make a bid for the White House in 2008, issued an emergency declaration on Friday, after touring this turbulent border region where a police chief reported being shot at last week.
“This is an act of desperation,” Mr. Richardson said in a separate phone interview, adding that border problems had gone beyond illegal immigration to violent crime. He said the action would provide resources “until Congress and the feds deal with this issue,” but added, “it is not a political move – I never mentioned the Bush administration.”
The actions by the two states followed a series of violent episodes, including the killing of a New Mexico woman who was shot in the head by a Mexican police officer outside Ciudad Juárez on July 30 and the crash of a Hummer, which was trying to outrun Border Patrol agents, that killed four illegal immigrants in March. Chief Clare May of the three-member police department in Columbus, N.M., said that on Aug. 9, two bullets whizzed over his head while he was checking out abandoned cars.
Arizona remains the busiest illegal gateway along the Southwest border, and scores of illegal immigrants are found dead of exposure in its deserts each year. READ MORE