News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Feds plan 57 towers in AZ to watch for migrants

Controversial project targets 81 border miles near Tucson

By Brady McCombs


The Department of Homeland Security is planning to put up 45 surveillance towers and upgrade 12 existing ones to create a virtual fence targeting 81 miles of Arizona's U.S.-Mexican border.

Plans revealed in a draft environmental assessment for the "Tucson West" project — the next phase of the Boeing Co.-led SBInet — shows 57 proposed tower sites throughout Southern Arizona with most, 47, in the border region between Sasabe and Sierra Vista.

The 10 other proposed locations are scattered farther north near Ajo, Phoenix, Casa Grande and Tucson. The map shows one existing tower in Tucson and another in the Catalina Mountains that would be upgraded.

The towers will stand 80 to 200 feet high.

The largest cluster of towers totals 27 proposed sites along 40 miles of border from Sasabe to Nogales within about 12 miles north of the border.

At a community meeting in Arivaca Thursday, Border Patrol officials said they are expecting work to begin in the fall, said Peter Ragan, an Arivaca construction worker and writer who attended.

Officials in the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector deferred questions about the project's timeline to headquarters in Washington, D.C., and officials there weren't able to respond immediately.

Supporters applauded the plan as another tool to help Border Patrol agents slow illegal immigration and drug smuggling in the Southwest border's busiest stretch.

"Anytime you can deter traffic and make it easier for the Border Patrol to do their jobs, I encourage that kind of project," said Al Garza, executive director of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. "This is what the fight is all about."

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