Newly-released videos (included below) show a disturbing sight along the U.S./Mexico border: armed groups in military fatigues crossing over from Mexico by the dozens.
The footage, posted by the news website The Daily Caller, was taken on the border ranch of Jim Chilton, whose 50,000 acres in Arizona are a prime location for human smugglers, drug cartels, and migrant workers looking for a better life.
Chilton is less concerned about the migrants crossing over – who mean no harm to him. In fact, he often finds himself helping some who find themselves overcome by the heat and short on water.
However, he is very concerned with the drug cartels and human smugglers, often referred to as “coyotes.” The security camera footage taken along the border on his ranch shows illegal border crossers coming in large groups, usually more than a dozen.
In the video, which was taken over the last few years and includes crossings from this year, shows men carrying military-style assault rifles on horses. What appears to be men working as couriers in drug smuggling are also seen hauling large packs.
The armed men are one of the reasons Chilton carries a pistol and a rifle when working his ranch, in case he crosses paths with them.
Chilton described the situation in this interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2013, pointing out that the Obama administration ignored his pleas for assistance.
Although he respects the Border Patrol agents in the region, he said, he doesn’t understand why they won’t fortify and build a substantial border fence along the Arivaca region, including the five miles of international boundary alongside his ranch.
It’s inhumane, he said, to allow border crossers to walk in easily through the border, putting their lives at risk from cold nights and hot days. Many are apprehended farther inland anyway.
“The border should be secured at the border,” he said.
The couple lament a recently shuttered Border Patrol outpost, the agency’s only significant presence in that area. The outpost, which operated near the ranch, was closed because of budget cuts.
The couple have even offered to lease 20 acres of their land — about 500 yards from the border — to Border Patrol officials for $1 a year for an outpost. They said the government had not taken them up on the offer.
This video from The Daily Caller shows the extent of the problem on Chilton’s ranch.
This video, running about 25 minutes long, shows a compilation of video clips showing multiple groups of illegal border crossers. While a few appear to be simple migrant workers traveling on their own, a number of clips show armed escorts, carrying what appear to be AR-15s and AK-47s, most likely conducting drug smuggling.
Most of the groups are marching in formation and wearing military camouflage fatigues, while carrying large, square-shaped packs on their backs. The uniformity of the packs lead authorities to believe they are drug packages.
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