Heritage senior fellow James Carafano recently traveled to the U.S.-Mexico border and filed a series of reports which will be featured here throughout the week.
What goes on across the border matters to the Pima County Sheriff Department. Any of the smuggling cartel war that spills over the border falls into its lap. The Tucson Border Sector, which Pima County sits smack dab in the middle of, is currently the busiest smuggling corridor in the country. As border enforcement has been stepped up in California and Texas, land border smuggling has shifted its focus to Arizona (that’s what they call the “balloon effect”—crack down one place, the bad guys move their business some place else). Currently the area around Tucson ranks number one for smuggling marijuana and illegal border crossings. How big a business is it? There is so much marijuana being pushed through the state that federal prosecutors won’t even take a case where less than 500 pounds have been seized.