Recently, Arizona may have been the target of hostility from Mexico with shots fired from a helicopter toward a U.S. Border Patrol vehicle. A report from CBS News stated the area where this occurred in Arizona is frequented by both the U.S. Border Patrol and Mexico Law Enforcement due to heavy drug and human trafficking. In fact, in a separate report from The Washington Post, Mexico denies shooting into the U.S., or even crossing the border by helicopter. Could this hostility be intentional toward Arizona Border Patrol officials, or was the shooting an accident by Mexican Law Enforcement officials enforcing the law across the U.S. and Mexico border? The answer may lie in whichever side of the border the story is coming from.
Arizona is known for keeping conservative policies on immigration, particularly with immigrants coming from Mexico and South America. Arizona recently let their stance on current immigration issues be known, including blaming President Obama for the influx of illegal immigrant children reaching the border of Texas, and then being moved to Arizona facilities. According to a report found on Reuters’ website, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has “often clashed” with President Obama’s immigration policy. The report states Brewer blames Obama’s 2012 decision to allow temporary relief of deportation to illegal youth brought by parents into the U.S. as the cause of this “crisis” of illegal children, and that the federal government should send a message that “our borders are closed.”
In another report by AZ Central about GOP nominees running for Governor of Arizona, a hot topic during a two-hour debate in Scottsdale included the topic of immigration. Former Maricopa County Attorney, Andrew Thomas was reported as accusing undocumented immigrants as the cause for “spreading diseases and threatening the American way of life.” The report also states nearly all of the six nominees outlined a plan, which included calling on the National Guard to boost security along the U.S. border with Mexico.
Now, with Arizona being the surprise target of hostility from Mexico in recent reports stating shots were fired from a helicopter which had crossed over the U.S. and Mexico border, the issue of immigration may need to be addressed by both the federal government and surrounding states. In a report from Business Insider, Border Patrol Agent and Union Vice President Shawn Moran was quoted as saying this incident was not the first time, and by orders from the State Department, they usually let such incidences slide after receiving an apology from Mexico. The same report stated Mexican authorities had, in-fact, called U.S. officials to apologize.
Mexico may have accidentally shown unnecessary hostility when they allegedly crossed over the U.S. border, and into Arizona- be it by accident, or from targeting conservative policies associated with Arizona. It is no excuse to fire toward an U.S. Border Patrol vehicle containing government agents, however. Even though such hostility may have been a display by Mexican Law Enforcement targeting human and drug traffickers, such incident requires the U.S. Federal Government to address such issues as immigration reform, border security, and deportation policies. After all, the U.S. cannot forget U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi, the reservist who crossed the Mexico border from the U.S. with three firearms and still remains jailed in Tecate, Mexico three months later. Tahmooressi faces charges for carrying weapons across international borderlines. These types of occurrences require both the U.S. and Mexico to address these type of neighboring, international issues if either country wants to ease any growing hostility occurring along both sides of the border.
By Liz Pimentel