Throwing big money at the border with Mexico to build fences and buy high-tech gizmos isn't the way to achieve security, argues the author of Cartel: The Coming Invasion of Mexico's Drug War (2011).
Drawing on her extensive Air Force training in criminal investigations, counterintelligence and counterespionage, Longmire provides an insightful tour of both southern and northern borders and neighbors as she demolishes the case that illegal immigration is the United States’ biggest security problem. As she demonstrates, the issue has become entwined with the Mexican drug cartels' smuggling operations; illegal immigrants now find themselves compelled under threat of death to become drug mules as part of the price of being smuggled into the U.S. Security would be much enhanced, Longmire believes, by the adoption of programs that permit those coming here to work to enter legally. Such programs would separate immigrants from the security threat originating in the drug cartels. She builds her case step by step, investigative style. First, she establishes what the border fence is, where it is and why it won't be the answer its proponents hope for. Then, she discusses different threats, including violence and crime in the border areas of the Southwestern states, terrorist organizations like al-Qaida and Hezbollah, and the drug cartels. In her view, one of the most significant contributors to the lack of security in border areas is the failure to pursue ruthlessly the crime of money laundering; money payments in the U.S. for drugs from Mexico are the lubricant for the largest part of the problem. Longmire is particularly acerbic about the bipartisan, $46 billion immigration bill produced by the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” and equally critical of proposals to tie immigration reform to the achievement of border security.
A compelling narrative that brings clarity to a subject shrouded in prejudice and obfuscation.