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Updated Feb 18, 2013 - 10:02 am

Ranchers: Napolitano not dealing with border reality

PHOENIX -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano will be in southern Arizona Tuesday to tour the border. Napolitano recently declared the border is as safe as it has ever been. Patrick Bray with the Arizona Cattlemen's Association said ranchers will tell you that just isn't so.

Dangerous drug and human smugglers have been able to elude ground sensors and cameras.

"They know when the cameras are operating and where they're at," Bray said.

Bray also noted that barbed wire fence is all that separates Arizona ranches from dangerous smugglers on much of the border. He's calling for more boots on the ground to protect ranchers.

"The people moving the drugs are animals," said Bray. "They have no regard for human life or the law. Since last February one rancher has had 17 drive-through's on his property, where the smugglers cut the fence and drive a vehicle through and make it to the highway.

Bray said Napolitano is playing politics and not looking at the safety of people who live and work along the border.

"She was the Governor of Arizona and for her to throw this state under the bus is a shame," said Bray. "We stand by having border security first."

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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