News / Americas

Arizona Official Outlines Key to Stopping Human Smuggling

TEXT SIZE - +
Cindy Saine

The House Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has held a hearing on stopping human smuggling across the border between the United States and Mexico.  One of the witnesses, Arizona's top prosecutor Terry Goddard, said there is no way to improve U.S. border security without taking on Mexican drug cartels.

The Chairman of the House Homeland Security panel, Democrat Henry Cuellar of Texas, explained that for would-be illegal immigrants, crossing the U.S. border is much more difficult than it used to be because of tightened U.S. surveillance and security measures. Cuellar said more and more illegal immigrants are dependent on paying criminal smugglers to get them across the border.

"As we have done more to secure our borders, alien smuggling organizations have increasingly become more bold, violent and dangerous," said Henry Cuellar. "They are now posing new threats to our law enforcement officials, our border communities and the people they attempt to smuggle across our borders."

Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard said the only way to stop human smuggling and increase U.S. border security is to take on Mexico's increasingly violent drug cartels, in cooperation with the Mexican government.  But he said his state has had a lot of success in hurting the powerful drug cartels over the past eight years.

"My strategy has been very simple," said Terry Goddard. "It's to follow the money.  We're very money conscious in the state of Arizona.  The illegal profits from drug trade, from human smuggling have been our number one objective.  And we've been able through a number of techniques to disrupt the flow of funds illegally going out of the country and to seize assets used by smugglers."

Goddard said his officials have been able to distinguish between legitimate wire transfers to Mexico from family members, and wire transfers for the drug cartels.

The hearing took place on the same day that a U.S. federal judge is holding a hearing on the constitutionality of Arizona's controversial new immigration law.  It requires police, while enforcing other laws, to examine a person's immigration status if there is reasonable suspicion the person is in the country illegally.  

Although Thursday's hearing was not about the new immigration law, heated political debate on the issue made its way into questions asked by some lawmakers.  Republican Congressman Charles Dent of Pennsylvania inserted this comment.

"I absolutely find it incomprehensible that the [U.S.] Department of Justice could be suing the state of Arizona on this issue of enforcing federal immigration law," said Charles Dent.

And on the Democratic side, Congressman Al Green of Texas put Goddard under pressure, asking him repeatedly if he believed in the U.S. Constitution, and if he would challenge a law in his state if he believed it to be unconstitutional.

"Do you also agree that the Attorney General of the United States of America is duty-bound to challenge laws that he believes to be unconstitutional," asked Al Green.

Arizona Attorney General Goddard finally said that if U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder sincerely believes the new Arizona law is unconstitutional, he would have "no choice" but to take action.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support
More

Colombian Novelist Garcia Marquez Dies at 87

Author of 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' won Nobel Prize for Literature in 1982
More

Salsa Legend Cheo Feliciano Dies in Car Crash

Police say singer was alone in his jaguar when he hit a post before sunrise Thursday
More

NY Times: US Deportation of Illegal Immigrants Declines

Obama has come under increasing pressure from immigration advocates who have accused him of moving too slowly on immigration reform
More

Argentina's Fight with Bondholders Reaches US Supreme Court

The case concerns whether investors can force banks with which Argentina does business to disclose information about the country's non-US assets
More

As Fires Die Down, Chileans Return to Ravaged Valparaiso

Many of victims in the city, part gritty port and part colorful retreat, were poor people in houses perched high on the city's remote hills
More