December 17, 2012
[...] The checkpoint sits about 20 miles north of the Nogales port of entry. It’s a stop-gap in the funnel, the last federal inspection for traffic heading north. Checkpoints like these across the nation are responsible for one-third of the Border Patrol’s total drug seizures in any given year.
Now talk of the fiscal cliff raises some uncomfortable possibilities. Nationwide, unemployment jumping to 10 percent. Higher taxes. Defense spending cuts. But here on the border, the discussion is the domestic security cuts.
This agent is one of 4,000 Border Patrol agents working in Arizona. The Border Patrol is the largest law enforcement agency in the country, at nearly 22,000 agents. The Homeland Security Department, its umbrella agency, is one of the departments facing possible cuts, or sequestration if politicians don’t come up with a compromise.