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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."

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About the Author

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

Favorite food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

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

Favorite news memory: 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. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

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

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

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

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.


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