Mobilizing Border Community to Address Guns, Drugs and Human Trafficking
“Below Ten” seeks to build the capacity of local law enforcement in border communities to build partnerships that fully mobilize the local government, business sector, faith-based and community organizations, non-profits and foundations in an integrated strategy. In addition, “Below Ten” will address the cultural, ethnic, racial, and language differences that impact the relationship between federal law enforcement and the border communities. National security will be improved and public safety be impacted nationwide as a result of three comprehensive community policing problem solving initiatives on the border.
Project Fact Sheet
Law enforcement and the communities they protect in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California face overwhelming challenges regarding human and drug trafficking and the use of “mules” to traffic drugs and humans across the border. A majority of the methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, and marijuana coming into the United States comes across the Mexican border. In 2009, the Tucson HIDTA Intelligence Support Center estimated that based on seizure rates, approximately 8 million tons of marijuana, 133,000 lbs. of cocaine, 29,000 lbs. of meth, and 7,000 lbs. of heroin made it across the Southwest border. Additionally, they estimated 70% of all persons trafficked into the United States come across the US-Mexico border. “Labour trafficking networks often merge with organized crime networks that traffic in drugs, weapons, pornography, and other contraband, restrictive immigration policies may paradoxically promote the rise of gang violence, lawlessness, and femicide in Juarez, Tijuana, and other border cities, which threatens to spill over into the United States.”
Beyond the national impact the border issues have on crime, the impact on local border communities is breaking down the capacity of local government infrastructure to respond to the human face of the problem locally. Schools, social services, healthcare and other infrastructure are stretched beyond their ability to adequately serve the needs of victims, undocumented individuals and residents.
Efforts to address these problems have focused heavily on enforcement strategies. Nevertheless, there is extensive evidence that comprehensive community oriented policing has the greatest impact on crime. Yes, efforts to involve comprehensive community strategies have not been fully attempted.
As a result of this initiative, SAI will guide and support participating communities in developing:
- a comprehensive, integrated local, county, state, federal, and tribal approach to define each community’s border security goals and create a collaborative response to border security, crime, and human trafficking;
- strategies to facilitate trust and information sharing between residents, local businesses, community and faith-based organizations, city leaders and law enforcement working to address crime and substance abuse on the border;
- border communities and local stakeholders able to identify and implement joint, cross-cutting solutions to crime, violence, and drug use building on current efforts by bringing them together in a unified and coherent strategy;
- innovative problem solving best practices for border cities to reduce crime and the fear of crime,
- improved local infrastructure that is able to respond to the needs of both legal and illegal residents, particularly women and children;
- decreased or eliminated cultural, ethnic, racial and language barriers to effective interagency collaboration through a culturally competent workforce.
“Border Patrol” United States Government Accountability Office, December 2012 Download Here