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Mexico Crossing The Line

From today's Arizona Republic:

Border incursions rattling Arizonans
Incident near Arivaca involved copter
Susan Carroll
Republic Tucson Bureau
Feb. 3, 2006 12:00 AM

ARIVACA  - R.D. Ayers remembers hearing the heavy whirl and chop of helicopter blades cutting through the sky above the Tres Bellotas Ranch, a sprawling swath of oak trees and barberry brush right on the U.S.-Mexican border.

Even from inside the ranch house, Ayers could tell it must be a big helicopter. He headed outside, thinking it might be U.S. customs, maybe a drug bust.

Instead, Ayers walked right into a group of armed, masked men speaking Spanish and dressed like agents from the Federal Investigative Agency, Mexico's FBI. The encounter on U.S. soil would be investigated by the FBI, U.S. Border Patrol and Mexican authorities, one of the latest in a long list of suspected incursions from Mexico into U.S. border states.

After long downplaying the number of incursions along the Southwestern border, top Border Patrol officials now acknowledge such incidents are all too common. Over the past decade, the Department of Homeland Security has reported 231 incursions along the border, including 63 in Arizona. Homeland Security defines an incursion as an unauthorized crossing by Mexican military or police, or suspected drug or people smugglers dressed in uniforms.

Jerry Seper of the Washington Times broke the story of Mexican incursions on January 17 and Tony Blankley wrote a pointed column about it the following day. Earlier this week the House began an investigation into the matter and today members of the House Committee on Homeland Security are scheduled to be in El Paso, Texas on a fact-finding mission. This story is far from over.