In May of 2011, President Obama went to the border at El Paso, Texas, and in his “alligators and moats” speech claimed the border is safe and mocked calls for more border security.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Maybe they’ll say we need a moat. Or alligators in the moat.
They’ll never be satisfied. And I understand that. That’s politics.
But the truth is, the measures we’ve put in place are getting results. Over the past two and a half years, we’ve seized 31 percent more drugs, 75 percent more currency, and 64 percent more weapons than before. Even as we’ve stepped up patrols, apprehensions along the border have been cut by nearly 40 percent from two years ago – that means far fewer people are attempting to cross the border illegally
Also, despite a lot of breathless reports that have tagged places like El Paso as dangerous, violent crime in southwest border counties has dropped by a third. El Paso and other cities and towns along the border are consistently rated among the safest in the nation.
In March of 2011, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “There is a perception that the border is worse now than it ever has been. That is wrong. The border is better now than it ever has been.” Napolitano went on to say that violence from Mexico’s drug war has not spilled over into the U.S., citing statistics that show crime along the border has either stayed flat or even gone down. Napolitano has visited the border several times to hail the cooperation between local and federal authorities and has visited Hidalgo County, where her friend Lupe Treviño is the sheriff.
During Napolitano’s visit in February 2012, Sheriff Treviño noted: “We tell the truth and say violent crime is down and cartel violence has been kept south of the river, but we get criticized because we say we need money. If we’re going to continue to lower the violent crime rate, we have to have a sustained maintenance. That’s why we need the continued influx of federal funds.”
But how accurate are the statistics that the local law enforcement agencies send their states and ultimately to the federal government? PJM/PJTV has obtained exclusive hidden camera video from inside the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office. In this video, a crime analyst – the person responsible for entering official data into the Uniform Crime Reporting system from the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office – admits that the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office manipulates its crime statistics systematically.