In Southern Arizona, we feel the effects of the illicit trade of drugs, guns, and people trafficked across our border every day. The Tucson Sector is the most porous section of the entire U.S.-Mexico Border. More than 48 percent of the nation’s drug traffic entered our country through Southern Arizona in 2007. In 2008, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents seized over 30,000 pounds of marijuana and arrested more than 317,000 people trying to enter our country illegally through southern Arizona.
As one of only ten members with a district on the U.S.-Mexico border, I am acutely aware of the need to forge a strong relationship with our neighboring countries. In particular, we must act immediately, cooperatively and constructively to reduce the violence along our southern border. That is why earlier this week I introduced a resolution reiterating Mexico’s importance as a strategic partner and supporting actions to address the escalating violence. Please click here to view the resolution.
The recent spike in drug-related border violence has prompted numerous congressional hearings. Attorney General Terry Goddard testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday about the public safety threat posed by Mexican cartels. On Wednesday, as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I questioned State Department officials on this issue. To view a video of my statement and questions during the hearing, please click here and here .
Last year there were approximately 6,000 drug-related murders in Mexico. Almost 40% of those murders occurred in three states: Baja California, Chihuahua and Sinaloa. In January 2009, the number of murders in Ciudad Juarez was three times higher than in January 2008. The United States and Mexico must work collaboratively to make clear that our governments are resolved to tackle these security threats. We must stand together to strengthen the rule of law and combat crimes.
To receive regular e-mail updates on my work as your U.S. Representative, click here or visit www.giffords.house.gov to opt-in to my e-newsletter. It allows me to keep Southern Arizonans, like you, informed about the most recent activities in the House of Representatives and upcoming public forums I am sponsoring in the district.
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