Arizona Now Has ‘Whopping 30’ National Guard Troops and 15 Billboard Signs Warning Citizens About Drug Cartels Operating on Public Lands

September 1, 2010 - 11:59 AM

Bureau of Land Management sign in Arizona,

(CNSNews.com)Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said requests by Arizona law enforcement personnel and Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) for 3,000 National Guard troops along the state’s border with Mexico have been answered so far with 1 percent of that number deployed there this week.
 
“We have a whopping 30 [National Guard troops] this week that are showing up,” Babeu told CNSNews.com. “It’s less than a half-hearted measure designed to fail.”
 
But the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has placed 15 signs along a 60-mile stretch of Interstate 8 that links San Diego with Phoenix and Tucson warning travelers of drug cartels and human trafficking operations.
 
“DANGER – PUBLIC WARNING, TRAVEL NOT RECOMMENDED,” read the signs placed along Interstate 8. “Visitors May Encounter Armed Criminals and Smuggling Vehicles Traveling at High Rates of Speed. Stay Away From Trash, Clothing, Backpacks, and Abandoned Vehicles.”
 
“BLM Encourages Visitors To Use Public Land North of Interstate 8,” the signs say.
 
“I think the American people are outraged that we can fight wars half-way around the world, send our nation’s treasury and our most precious resources – our American heroes that serve in the military -- and yet here in our own country somehow they believe it’s okay  for us not to have a secure border,” Said Sheriff Babeu.
 
“And that it’s okay to put up signs in my county and parts of America to surrender parts of our country to foreign born criminals,” Babeu added, “warning our own American citizens to stay out.”

Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu

In May, President Barack Obama said he would deploy 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help quell the violence there, which is less than half of the 3,000 troops requested by Babeu, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, Sen. McCain and Sen. Kyl for Arizona’s border during a press conference on Capitol Hill in April.
 
The Obama administration has said it will deploy National Guard troops to the southern border incrementally to eventually have 1,500 troops in place. In addition, $600 million in “emergency border protection funding” was approved in legislation the president signed into law in August.
 
Babeu said the warning signs are 70 to 80 miles from the border and just 30 miles from Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the United States.