Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is in deep denial. Her recent statements that “the border is safer than ever” have astonished residents of the Texas Rio Grande Valley, where incidents of confrontations with increasingly brazen Mexican drug gangs have terrified local citizens. Is there anyone out there who believes our southern border is “safer than ever?” Please, let us hear from you.

Farmers and ranchers in the valley have been unwillingly pushed into this undeclared war, which has at least as much to do with U.S. interests as the military action in Libya. Farmers who grow crops near the river have looked into the business end of military weapons and have been ordered off their own property, as detailed in this story www.txfb.org/TxAgTalks/post/2011/03/28/Criminals-suing-landowners-Yep-ite28099s-happening.aspx.

Some of the crops grown in the valley, like sugar cane, make excellent hiding places for things criminals don’t want others to see. Farmers have been ordered to leave their land by the gangs until their “business” was completed.

Of course, the flood of illegal aliens continues, perhaps stemmed somewhat by increased numbers of agents on the border, but still at unacceptable levels. The agents are working hard and doing their job, but they are outnumbered and in the case of the drug dealers, sometimes outgunned.

All this makes one wonder, “What else and who else, is sneaking across the Rio Grande?” According to state Sen. Tommy Williams, approximately 287+ “special interest aliens” have been apprehended along the Texas-Mexico border in the past year.

“Special interest aliens” are those coming from countries known to harbor terrorists groups such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries known to harbor Islamic extremists. Williams chairs the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee of the Texas Senate. He charges that the state of Texas is spending “billions” to compensate for the federal government’s failure to secure the Southern border.

In a perfect world, our two political parties could reach a compromise on a sane immigration policy that includes a guest worker program for the labor we need, while controlling illegal entry and drug related violence.

I’m not holding my breath on that one. However, when Texas farmers and ranchers can’t enter their fields out of fear for their lives, a line has been crossed. Pretending “the border is safer than ever” ignores the obvious.