US Mexican border 2007
Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge
August 24, 2007
The National Guard patrols the skies over the Arizona desert. They are in search of Mexican smugglers and illegal immigrants crossing into the US. In five years, rangers at Organ Pipe have recovered 200 abandoned vehicles. The vehicles (usually stolen US vehicles) often break down in the desert during the trip north and are left behind by drug smugglers. The Arizona deserts are littered with these vehicles that are left along makeshift roads, also created by the smugglers.
The National Guard cannot arrest smugglers but can report them directly to the border patrol. Of the 6,000 National Guard that began deployment in Arizona on the US Mexican border in 2006, half now remain.