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The Border

John Ford and John Wayne would get a kick out of this story:

Horses have been part of the U.S. Border Patrol since the agency was founded in the 1920s, and now they are making a comeback.

Like their forebearers, present-day Border Agents use sturdy quarter horses -- so called as they are the fastest breed over a quarter mile, and also are renowned for their strength.

Last year, more than 870,000 illegal immigrants were arrested crossing over the border from Mexico, more than a third of them through the wilds of Arizona.

In addition to getting Border Agents swiftly and steathily into the rugged, mountainous areas through which illegal immigrants and drug smugglers cross, horses also are active partners in detecting border crossers: 'Their sight and hearing is much sharper than ours. When they sense someone . . . you feel it, and you know to get ready,' said Border Patrol agent Galen Huffman.

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Here's a link to the excellent Reuters article on which this entry is based.

As they say, read the whole thing.


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Comments (3)

I've read everything Cormac... (Below threshold)
matthew:

I've read everything Cormac McCarthy has written, most of it twice, and in so doing developed a profound respect for horses. At a keg party at my alma mater, a riot cop on horseback tried to separate a bunch of idiots who were trying to set fire to a car, and one of them threw a beer bottle at the horse. The horse kicked him and broke his arm, and he was charged with assaulting an officer and expelled.

Funny how horses are making... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Funny how horses are making a "comeback" in the Wilds of Arizona. As far as I was aware they never completely faded away. The smugglers have been using them a lot. There are lots of places horses can go that even an ATV can't get to and going on foot would wear out an agent. Horses are also a good bit quieter than most ATV as well.

Horses and helicopters. I'l... (Below threshold)

Horses and helicopters. I'll never forget the day my daughter and I watched a helicopter "hold down" a group of illegals until ground patrols got there. What made us laugh so hard after hearing numerous loudspeakers announcements in Spanish, was the one in English: "Don't make me land this thing!"

My daughter lived less than 5 miles as the crow flies from the border.




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