KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 11/7/10, 7:30 AMPosted: Updated:
Host Bob Lee interviews Guadalupe Ramirez, Nogales Port Director, Customs & Border Protection, Tucson Office of Field Operations. CPB is one of the Department of Homeland Security’s largest and most complex components.
Ramirez says there are border ports in Arizona in Douglas, Lukeville, Nogales East & West, Morley Gate in Nogales, San Luis, Sasabe, and Naco. He says the Nogales ports are the busiest in Arizona, and are third-busiest in the southwest. He says the two international port of entries connecting the cities of Nogales, Arizona with Nogales, Sonora in Mexico are vital for the economy of these two cities as well as the surrounding region. He says the Mariposa POE and the DeConcini POE are also extremely important for trade between the United States and Mexico.
Ramirez says one of the main economic drivers of the Santa Cruz County and Nogales is the fresh produce industry which relies heavily on these POEs, as they are the principal import points for fresh winter vegetables from Mexico to the United States. He says a number of officers at these ports are agricultural specialists with extensive training and experience in agricultural and biological inspection. He says their mission is to prevent the introduction of harmful pests into the U.S. He adds officers also look for human and drug smuggling as well as the transfer of money and guns across the border.