WASHINGTON, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sunday March 6 on Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson: "The Fence." It's the first in a series of eye-opening, original investigations into one of today's most provocative topics: the dangerous state of the U.S. southern border. Attkisson visited areas of Arizona where there are miles without a fence and where drug cartels are smuggling opium, heroin and marijuana in large quantities into the U.S. "The Fence" features shocking video of drug cartel smugglers crossing the border and into private property of ranchers and residents, an issue which local law enforcement says has never been worse. Attkisson spoke with local law enforcement and residents to understand how bad the problem is and how effective is the fence between Mexico and the U.S., and to understand the impact this issue has on residents and local law enforcement. Attkisson asks the difficult question: who controls our 2,000 mile long boundary with Mexico? Sheriff Mark Dannels of Chochise County, Arizona tells us that—in Arizona—it's not law enforcement.
Attkisson: Who is it?
Dannels: There are areas, miles in length, where the Mexican drug cartels decide who can cross our border.
Dannels says while the nation is fixated on illegal immigration, Arizona's drug smuggling problem is skyrocketing. Mexico's drug cartels are recruiting both adults and children as young as age 13, Mexican and American, to smuggle marijuana, heroin and opium.
Dannels: What's really sad is they go into our high schools and recruit 'em. And these are vulnerable kids. They [say] "Look, here's $3,000 to go across the border."
The Tucson sector is the busiest area for drug trafficking along America's southern border. Border Patrol Tucson sector union president Art Del Cueto points to a high fence that he says serves as PR for some federal officials and politicians.
Del Cueto: This is what they want the nation to see…
Attkisson: A tall fence?
Del Cueto: …a tall fence. A secure fence…It makes you feel like everything's okay. But the reality is if you go further out where they won't take you, there's still spots where there's hardly any fence.
Attkisson's reporting by land and air covers some of the most rugged and desolate terrain along Arizona's border with Mexico. One destination: a ranch owned by Howard Buffett, son of multimillionaire businessman Warren Buffett. He's a border hawk with deep compassion for desperate illegal immigrants.
Buffett: People coming across this border that are fleeing violence from the countries south from here have a very legitimate concern…We have to be empathetic and sympathetic to that, and figure out how as a nation do we deal with that in terms of our character and morality as a nation.
Interviews with border patrol agents and officials demonstrate some high tech strategies that they say are making a huge difference.
"The Fence" is produced by investigative producer Kim Skeen. Bryan Barr is photographer and editor. Batt Humphreys is executive producer. Full Measure is Sinclair Broadcast Group's first national broadcast, airing Sunday mornings on many ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Telemundo and CW stations. Scott Livingston is Vice President of News. www.FullMeasure.News
SOURCE Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.