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Cochise County ranchers want U.S. agents on the border

SIERRA VISTA – Cochise County ranchers want U.S. Border Patrol agents on the border, not miles away from it.

That message was given Saturday to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Border Patrol Tucson Sector Chief Robert Gilbert.

Rancher Derek Garland told the pair his house is closer to the border than the agents are.

Both Giffords and Gilbert said the federal government is concerned about increasing border violence.

The ranchers offered a number of suggestions on how to counter those engaged in illegal activities such as staggered shifts so that there is always a physical presence of agents on the border.

Ranchers said that one thing that frustrates them is a lack of communication between agents, even when they see each other.

Gilbert noted communication is a problem because of poor technology and equipment.

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