The deteriorating situation at the southern border is one of the items in the new president's crowded inbox. As the Washington Times reports,
Add another pressing challenge to President-elect Barack Obama's growing to-do list - tamping down a dramatic rise in violence and corruption that has overwhelmed the U.S.-Mexico border and spread an escalating turf fight between warring drug cartels into the United States. Near-daily shootouts and ambushes along the southwestern border pose a serious threat, according to separate government reports, which predict a rise in "deadly force" against law enforcement officers, first responders and U.S. border residents. Even President Bush...warned that Mr. Obama faced a looming war with drug cartels where "the front line of the fight will be Mexico." He said the new president will need to deal "with these drug cartels in our own neighborhoods." Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said the agency has begun to make progress against "the criminals and thugs" operating along the U.S.-Mexico border, but "we are beginning to see more violence in some border communities and against our Border Patrol agents as these traffickers ... seek to protect their turf."