Q&A: How Concerned Should Americans Be About Mexican Drug Violence?

Q&A: How Concerned Should Americans Be About Mexican Drug Violence?
As the Obama administration unveils a new plan to fight surging drug violence in Mexico, asked several experts for their thoughts on the scope of the problem.

This is part one in a series examining the impact of recent violence in Mexico on the United States. Come back tomorrow for a look at whether armed National Guard troops should be sent to the border .

How concerned should Americans
be about Mexican drug violence?

Arizona State Rep. Ray Barnes (R)
Mexican drug violence has already manifested to massive proportions in the El Paso, Texas, area. People have been murdered on both sides of the border. I don't want that happening here.

-Arizona state Rep. Ray Barnes (R), member, House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee

New Mexico State Sen. Cisco McSorley (D)
Extremely concerned. It's real. It's not going to get any better. I think it's going to start to affect average citizens. The violence will become indiscriminate, I believe.

-New Mexico state Sen. Cisco McSorley (D), chair, Senate Judiciary Committee

James Jay Carafano
Americans should be concerned about the drug violence. Some have referred to the southern border as a war zone, and drug violence between rival cartels has on occasion leaked into U.S. territory. In addition, the U.S.'s well-being depends on the ability of Mexico to sustain a healthy and secure civil society and economy.

-James Jay Carafano, senior research fellow, Heritage Foundation, Washington, D.C.

Q&A: Should Armed Guard Troops Be Sent to Mexico Border? The Economy, the Stimulus Package and the States