Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey sent the Arizona National Guard and law enforcement officers to the Arizona border with Mexico near Yuma to address a surge in border crossings, which Arizona State Representative Tim Dunn (R-Yuma) has called for and says he believes will help combat the drug cartels, but not the number of migrants crossing due to the Biden administration’s policies.
Dunn told The Arizona Sun Times that although only the federal government is allowed by law to deal with the migrants, Arizona troops and law enforcement officers can perform other tasks for the Border Patrol, freeing them up to handle the influx of migrants. He said the migrants “do want to be checked in to the Border Patrol. The last leg of their trip is to get a free ride to another part of the country — the Border Patrol is performing an Uber [car service] function.”
He was referring to the Biden administration flying or busing migrants after they cross the border to other states and dropping them off instead of returning them to Mexico or into custody. Dunn doesn’t blame the migrants, he says they’re hearing that if they cross the border, they’ll merely get a free ride to somewhere else in the country and the government will help them reunite with their families.
Dunn said the surge at the border near Yuma began a few days ago due to migrants who would normally cross over the Texas border changing to Arizona instead. According to Ducey, this is because the Biden administration brought back the Trump administration’s policy of “Remain in Mexico” in Texas, but hasn’t applied it yet to Arizona. That policy requires migrants to remain on the Mexico side of the border while waiting for asylum hearings. It has been started in El Paso and will be expanded to seven ports of entry across the southern border, including Nogales, Arizona.
Dunn said the drug cartels know the Border Patrol is overwhelmed with the surge, so are stepping up their efforts to sneak through channels in the desert. But the Arizona National Guard troops and Department of Public Safety officers were sent to the border Monday at midnight and are already making a difference. Within the first 12 hours they were down there, 42 pounds of methamphetamine were seized from the cartels.
Compounding the problem, Dunn said, is something most people are unaware of, which is that most of the land near the Arizona border with Mexico is federal land. Only federal authorities have jurisdiction there. This is different from Texas, where much of the land next to the border is private land. This significantly limits what Arizona can do about the problem.
The surge is making things difficult for farmers in the area because the extra migrants end up walking through farm land destroying crops. Dunn, who is part of a farming family in Yuma, said as long as the Biden administration continues the policy of allowing large numbers of migrants to cross the border, the U.S. might as tell them where to cross. “We may as well have ‘controlled chaos’ as opposed to chaos,” he told the Times.
Those who take off into the desert have criminal records and don’t want to be caught, Dunn said. They know they won’t get a free ride somewhere else.
During a press conference Gov. Ducey held at the border on Dec. 7, two groups of migrants brazenly walked across the border. In October, 21,505 migrants were apprehended in the Yuma border sector.
Rep. Leo Biasiucci (R-Lake Havasu), who has taken a strong stand against a porous border, expressed his disappointment in the failure of the federal government to secure the border. He told the Sun Times, “It is an embarrassment that our own sitting President, and his administration, continue to ignore the crises at our southern border. It is the duty of our Federal Government to protect our borders. They have repeatedly refused our requests to provide assistance. At this point, they should be held accountable for ignoring the countless drug trafficking and human trafficking that continue to occur at our border. It is time for the state of Arizona to take matters into our own hands and do what is necessary to stop this invasion.”
Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), who has also championed border security, told the Sun Times, “We need to secure the border and if the president will not do it, states need to take action. The amount of illegal aliens crossing each day into our country is dangerous and unsustainable for our taxpayers. The security to our nation is being threatened with unknown people with unknown intentions. Many are from countries that are not our allies and many are bringing in drugs and weapons.”
He went on, “Considering the mandates and restrictions from COVID being put on American taxpayers from the Biden administration, none of these extreme measures are being put on the illegal migrants. If we as a country are so concerned with the COVID virus, why would we leave our borders open for anyone including more than 600,000 illegal unvetted migrants to cross in 2021. We need to close the border immediately. ”
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