Arizona Sheriff describes how the border changed under Biden
Efforts to curb illegal immigration to its Arizona border jurisdiction have deteriorated dramatically since President Joe Biden took office, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said.
“When President Biden declared the southwest border non-urgent, he stopped the physical barrier, he stopped all infrastructure completion, he stopped underground technology, he froze this construction in place,” said Dannels in an interview with the Daily Signal.
Dannels described “cables coming out of the ground, trenches, unrealized bridges, unrealized roads.” The wall project is “ecologically in disarray, it is physically in disarray,” added the border sheriff.
“And what’s going to happen after our monsoon season, which is in July, it’s going to wipe out most of what’s even been done there,” Dannels said.
After being sworn in on Jan.20, Biden signed an executive order ending construction of President Donald Trump’s wall along the US-Mexico border.
“It is not reasonable to take taxpayer money and stop a project that we have done,” Dannels said.
“If President Biden doesn’t want to build an extra inch of fence or physical barrier or underground technology, lighting, that’s his choice. But you have to fix what you started. You have to finish what you started or come to a reasonable conclusion, ”he told the Daily Signal.
The number of border crossings is only increasing.
About 178,622 illegal immigrants were detained along the border in April by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the highest number in more than 20 years.
Dannels said residents of Cochise County were concerned about what was happening along the 133 kilometers border that its jurisdiction shares with Mexico.
“Our physical barrier that was built by President Trump has been stopped [at] the southwest border. The infrastructure, everything that is in disarray, [with] cables sticking out of the ground, holes in the fence, ”Dannels said, adding:
This is just not a good way to reasonably close a project under a former administration. And then you look – which in my opinion is probably the worst – is the message here. What message have we sent to those who want to enter our country and harm us, from the cartels to those who promote drugs? … Look at September 11th. It’s a date we should never, ever forget, but sadly time is forgetting it. And it is sad.
Dannels, first elected Sheriff of Cochise as a Republican in 2012 and re-elected in 2016 and 2020, served in law enforcement for 36 years.
This career began in 1984 after a stint in the army. He stood up through the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office ranks as Deputy Commanding Officer after serving in specialty assignments and leadership roles. The state governor has recognized his efforts to improve road and community safety, according to his official bio.
Dannels said he saw the effects of the border crisis with his own eyes.
Today, “220 people die from drug overdoses every day,” the sheriff said, citing a national figure.
“And then you look [the fact that] 90% of all illicit drugs in this country pass through our southwest border. With that alone, we should secure this border. In addition, there is a constitutional mandate that we should have a secure border. And at the moment, that worries me.
Although mainstream media tends to report that only families and unaccompanied children cross the border, the sheriff said, there is a much bigger story to tell because most illegal crossers are young men.
“What the national media is showing are unaccompanied minors, and it’s sad,” said Dannels, 57. “It’s a terror to anyone’s heart. I have coached, I have children. I understand that.
Dannels and his wife Nickie, a registered nurse, have three grown sons: Justin, a police officer; Ryan, firefighter and paramedic; and Corey, a lineman.
The media are failing to report on the facts at the border, the sheriff told the Daily Signal.
“What they don’t show are the escapades, the [drug] the influence of the cartel on all of this… the motives of the cartels, the drugs, the fear, the greed. It all depends on the dollar bill and how they can exploit Americans for their addiction, how they can enter our communities and erode them and their families. I don’t know why this story is not being told. We all know this to be true. Nobody argues about it, but it doesn’t sell, I guess.
Dannels said he was perplexed that Vice President Kamala Harris, affected March 24 by Biden to be his interlocutor on the crisis, still has not visited the US-Mexico border.
“We didn’t prioritize the southwest border,” Dannels said.
“If that was the case, the vice president would be there. She was close, she got to South Carolina the other day, I heard, North Carolina. I got a call from the sheriff in that county saying, “Hey, the vice president is here.” I’m going, ‘Send her south. I would like to have a word with her. But she didn’t come here.
Dannels, who was a member of a Homeland Security Advisory Council disbanded by the Biden administration, said he regularly saw how frustrated border patrol officers were with the crisis.
“I hear everyday how frustrated they are, how their hands are tied, how they can’t do the job they were hired to do, because they’ve been reassigned to care. children or treatment, ”Dannels said, adding:
In the meantime, the more security you make at the borders, the more you open up this window of opportunity for the cartels to exploit us and exploit this country. If we don’t secure that border, we’ll be different. And the feedback on that will not be good for anyone in this country.