Sheriffs from Arizona and other parts of the country on Thursday criticized President Joe Biden’s mishandling of the ongoing crisis at the southern border, pleading for the president to take more action to secure the country.
The local leaders — Sheriffs Mark Lamb and Mark Dannels from Arizona, Illinois Sherrif Tony Childress and North Carolina Sheriff Sam Page — made their comments in an interview with Fox News’ Harris Faulkner.
“I think the biggest thing that we’ve learned, which is why we have sheriffs here from North Carolina and Illinois, is this is not a border problem just for Arizona or Texas or New Mexico or California. This is an America problem,” Lamb, the sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, said.
The members of law enforcement discussed with Faulkner their views on Biden’s address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night, during which the sheriffs believe the president showed a complete disregard for Customs and Border Protection, as well as law enforcement officers at the local and state level.
“We expected to hear more, we didn’t get that from him and that shows you — this president, he doesn’t care about what’s happening here,” Lamb said.
“After last night’s speech by the president, it was an insult for everybody wearing a badge that’s trying to protect this border,” Dannels, of Cochise County, Arizona, said.
Since the start of Biden’s presidency, the country has seen a surge of illegal immigrants entering the country unlawfully, placing border facilities under stress in a crisis that the Biden-Harris administration has repeatedly downplayed.
More than 170,000 illegal aliens reportedly crossed the border in March — many hailing from regions with high COVID-19 rates.
As border facilities were overwhelmed by the spike in unlawful entry, human traffickers capitalized on the crisis, smuggling minors and families into the country, making upwards of $14 million a day in February.
Videos from late March and April showed human traffickers throwing children into the U.S. from the U.S.-Mexico border fence, endangering their lives.
Smugglers, under cover of night, scaled a 14 ft. border barrier and cruelly dropped 2 young children in the middle of the New Mexico desert. The girls, ages 3 & 5, were left miles from the nearest residence. Thank you STN Agents for rescuing these children! @CBP @CBPWestTexas pic.twitter.com/U91y2g8Lk1
— Gloria I. Chavez (@USBPChiefEPT) March 31, 2021
In the interview, Faulkner and the sheriffs discussed another practice used by such smugglers — throwing children in the river near Texas to distract border agents.
“This is the largest humanitarian issue on the southwest border going on right now,” Dannels said. “The cartels are exploiting these people, these children and then you look at the public safety aspect of this — it’s affecting all communities in America.”
“And I’ll just say this, Harris to you, in this region — the Tucson sector of Border Patrol — in this fiscal year, we’ve had 60,000 getaways just in this sector of the border,” Dannels said.
“That’s the largest in our country, and these are people we’ve seen on cameras that have gotten away and are now in communities. That should be alarming to every American out there.”
On April 5, the Department of Homeland Security announced that two Yemeni men on the FBI’s Terrorism Watch List were arrested after entering the country through the southern border. A day later, the Biden administration removed the news release announcing the arrests in a move that raised eyebrows.
“With numbers like 60,000 and numbers like 172,000 coming in, it’s absolutely ludicrous that we have an administration that refuses to do anything,” Childress told Faulkner.
Despite it being more than three months since the border crisis began, neither Biden nor Vice President Kamala Harris has gone to the border to look at the issue for themselves.
Their inaction drew condemnation from Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, who slammed the duo in an April 16 statement asking them to get their “head out of the sand when it comes to the crisis at our border.”
Sheriff Page discussed the issue of Mexican drug cartels operating in the state, leading to his own state of North Carolina’s battles with drug addictions, saying, “Mr. President, come to the border. Mr. President, support the local, state and federal law enforcement across this community — and do something.”
“If we fail to secure our borders, every sheriff in America will become a border sheriff.”