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Sheriff Paul Babeu Rips Gang-of-8 Bill on Behalf of Western States Sheriffs

Posted: July 6, 2013 at 4:30 pm   /   by

On behalf of the Western States Sheriffs Association (WSSA), Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Arizona, has issued a statement strongly opposing the Gang-of-8 Senate Bill S.744.  These are the men & women who must deal with the consequences of federal failures to secure our border and pursue those who illegally overstay their visas.  The sheriffs speak with highest credibility from their own first-hand experience, as opposed to the clueless, self-congratulatory senators in Washington who just passed S.744.

Babeu and the WSSA instead urge full support for House Bill 2278 offered by Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and Bob Goodlatte (R-VA).  This bill focuses directly on law enforcement, addressing both illegal border crossers and those who overstay their visas.  It would explicitly allow State and local law enforcement, at their option, to enforce federal immigration laws.

Babeu’s full statement appears below:

Sheriffs from across America stand against the Senate Gang of 8 immigration reform plan, which will give 11-20 million illegals a path to citizenship. I was joined by numerous Sheriffs to speak publicly last week at our National Sheriffs Association conference, held in Charlotte, NC. 

Yavapai Sheriff Scott Mascher nominated me to be the official spokesman for the Western States Sheriffs Association (WSSA) on all border security and immigration issues. I was humbled by their unanimous vote and I reaffirmed my pledge to continue our national fight to stop the Gang of 8’s plan and to throw our full support to the US House plan (HB 2278) offered by Congressman Trey Gowdy (R-South Carolina) and House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Virginia). 

We’ve been promised border security before and we do NOT trust the federal government to actually enforce immigration law and secure our borders. Sheriffs’ have additional security concerns related to relaxing requirements of foreigners seeking asylum and outsourcing of the screening and waiver process for eligible illegals and their family members.

We must secure the border first, prior to any discussion of green cards and a path to citizenship offered to nearly 20 million illegals and their families. This plan gives everything to President Obama upfront, while border security is promised once again on the backend. We are about to repeat history, when in 1986 President Reagan gave amnesty to 2 million illegals. Now, the stakes are far higher, yet it seems that we haven’t learned our lesson. 

Secretary Janet Napolitano almost daily proclaims that our US/Mexican border is already secure in an effort to pave the way to amnesty. One year ago, the Tucson sector alone had 123,285 illegals apprehended and now the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol recently testified that this number is up more than 13%. Additionally, our Sheriff’s Office recently led a multi-agency investigation which busted the largest drug smuggling operation in the history of Arizona, valued between $2-$3 Billion, arresting 76 individuals of the Sinaloa Mexican Drug Cartel and seized 108 of their firearms. In law enforcement, we call these clues; the border is NOT more secure than ever.

This immigration reform plan gives Secretary Napolitano six months to come up with a border security plan. What has she been doing for the past four years? She deceptively proclaims border security in order to convince the American people that the border is secure and yet she tells law enforcement officials that the border can’t be secured. In Nogales, Arizona on July 7th, 2011 Secretary Napolitano personally told me and several law enforcement officials that “we are never going to seal the border, and since the beginning of time, we’ve always had contraband and smuggling going through it.” I along with most Americans wonder how the person in charge of securing the border can say we can’t do it. The border can and must be secured. It has already happened in the Yuma Sector (where I was privileged to serve as the Commanding Army Officer for Task Force Yuma) where border crossings have been reduced by 97%. This is the proof of concept that PROVES that we can secure the border. Don’t buy any of the un-American and defeatist Napolitano rant that the border can’t fully be secured. 

Most agree that we need to reform our immigration system, yet logic and history should demand that our border must be secured first. I applaud this effort to add significant resources to build fencing, add needed staff, and improve security. This has to be done first. What is the justification to not secure the border first and then start on reform? I do not trust that the border will be secured under this plan, since the very people in charge already believe we have security. We are asked to trust the very people who recently released 2,228 criminal illegals to our streets and continue to refuse to provide me their names, criminal history, their individual threat assessment, and location of their supervised release. We are asked to trust the very people who covered up Benghazi and gave over 2,000 high powered weapons (AG Holder’s Fast & Furious) to the Mexican Drug Cartel that we are fighting. The only failsafe of this plan is if the border is not 90% secure, the plan calls to establish a commission years later to study what went wrong. Border security is a grave national security concern.