APRIL 24, 2013

Sheriff Babeu: “Secure the Border First, or Repeat History”

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FLORENCE – Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu has announced his opposition to the proposed immigration reform offered by the so called “Gang of Eight,” officially titled the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013” or the “Schumer-McCain Immigration Bill.”

Sheriff Paul Babeu said, “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. The failure to secure the border after the Reagan amnesty got us where we are today with 11 to 20 million illegals in our Country … this plan will repeat history.”

Sheriff Babeu added, “Secretary Janet Napolitano almost daily proclaims that our U.S./Mexican border is already secure in an effort to pave the way to amnesty. One year ago, the Tucson sector alone had 122,000 illegals apprehended and now the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol recently testified that this number is up more than 13 percent. 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.”

Sheriff Babeu continued, “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 border crossings have been reduced by 97 percent.”

Sheriff Babeu concluded, “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 percent secure, the plan calls to establish a commission years later to study what went wrong. Border security is a grave national security concern and we should address this as such now. Secure the border first, and then we can talk.”

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