A Teleconference On Illegal Immigration With Border Sheriffs
Yesterday, I got in on a teleconference with Deborah Pryce, Jack Kingston, and Michael McCaul. Also participating were Sheriff Arvin West of Hudspeth Co, Sheriff Rick Flores of Webb Co, Sheriff Tom Hererra Maverick Co, Rick Glancey of the Texas Border Sheriff’s Coalition, Sheriff Sigi Gonzalez of Zapata Co and Sheriff Oscar Carrillo of Culberson Co.
The sheriffs were there because they work on the border and they wanted to talk about the problems associated with it.
They noted that drug dealers and smugglers are much more violent, well funded, and sophisticated than they have been in the past. They also confirmed that securing the borders isn’t just about illegal immigration, it’s about stopping drug smuggling and terrorism.
Furthermore, it’s also about costs paid by taxpayers. For example, one of the sheriffs talked about a case that happened not too long ago. 20 illegals crossed the border and one of them was found dead in a river. Well, that meant it wasn’t just an ICE problem, it was problem for the sheriff. He had to show up, determine if the illegal died of natural causes, and then try track down those illegals so they be questioned. The Feds don’t pay for that, the taxpayers in that county do.
When you consider the incredible manpower shortage they have in some of these areas, this is much bigger deal than you would think. The sheriffs said that in some areas, you’ve got 4-12 deputies covering an area the SIZE OF RHODE ISLAND! Apparently this has worked for them in the past, but as crime gets imported over the border and they have that to deal with on top of their normal jobs, they quickly get stretched way too thin.
I asked the Sheriffs if building a real wall would make their jobs easier. They said, and I found this interesting, that a real wall would be best in highly populated areas. But, in other areas that are essentially no man’s land, a virtual wall could be just effective. Also, they noted that in some areas, building a wall could be problematic because of water rights (You don’t want the wall cutting farmers off from they need for their crops). So again, in those areas, a virtual wall would be much more practical than a real wall.
All in all, it was a good session and it’s great to hear what people who are actually out there on the borders, risking life and limb, had to say about the whole issue.