By Terri Jo Neff
One Arizona sheriff sees too many similarities between U.S. immigration policy at the Southwest border and how the Biden Administration has handled the situation in Afghanistan, and he fears a perfect storm is brewing.
“It’s a mess down here all along the southwest border both on public safety, national security, and humanitarian,” Cochise County Sheriff Dannels told KFYI’s James T. Harris earlier this week. “The willful neglect, the willful avoidance to solve the problem, take responsibly for it, is the same thing he did on the Southwest border that’s now being played in a terrorist country with the Taliban.”
According to Dannels, just under 10,000 undocumented immigrants -what he calls “getaways”- were able to evade capture in July crossing from Mexico into Cochise County. The crisis is more frustrating, he said, because the Biden Administration ended President Donald Trump’s Stay in Mexico policy without having another plan in place.
The policy, Dannels said, worked well and allowed for a controlled situation at the Southwest border. Last month the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the Stay In Mexico policy reinstated despite objections from Biden’s appointees running the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
“It’s amazing that our own Department of Homeland Security is fighting that,” Dannels said of the Stay in Mexico policy. “It’s not like Mexico is fighting that or another private group is fighting that. Our government is fighting that. Which is just a crying shame because the program worked in the past.”
For now, Dannels and his deputies are putting up a valiant stand while trying to respond to the continuous influx of undocumented immigrants and the accompanied increase in crime reports. He also says “it’s truly been beneficial” to have several dozen members of the Arizona National Guard assigned to work with his agency by order of Gov. Doug Ducey.
Dannels is also aware of recent warnings to New Mexico residents about a growing Middle Eastern presence among illegal border crossers. That concern, the sheriff said, has actually been on the radar of law enforcement officials for a while.
He worries a “perfect storm” exists right now with the upcoming 20-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 and the U.S.’s open border philosophy under President Biden. It is a philosophy, Dannels said, that even those in federal leadership positions concede is not working, unless they are “a political puppet.”
And the chances are great that someone intent on doing harm to the United States is going to come through the Southwest border, Dannels said, because the White House has left law enforcement personnel unable to compete against the Cartel.
“Nothing is changing for the good down here,” Dannels said.