Arizona Border Sheriff: No Border Patrol Officials Feel Border Is Secure

August 10, 2023

By Corinne Murdock |  

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels says that no border patrol officials can attest that the border is secure.  

Dannels testified this during a joint congressional hearing in Sierra Vista, Arizona by the House Oversight and Judiciary committees on Tuesday. Dannels further accused the Biden administration of playing word games about the state of the border to foster a false sense of security among the American people.  

“It’s a shell game, it’s a word game to make the American people feel safe when we know here at the community level — especially here in Cochise County — that that’s a false narrative,” said Dannels. 

Dannels said he attempted to deliver a 16-point plan to secure the border, compiled by sheriffs nationwide, to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

According to Dannels, Mayorkas later claimed to never have seen the plan.  Present at the hearing were Arizona Reps. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ-06) and Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05), as well as Reps. William Timmons (R-SC-04), Chuck Edwards (R-NC-11), and Glenn Grothman (R-WI-06).  

Biggs remarked that Democrats refused to attend the hearing, which he lamented as prioritization of party politics over solving the border crisis.  

Democrats’ uniform absence from Tuesday’s congressional hearing, as well as the Biden administration’s insistence that the border situation has improved, appears to be a lockstep party effort to reform public perception of the border crisis.   

Last week, two of Arizona’s Democratic state lawmakers insisted that the current public perspective and reporting on the state of the border as a crisis is sensationalized. Mayorkas testified several weeks ago that he doesn’t believe the border situation constitutes a crisis, a view he has espoused consistently throughout this year. During Tuesday’s hearing, Biggs called Mayorkas’ disregard for existing law an impeachable offense.  

Furthermore, DHS is changing the categorization of an illegal immigrant terrorist to “national security risk,” a potentially euphemistic shift that Biggs questioned.   

“Why are you changing the language? Because it’s easier to hide the reality of the gravity of the situation,” said Biggs.  

Biggs reported that cartels are actively recruiting minors via social media to smuggle illegal immigrants, citing reports out of Yuma, Cochise, and Pinal counties. These cartels promise to pay minors several thousand dollars to traffic illegal immigrants into Phoenix or Tucson.   

A House-passed resolution to address the border crisis, HR2, has effectively been left to die in the Senate. Biggs remarked that Biden’s executive branch could improve the border by enforcing existing immigration laws.  

Illegal immigrants have court dates as far out as a decade. While they await their day in court, these migrants are free to roam the country. The Biden administration’s practice has effectively revived the controversial catch-and-release practice of the Obama administration.    

The border crisis has spawned other crises: crime and drugs. Fentanyl, the primary drug behind this latest addiction epidemic, has progressively killed more Americans: there were over 72,700 overdose deaths last year.  

Legal migrants were naturalized at a historic rate last year: nearly one million, the highest since 2008.  

Under Biden, there have been a historic total of 5.7 million illegal immigrant encounters at the southwest border (as of this report, July’s total hasn’t been released). This total doesn’t reflect the countless number of “gotaways” — those not encountered and remain in the country undetected.   

Watch the full congressional hearing here:  

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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