By Daniel Stefanski |
The number of illegal immigrants apprehended during Joe Biden’s tenure in the White House is adding up.
Last month, the Missouri Freedom Caucus shared a graphic, showing state populations versus the number of illegal immigrants encountered by border officials since President Joe Biden took office in January 2021. The number of illegal immigrants during this time frame was 8,500,000, which would make it the 13th-most populated U.S. state.
By comparison, Arizona has a population of 7,431,344.
The 8.5 million figure includes an estimate of over 1.7 million ‘gotaways’ who have escaped detection from law enforcement. Some experts, including border officials, believe that this number could be on the low end of the actual number of illegal immigrants sneaking past agents.
The escalating border crisis has taken center stage of many political discussions over the past year – especially in Arizona, where a divided government remains at odds with how to attack the grave problems from a state level. Arizona Republicans, who control both chambers of the state legislature, were active throughout 2023 in introducing proposals to combat the border crisis and to raise awareness for the issues faced by law enforcement and members of their communities alike.
Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs also took some action through her Office and her rhetoric has recently intensified against the federal government’s handling of the situation on the ground in her state.
At the start of the new legislative session, Republican leaders invited Arizona border sheriffs to come speak before a joint session in the State House of Representatives. After that event, Senate President Warren Petersen said, “Folks, we have a huge national security problem on our hands, and the federal government is nowhere to be found. Sheriff Mark Dannels described the invasion as the ugliest he’s ever seen it. Over the past 24 months, his deputies booked nearly 3,000 individuals for border crimes, engaged in more than 400 felony high-speed chases, and have been forced to release more than 30,000 illegals into our communities. Sheriff Wilmot showed disturbing images of the death and destruction his deputies are encountering in our communities from the cartel and human smugglers.”
Petersen also addressed the changing tone from Hobbs, writing, “While our Democrat Governor is speaking out against Biden’s handling of the border, we need her actions to match her words. She vetoed three good border bills last year. Governor, sign our border legislation.”
Arizona legislative Republicans also introduced new legislation this past month to mitigate the effects of the crisis at the southern border, holding a press conference to announce their proposals to “provide law enforcement with the support they need to defend our citizens against these threats.” One of the bills Republicans will seek to pass through the legislature, the Arizona Border Invasion Act, is sponsored by Senator Janae Shamp. The other bill highlighted by the Party was Senator David Gowan’s Aggravated Unlawful Flight Act.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.