Gilbert-based Horne Auto Group has added another automotive dealership to its list of holdings.
Last month, the family-owned and operated company completed its purchase of Sonora Nissan in Yuma. The dealership, which has been rebranded as Horne Nissan Yuma, is the company’s second Nissan dealership.
The acquisition brings roughly 34 more employees under the Horne Auto Group umbrella, for an all-location employee total of 474.
Horne Auto Group’s other dealerships are Champion Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram of Nogales, Horne Auto Center Featuring Chevrolet in Show Low, Horne Cadillac in Show Low, Horne Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Globe, Horne Ford of Nogales, Horne Freedom Ford in Thatcher, Horne Genesis of Apache Junction and Mesa, Horne Kia in Gilbert, Horne Lincoln of Nogales, Horne Mazda in Tempe, Horne Subaru in Show Low, Robert Horne Ford in Apache Junction, Horne Hyundai in Apache Junction, and Horne Nissan in Globe.
The company also owns Horne Collision Center of Show Low, Horne Motors in Mesa, and Horne Motors in Show Low.
The Horne family has been in Arizona for over 140 years, when Henry James Horne settled in Mesa in 1880. His grandson, Gail B. Horne, co-founded the Henry and Horne CPA Firm in 1957, which was later joined by Gail’s son Robert C. Horne.
In 1991, Robert C. Horne purchased a small Chevrolet dealership in Show Low. From that small start, he and sons Aaron, Adam, Andrew, Michael and son-in-law Martin P. Jones have grown the company into what is now Horne Auto Group.
President Joe Biden’s border crisis hasn’t slowed down in the least, as was made apparent by recent evidence that illegal immigrant detention centers continue to be well over their capacity nearly a year after his administration began. Last week, leaked photos given to the Washington Examiner revealed the current state of one Yuma detention center. The pictures depict accommodations akin to those used by the hoards of homeless overcrowding deep blue cities like San Francisco, California, or Seattle, Washington: illegal immigrants huddled under makeshift tarp tents, touching elbows in areas with standing room only, nestled shoulder to shoulder with their belongings along hallways, or packed together on floors to sleep in space blankets.
Insiders involved with the detention center reported that the number of those detained surpassed the space available inside for the nighttime, forcing illegal immigrants to sleep outside under the makeshift tents in the freezing or near-freezing weather outdoors.
The insiders further informed the Washington Examiner that Biden’s border crisis upended the normal ebb and flow of illegal immigration: the usual easing up of illegal crossings around the holidays didn’t occur last year.
Border Patrol Yuma Sector union President Rafa Rivera told the news outlet that no CDC guidelines can be followed due to overcrowding.
Former Arizona Supreme Court Justice Andrew Gould explained to AZ Free News that the detention facility numbers seen currently are two to four times normal capacity; under normal circumstances, the sites cost taxpayers about $8 million a month in operational expenses.
Gould added that the overcrowding has minimized some in recent weeks — from around 3,000 to 1,200 thanks to greater efforts by law enforcement to secure the border. Authorities were prompted to take further action as illegal immigrants were trampling the area’s agricultural fields as they traveled. Yuma County serves as one of the nation’s premiere suppliers in winter produce, calling itself the “winter vegetable capital of the world.”
“90 percent of the [winter] produce in the country comes out of Yuma. It’s a critical area for food and food safety and producing food,” said Gould. “The illegal immigrants are basically trampling down crops in fields. Not only are they destroying crops but they’re crops that are highly regulated. Preventing any type of contamination in those fields is important because it puts our food supply at risk.”
Gould also pointed out that many illegal immigrants, especially those from Mexico, don’t have access to good health care. He explained that the detained expose border patrol and any others present to serious disease like tuberculosis, on top of COVID-19. He questioned why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has focused on all other workplaces, especially throughout the pandemic, but hasn’t intervened with these detention centers.
“Nationwide, OSHA is mandated to protect workplace safety but I haven’t seen anything about OSHA about the workplace conditions of border patrol agents workpace sites,” mused Gould.
It’s not just the temperatures and sanitary issues, especially with the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, that have caused concern. Illegal Haitian immigrants have become increasingly violent as they continue to be deported back to Haiti, causing fights on the deportation flights or resisting arrest along the border.
Overcrowding in deportation centers shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that the number of encounters experienced over the course of days has equaled or surpassed what authorities would experience in a month or more.
As AZ Free News reported, Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls declared a state of emergency early last month after authorities captured the number of illegal immigrants normally apprehended in a month’s time in five days: over 6,000 illegal immigrants. Per Customs and Border Patrol’s (CBP) latest report, over 173,600 illegal immigrants were apprehended in November.
Thousands of illegal immigrants in a matter of days has been more of a regular occurrence rather than an exception to the rule under the Biden Administration. About a week after Nicholls’ emergency declaration, Yuma Sector Chief Patrol Agent Chris Clem announced the encounter of over 2,600 illegal immigrants in one weekend.
More illegal immigrants from Uzbekistan were discovered crossing the Yuma, Arizona border.
Townhall reporter Julio Rosas discovered this less-common variant of illegal immigrant while visiting the Yuma border on Thursday.
“This family that just crossed the Colorado River told me they’re from Uzbekistan, that’s a first one for me,” wrote Rosas. “Three adult males who illegally crossed into the US here in Yuma showed me their Uzbekistan passports. They turned themselves in to the BP [border patrol] agent who was by the gap in the border wall.”
This family that just crossed the Colorado River told me they’re from Uzbekistan, that’s a first one for me. pic.twitter.com/YPzfQdcP87
A small portion of Uzbekistan is bordered by Afghanistan in the south, while a majority of the country is bordered by Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan. A majority of the population are Uzbek, nearly all of whom are Sunni Muslim. The Taliban are also considered Sunni Muslim.
Reportedly, the Uzbek government has kept up strict border policies with Afghanistan historically. The Taliban’s advances leading to the takeover in August caused Uzbekistan and neighboring countries to increase their border security greatly.
It is unclear why there would be an influx of Uzbek illegal immigrants. Uzbekistan is one of the more prosperous and safe countries in Central Asia. From November to early spring of this year, protests broke out across the country as it faced power supply shortages aggravated by intense winter storms. However, these protests didn’t reach the severity of the 2005 Andijan Massacre, in which hundreds were shot to death during a protest to release 23 businessmen imprisoned over accusations of Islamic extremism.
Uzbek illegal immigrants aren’t an entirely new development for the border crisis. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported in January an uptick in Uzbek illegal immigrants. CBP officials explained that those caught earlier this year were escaping persecution for homosexuality. Uzbeks that engage in homosexual relations can face up to three years in prison.
Under the Taliban, punishment for homosexuality includes being stoned to death, crushed under a wall, or thrown off a tall building.
Arizona’s Refugee Resettlement Program doesn’t have any data on Uzbek resettlement since 2015.
On Wednesday, Governor Doug Ducey and a delegation of state lawmakers travelled to Yuma to call on the Biden administration to address the escalating humanitarian and security crisis on the U.S. / Mexico border. The officials received a briefing from U.S. Border Patrol, local law enforcement and community leaders.
The Governor was joined by Senate President Karen Fann, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, Adjutant General Kerry Muehlenbeck, Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls, Yuma County Supervisor Jonathon Lines, San Luis Mayor Jerry Sanchez, Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, local agriculture leaders and other leaders and members of the legislature.
The officials received a briefing on Border Patrol operations from Chris T. Clem, Chief of the Border Patrol Yuma Sector. The Yuma Sector encompasses 126 miles of international border with Mexico, with three checkpoints currently manned by over 700 Border Patrol agents.
The tour follows the Governor’s Declaration of Emergency and decision to deploy the Arizona National Guard to the border to support law enforcement efforts.
Ducey declared a state of emergency in six counties including Cochise, Pima, Santa Cruz, Yuma, Maricopa and Pinal. The team of up to 250 Guardsmen, along with state troopers and other law enforcement agencies, will assist with medical operations in detention centers, install and maintain border cameras, monitor and collect data from public safety cameras, and analyze satellite imagery for current trends in smuggling corridors.
The state will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.
On Tuesday, in response to the crisis on the U.S. Mexico border, Governor Doug Ducey announced he is deploying the Arizona National Guard to the border and issued a Declaration of Emergency as part of the state’s effort to support local law enforcement efforts.
Up to 250 Guardsmen will be sent to border communities and will be available to support other law enforcement agencies, like state troopers. The Arizona National Guard will:
Assist with medical operations in detention centers;
Install and maintaining border cameras;
Monitor and collect data from public safety cameras; and
Analyze satellite imagery for current trends in smuggling corridors.
The State will provide up to $25 million in initial funding for the mission.
NEW: The federal government won’t act — but Arizona will. To address the crisis at the border, I’ve issued a Declaration of Emergency and am deploying the brave men and women of our @AZNationalGuard to support law enforcement efforts and protect Arizonans. pic.twitter.com/EdFkiM2C5t
U.S. Customs & Border Protection in March had more than 170,000 apprehensions at the Southwest border. Nearly 19,000 of those apprehensions were unaccompanied children — more than four times the number of kids apprehended in March 2020.
“The federal government’s actions have made the border less secure. This threatens the safety of our communities and law enforcement,” said Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels. “Border towns and officers need support as the crisis at the border escalates. I’m grateful to Governor Ducey for taking action and sending the National Guard to help. We welcome immigrants with open arms — but it needs to be done legally and orderly to ensure we are protecting our communities, state, and nation.”
Ducey’s decision was also welcomed by Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone, a Democrat, who said “the issues at the border affect the whole state, to include Maricopa County.”
“The availability of Arizona National Guard resources in support of law enforcement demands is an asset for our depleted resources. I appreciate Governor Ducey’s commitment to law enforcement organizations,” concluded Penzone.
“The crisis at the border is serious and cannot be taken lightly,” said Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot. “The Arizona National Guard will provide much-needed support to our officers and safety officials, and will help ensure Yuma and other border communities are further protected from dangerous and illegal activity. By deploying National Guard assets, the Governor will allow me to deploy more first responders to mission critical tasks where we will work side by side with our federal partners to target, apprehend and prosecute transnational criminal organizations. My thanks to the Governor for taking action to protect Arizonans, law enforcement and legal immigration.”