Southwest sheriffs meet to address ‘border catastrophe’

Rush Hour

(NewsNation) — A group of sheriffs from across Arizona, Texas, New Mexico and California are gathering this week to take action on a number of issues surrounding the U.S.-Mexico border — or what they describe as a “border catastrophe.”

One of the main focuses of the meeting is the Arizona Sheriff’s Association coming to a critical vote of no confidence in U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Chris Magnus. They insist he is not fit to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection due to a spike in illegal immigration.

In a letter to President Joe Biden, they wrote: “Since Commissioner Magnus was appointed nearly nine months ago, we have continued to see an influx of illegal immigrants and illicit drugs cross our Southern border. What we have not seen is an increased partnership from the federal government including CBP to assist local law enforcement in preventing this activity. Border security is one of the core missions of CBP and we feel the effort being put towards addressing this mission is woefully inadequate.”

The sheriffs also noted a reported increase in drugs coming across the border.

“For decades, curbing the number of illegal immigrants and illicit drugs crossing the border has been a priority for law enforcement. Unfortunately, the current administration and Commissioner Magnus do not appear to share this priority and the effects are being felt in Arizona and across the country,” the letter says.

Human smuggling also concerns the group.

“We’ve never seen it this bad,” one sheriff told NewsNation border reporter Ali Bradley. “My community feels that they’re frustrated with it. It comes to me as a sheriff. I’m working collectively with our state, local and federal partners and governor, trying to work with this administration to make sure we do a better job and secure this border.”

Some Border Patrol sector chiefs have been engaging in discussions to hear the unique challenges each county is facing.

It’s important to note the border sheriffs are seeing what’s going on along the border from different perspectives since communities are experiencing varied issues. Some are seeing an influx in immigration. Others are seeing high volumes of human and drug smuggling pursuits. Some are having trouble catching people trying to evade law enforcement.

One thing all the border sheriffs say they have in common is a lack of resources.

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