Pence’s speech, about border security issues, was delivered in Phoenix at the Arizona Commerce Authority.
The speech comes as this particular part of the border, which used to be fairly quiet, has become known for seemingly nonstop human smuggling chases and at times violent encounters with cartel gang members and smugglers over the last year, according to the local sheriff.
Over the weekend, for example, a bust was made in Douglas, Arizona where 20 migrants — including two unaccompanied children — were found in the back seat and bed of a truck.
Additionally, in Bisbee, Arizona, two U.S. citizens were caught attempting to smuggle five Guatemalans into the United States. All were arrested and both of the American smugglers were armed with handguns.
The vice president is also meeting with local law enforcement and campaigning for conservatives running in the state, including Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
The governor was supposed to attend the border event and speech in Phoenix with Pence but pulled out after testing positive for COVID, according to Ducey spokesman C.J. Karamargin.
Pence is promising that if Republican retake control, brighter days are ahead on the border, including here.
“Help is on the way. I know what Washington, D.C., is focused on right now but the American people are focused on inflation at a 40-year high and they’re focused on border security.”
Despite the former vice president’s visit, however, a lot of Americans in the area are losing hope.
Ranchers who deal with this problem every day, for example, have smugglers driving over their fences and running through their herds. They tell NewsNation they feel abandoned by the government.
“There were 11 people in a Suburban right on the highway in front of the house. They crashed through the fence,” said Fred Davis, an Arizona rancher. “This kind of crap goes on all the time. We’re not supposed (to) have to live like that.”
With the former vice president’s name recognition, the speculation mill is churning: Does the border visit herald a run at the Oval Office?
Asked that question Monday, Pence told reporters the only thing he’s focused on right now is the midterms.