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AZ Sheriff: ‘We Don’t Know Who’s Coming Through the Border’ – Don’t Have Capacity To Engage in Immigration Enforcement

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On Friday’s “MSNBC Live,” Pima County, AZ Sheriff Mark Napier (R) stated that “each year we recover about 150 bodies in the deserts of western Pima County of people that have tried to cross the border and lost their life,” and “quite frankly, we don’t know who’s coming through the border.” Napier also said that “we simply don’t have the operational capacity, nor the corrections capacity, to engage in proactive immigration enforcement.”

Napier said that problems from illegal immigration into the state have “stayed about constant” over the last few years and it has “been a pretty consistent problem.” He continued, “We know that there is a significant amount of drug trafficking and human trafficking coming across the southern border, into my county, from Mexico. We have about 125-mile exposure to the international border, and we also know that there [is] some potential for transnational threats to come across the border, because quite frankly, we don’t know who’s coming through the border. The other thing is, the human toll, Craig, each year we recover about 150 bodies in the deserts of western Pima County of people that have tried to cross the border and lost their life, because it is very rugged terrain, and sometimes our environmental conditions in Arizona are really not very favorable to making a 60 or 70-mile hike across the desert.”

He added that his department does not have the resources to help the federal authorities find people in the country illegally, and “we simply don’t have the operational capacity, nor the corrections capacity, to engage in proactive immigration enforcement.”

Napier concluded that he was “very impressed” with DHS Secretary John Kelly after meeting with him, and that there was a “kind of a wait and see attitude with what really comes down to the local level as these policies get implemented.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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