As the Obama administration’s lax attitude toward America’s immigration laws has led to a marked increase in illegal border crossings, critics – especially throughout the southwest – have expressed their outrage. Few have been as outspoken as the man often billed as America’s toughest sheriff, Maricopa County, Ariz., lawman Joe Arpaio.
He recently weighed in on the influx of unaccompanied minors and other illegals being transported to his state under the direction of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Not only did Arpaio chastise government officials whose policies encourage repeat offenders, he called to task those illegals with the audacity to complain about their treatment upon arriving in the U.S. as criminals.
Arpaio revisited the issue Monday evening during an interview on the Fox News Channel. He explained that, with the sharp rise in children crossing the border, agents assigned to protecting America are suffering from misplaced priorities.
“The Border Patrol is too busy changing diapers and not going after dope peddlers and illegal immigrants,” he said.
Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerikowske seemed to bolster Arpaio’s position with a recent statement regarding the border situation.
“I have been watching them do absolutely heroic efforts,” he said of border agents. “Not only rescuing children but taking care of them, way beyond some of the skill sets. They are doing everything from making formula to bringing in their own children’s clothing to taking care of these kids in a multitude of ways.”
With nearly 50,000 minors having illegally crossed the border without adult supervision in just the past eight months, authorities are scrambling to find temporary housing for them. In Arpaio’s estimation, this result was all part of Barack Obama’s ultimate goal of achieving amnesty.
“I think the president knew this was going to happen,” he said, “so it’s going to help him on his executive orders if Congress doesn’t take this mission up.”
Judging from reports of overcrowding and generally inhospitable environments within these housing facilities, however, Arpaio concluded the scheme could likely backfire.
He said that, if they were inclined to do so, U.S. authorities could put a stop to the relentless assault on our immigration laws.
“This is a great country,” he said. “You’re trying to tell me we can’t keep people from coming into our country if we really had the desire to do it? I don’t buy it.”
Tom Horne, Arizona’s attorney general, has also gotten involved in the controversy by sending the Border Patrol official notice that they are violating federal law.