TUCSON — Crime continues to plague Tucson due in part to the opioid crisis, but the city council is focused on fighting against barriers that keep smugglers out.
The Tucson City Council voted unanimously last week to support Nogales’ fight with the federal government over concertina wire strung along the border fence.
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik complained that President Donald Trump declared an emergency and ignores “humanitarian emergency that we as a community, not as a city government but as a community, see every single day.”
However, Kozachick ignored pleas for intervention during the border surge of unaccompanied alien children during the Obama administration.
In 2014, unaccompanied alien children were transferred from cages set up in the Border Patrol complex in Nogales and then transferred to Tucson where untold numbers of them were handed over to human traffickers.
Border Patrol agents were ordered to turn over unaccompanied children to people whose phone numbers they possessed — without vetting the recipients of these children.
Kozachik was a defender of the shelter, Southwest Key, which housed and processed many of these children. After a brief and carefully orchestrated tour of the facility, Kozachik and members of his entourage described it as a “homey” place.
A year later, Arizona State Rep, Bob Thorpe, R-Flagstaff, called for an investigation into Southwest Key facilities. Southwest Key was under contract with the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a federal agency of Health and Human Services, and licensed by the State of Arizona.
Thorpe’s request followed revelations by U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) about the trafficking of the children.
According to Grassley, children were often placed with convicted criminals. Grassley found that children were turned over to sponsors with criminal histories that include domestic violence, homicide, child molestation, sexual assault and human trafficking.
In 2018, Rep. Kelly Butler joined Thorpe in calling for an investigation of the abuses by Southwest Key.
As for the drugs that are ravaging communities like Tucson, in January Customs and Border Protection officers in Nogales made the largest fentanyl seizure in the agency’s history when they confiscated 254 pounds of the drug valued at $3.5 million.
Is Kozachik only concerned about making a political statement, while ignoring the needs of the people he represents?
There was no concern for the children who were trafficked as a result of lax border security during the Obama years, nor is there any concern today for those who are killed by dangerous drugs brought across the porous border.