U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials released illegal immigration statistics for February, which show the numbers to be literally off the recent charts.
The number of undocumented immigrants crossing the southern border last month was the highest total for February in 12 years.
As the immigration control agency released the numbers, Vice President Pence made a stop on his visit to Arizona to a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration warehouse in Phoenix.
Surrounded by confiscated drugs, guns and money, Pence said, “Anybody that tells you that drugs are not coming over our border, our points of entry, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Any vote against the president’s national emergency declaration is a vote against border security.”
“We call on every member of the Senate,” continued Pence, “and your senators here in Arizona to stand for border security. To stand with President Trump and uphold the president’s call for a national emergency and additional resources.”
In Tucson, a majority of the Pima County supervisors were standing in opposition to the president’s plan. In a 3-2 vote, the supervisors approved of two resolutions proposed by Board Chair Richard Elias in opposition to President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency and the use of concertina wire along the wall near Nogales.
Supervisors Ally Miller and Steve Christy voted against the resolutions and offered strong support for Trump.
“Supervisor Elias’s resolution states some important facts,” said Miller. “First, your motion states that conditions along the southern border have not changed substantially in recent years. I appreciate this acknowledgement because it recognizes that this very real national emergency is not a new problem but has been a dire issue ignored by members of both major political parties for many years now. Every recent president, Republican or Democratic, has basically ignored this huge national security threat.
“Second, your resolution states that apprehensions of people caught while illegally crossing the border have gone down,” continued Miller. “But in no way does the decreased number of apprehensions automatically mean that the there was an actual decrease in illegal border crossings. All it likely means is that at our ports of entry and where our southern border is most protected today with physical barriers, technology and boots on the ground, in those places only can we say that illegal border crossings have gone down.
“This likely means that illegal border crossers have wised-up and avoided these areas when possible by looking for other unsecured areas for illegally crossing our southern border. And this could be seen as further evidence that, where implemented, physical barriers do work.”
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 66,450 people were apprehended between ports of entry on the Southwest Border in February, compared with 47,986 in the month of January and 50,749 in December.
In Fiscal Year 2018, ending Sept. 30, a total of 396,579 individuals were apprehended between ports of entry on our Southwest Border.
U.S. Border Patrol Southwest Border Apprehensions FY 2019
|Southwest Border Total Apprehensions||51,002||51,857||50,749||47,986||66,450||268,044|
*Note: Family Unit represents the number of individuals (either a child under 18 years old, parent or legal guardian) apprehended with a family member by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Miller mentioned a recent visit to the ranch of Jim and Sue Chilton of Arivaca during the Pima County Board’s debate.
“The Chiltons and other southern Arizona ranchers are left alone on the front lines of the border crisis and deserve the protections our nation can and should provide,” Miller said.
Chilton and his fellow ranchers recently signed a petition asking for the government to protect them, with suggestions as to the best methods that should be deployed.
They were exercising their First Amendment rights, in seeking a redress of grievances from their senators and congressman, said a recent article by ADI columnist Jonathan DuHamel.
DuHamel described the “border security on parts of Chilton’s ranch as “a four-strand barbed wire fence. That’s all.”
Although McSally had pledged support for border security and recognized the need for a wall, on Tuesday she told reporters that she was “still looking at it.”
“I am seeking assurances that the money will not come from Arizona military construction projects,” McSally tweeted last month, referring to a conversation she had with Pence. “We can & must secure our border while ensuring our armed forces have the resources and facilities they need.”
Then on Monday, Sen. Martha McSally sent a letter to acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) March 4, 2019