From COVID-19 to the economy, both President Trump and former vice-president Joe Biden had opportunities to make a final pitch to a national television audience in the second and final presidential debate of the 2020 campaign season.
While the topic of immigration received some much-needed airtime, it also created some confusion for those who don’t live in, or near, a border state. For Arizonans, who live in an area of the country in which illegal immigration is part of day-to-day life, President Trump’s use of the term “coyote” was unremarkable. For others, especially those looking to pounce on anything the president said, the term used to describe a furry dog-like scavenger or a human smuggler, sparked some genuine confusion, and a chance for opportunistic politicians to take a stab at juvenile jokes.
In the case of Georgia State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick, it was hard to tell if she was confused or uninformed. Either way, she was quick to mock the president before becoming the subject of mockery herself.
Fortunately, Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb, an adult in the Twittersphere, stepped in to provide clarification regarding the meaning of “coyote,” from a law enforcement perspective.
What’s a”Coyote”? Well let me explain it, especially to all of you who are apparently smarter then us and our President. Thank you @realDonaldTrump for taking Border Security seriously and protecting America. It’s not a joke! Stand with us!#coyote #whatsacoyote #bordersecurity pic.twitter.com/Qf79zS5LBw
— Mark Lamb (@sherifflamb1) October 24, 2020
In his tweet posted October 24, Sheriff Lamb was quick to thank the president for taking border security “seriously,” while also educating the public at-large that coyotes are smugglers paid by the cartels to bring people and drugs into the United States.
It’s estimated, as noted by the president, that over 500 migrant children, who were unable to be reunited with their parents, were brought to the U.S. border by “coyotes.”
Sheriff Lamb put a fine point on what those who live outside the border states simply do not know, that illicit drugs like fentanyl, heroine, and methamphetamine, as well as human trafficking, are a direct result of the work of “coyotes.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, in cases where agents were suspicious about whether a “family unit” was really made up of related parents and children, almost one in three of those who did submit to DNA testing were confirmed to be fraudsters.
The president, when pressed, said the government is working “very hard” to reunite these families. The trick is to identify to whom these kids actually belong.