Arizona Sheriff Mark Dannels said Monday that President Joe Biden’s plan to end construction of a southern border wall is “political theater” that will compound security concerns along the southwest border.
“This political theater playing that’s being played out is scary to all of us on the southwest border … Every American should be standing up on this,” Dannels told “Fox & Friends,” referring to an executive order repealing the declaration of a crisis on the southern border and effectively stopping construction of the border wall ordered by former President Donald Trump.
“This executive order, it’s troublesome, it’s hasty. We’ve worked so well over the years and why we need a secure border is just common sense,” Dannels continued, saying that 800 cameras are now deployed along the southwest border. (RELATED: ‘Dead On Arrival’: Sen. Tom Cotton Says Biden Immigration Bill Too ‘Far To The Left,’ Won’t Become Law)
“This was a positive protection for our county, for America … It’s working. And to halt that is hasty and, again … political theater being played out on the backs of America.”
Dannels said “1,100 gang members representing 20 different countries” tried to illegally enter within Arizona’s Cochise County alone over the course of 2019 and urged people to consider the “3,500 children who are being are being exploited by the cartels.” He restates these statistics in his border security report.
Biden’s eight-year path to citizenship plan would allow all illegal immigrants living in the U.S. as of Jan. 1, 2021 to achieve temporary legal status in five years and to apply for citizenship after an additional three years. Individuals would be expected to pay taxes and be subject to a background check during this process.
The sheriff said it “bothers” him that after 37 years of law enforcement, “the lessons of the past” seem to be lost on many members of Congress. He said sheriffs in the southwest United States had “a very positive, proactive relationship” with Trump and had the opportunity to “work out community issues.” (RELATED: ‘We’re Going To Send A Vast Majority Of You Back’: How Joe Biden Handled A Migrant Crisis In 2014)
Dannels said the decision to halt construction of the wall is “sad.”
“I’m telling you, we’ve been down this road before. I don’t know why we can’t look in the past and find balance in our processes, our programs and stop this madness,” Dannels continued.
The Biden administration is not encouraging migrants to cross the southern border and has attempted to reduce expectations of mass asylum by suggesting the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a strong reason to continue to restrict immigration.