Friday, 06 May 2011 04:52 PM
By Jim Meyers and Ashley Martella
The U.S. Border Patrol has told its agents to stop arresting illegal aliens crossing the border from Mexico to keep the illegal immigration numbers down, Arizona Sheriff Larry Dever tells Newsmax.
He also charges that Attorney General Eric Holder is “holding hands with the ACLU” to protect illegal aliens from prosecution, says illegals are committing “heinous crimes” across America every day, and calls claims that the federal government should be solely responsible for controlling illegal immigration “balderdash.”
Dever is sheriff of Cochise County, which shares an 83-mile border with Mexico, and he says his Border Patrol sector is responsible for half of all illegal aliens caught trying to enter the country and halt the narcotics entering the United States.
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In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, he was asked about the Obama administration’s bragging that the border is more secure than ever.
“For the secretary of homeland security to say the border is more secure than ever, well, I’ve been there forever and there was a happier time than what it is today. We have a long, long way to go.
“Don’t drink the Kool-Aid and buy into 'this border is secure' nonsense.
“There’s a bad element in the mix of the aliens that are crossing that border and they don’t stay there, they move into communities throughout the country. And every day there are travesties and heinous crimes being committed by those people. If we don’t stop it at the border, it’s just going to continue to grow.”
Dever recently told Congress that in one district in Texas, illegals are allowed to be caught crossing the border 14 times before being charged with a felony, and federal smuggling charges are not considered unless at least six illegal aliens are being smuggled into the country.
“It doesn’t surprise me because we’ve been seeing that every day in Arizona, with artificial thresholds for narcotics, for human smuggling,” he tells Newsmax.
“For that to be issued as a written solid order, it’s outrageous.”
He also explains how he has heard that the Border Patrol has told officers to stop arresting Mexican illegals to keep official illegal immigration figures down.
“That comes from agents on the ground, who have told me, told my deputies, told citizens in the area.
“They have in the past been instructed to scare people back or turn them back south versus arresting them.”
Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher’s has denied that agents have been told not to arrest Mexican illegals. Dever responds: “I tend to believe there is no written order to that effect. But if your agents on the ground have that perception and that understanding, then you need to go back and change it.
“If they’re lying, shame on them, and shame on me for bringing it up. But frankly, my staff, when they heard this, they said what’s the big deal? We’ve been hearing this forever. And people who live in my county say the same things.
“So something’s going on and it needs to be rectified and fixed so these people are brought to justice.”
Dever tells Newsmax that the Mexican drug cartels are freely operating many miles from the U.S.-Mexican border.
“You can go up to 70 miles north in Pinal County, which isn’t even a border county, and the Bureau of Land Management put up signs on public land warning people not to travel there because of the threat from drug cartels.
“If you travel into the recreational areas in my county, those same signs are up warning people they could encounter drug and human smuggling. I think we ought to point the signs south and tell the folks who are coming here that this is not a safe place for you to come.”
Referring to “roadblocks” Eric Holder has been erecting against Arizona’s attempts to deal with the immigration problem, Dever says: “He’s the guy who sued us, sued the state of Arizona, holding hands with the ACLU. It doesn’t do any good to arrest people if all you’re going to do is kick them back. If they’re not going to be prosecuted and held accountable, where’s the teeth in the enforcement effort?”
When Arizona passed its tough anti-illegal immigration legislation last year, the ACLU “sued every Arizona sheriff and every Arizona county attorney independently to enjoin us from enforcing the law should it pass constitutional muster,” Dever adds.
“Then the Department of Justice sued the state of Arizona. Here’s what’s absolutely bizarre and hypocritical: The Department of Homeland Security since Sept. 11, 2001, has been on an outreach effort to empower and partner with state and local law enforcement to help defend and protect our homeland.
“When it comes to gun-running, money-laundering, kidnapping, murder, all those border-related crimes that we have, they wrap their arms around us and say let’s go get these guys. When it comes to illegal immigration, they sue us. They say back off, that is our sole responsibility. And I say balderdash.”
Dever encourages Americans to “keep pressure on your congressional representatives” to deal effectively with illegal immigration. “It’s beginning to work. It’s beginning to take hold.”
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