Elected officials have used the illegal immigration issue to their political advantage for years. In our opinion, Arizona is blessed with several of those rare elected officials whose commitment to fighting illegal immigration and promoting border security despite the political risks never wavers. I checked in with one of those leaders this week, and offer you readers this update here:
Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu became a familiar face and household name in April 2010 when he appeared in the “Build the Dang Fence” commercial with Senator John McCain who was battling against J.D. Hayworth to retain his seat in the U.S. Senate. During that same time, Sheriff Babeu also helped Senators’ McCain and Kyl develop their 10-Point Border Security Plan. Senator McCain has since abandoned the border security plan and instead he has spent his time working with the “Gang of Eight” to create an amnesty plan for the 12-23 million illegals in the United States today.
The McCain-Kyl “10-Point Border Security” plan mirrored what was already accomplished in the Yuma Sector where border crossings and apprehensions have been reduced by over 96%. The Yuma Sector as a result of this plan still enjoys this same success today. Sheriff Babeu was a United States Army Major at the time, and played a key role in the success of this plan as the commanding officer for “Operation Jump Start.” Through this effort, the Yuma Sector of the border was secured because armed soldiers were placed on the border, the military constructed a double barrier fence, and illegals caught crossing into the U.S. were prosecuted for their crime(s) instead of Pres. Obama’s “catch & release” policy in place today.
Sheriff Paul Babeu has twice served as president of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association, and more recently was voted unanimously as the spokesperson for the Western States Sheriff’s Association on all issues related to immigration and border security. During July of this year, he worked with Congressmen Goodlatte and Gowdy on their “Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement Act” to help protect American citizens from illegal aliens already in the United States.
Pinal is the third largest county in Arizona. Unfortunately, it ranks as the “top pass through county” in the nation for both drug- and human smuggling. They received this distinction because those involved with drug and human smuggling funnel north through Pinal County from the counties below it, a result of both the county’s terrain and the system of roads and highways.
Pinal County residents have seen more than their fair share of crimes as a result of America’s still-unsecured border. Mind you, despite what Homeland IN-Security Secretary Janet Napolitano promises, our border remains very insecure. Almost daily, Sheriff Babeu’s deputies are involved in vehicle pursuits with cartel members smuggling drugs or people. The county has seen executions, and Mexican cartels have now sent assassins into Pinal County to carry out the murders of other cartel members on U.S. soil.
In addition, Mexican drug and human smuggling cartels have sent Rip Crews” into Arizona, including Pinal County, which have been involved in gun battles with other cartel members. These so-called “Rip Crews” (ultra-violent gangs tied to the cartels to steal from other cartels) have conducted traffic stops and been involved in heinous crimes including, but not limited to homicides, home invasions, kidnappings, shootings, sexual assaults, burglaries and thefts.
Pinal Deputies have confronted armed individuals both in the desert and in vehicles, and been involved in shootings and physical confrontations. Just last month, they caught a smuggler who had already been deported from the United States 11 prior times. This time when deputies attempted to contact him, he fled in a vehicle, then fled on foot, and when deputies tried to arrest him he assaulted them. And at the time, he was attempting to smuggle 220 pounds of marijuana into the U.S.
As if all that weren’t enough to keep him busy, Sheriff Babeu also helped “Whistle Blower” employees from ICE and U.S. Border Patrol come forward after they were ordered by the Obama Administration to secretly release over 2,000 illegals from detention facilities throughout the United States. As we’ve now learned, many of those illegals released by Pres. Obama into our communities had criminal histories which included manslaughter, child molestation, aggravated assault, weapon offenses, forgery, drug offenses or other serious crimes.
Illegal immigration isn’t the only crime Sheriff Babeu or his dedicated team face in Pinal County, but I asked him why he puts so much effort into this cause. His answer is important for all the right reasons: “Until this administration gets serious and properly secures the border, if we don’t stop it here then it will continue throughout America.”
He continued by telling me, he instructs his deputies, “to dismantle and disrupt drug and human trafficking operations and arrest those responsible. Every time the cartels change their tactics to try to win the war, we will change ours to defeat them.”
For this blogger, it seems most days the White House and Congress are more interested in winning elections than securing our border, protecting our communities, stopping the flow of drugs into our schools, and saving the lives of any of the women and children lost each year, month, week and day to human trafficking and the global sex trade.
Thankfully there are still elected officials out there who haven’t given up. One of the very finest is Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu.
~For God and Country