Terence P. Jeffrey
Friday, August 27, 2010
(CNSNews.com) – Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., says it is “an outrage” the Obama administration has stopped building the double-fencing needed to assist the Border Patrol in securing the U.S.-Mexico border and says it is time for the United States to begin fighting illegal immigration and drug smuggling directly at the border instead of within the country where it harms American citizens and communities.
By the time Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, according to the Justice Department, only 108 miles of the 262-mile-long Arizona portion of the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border had been fenced.
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“We shouldn’t be fighting this battle in the interior. We should be fighting it directly on our international border,” Babeu said in an “Online With Terry Jeffrey” interview. “And it’s an outrage that our own federal government stopped building the fence.”
Babeu, whose southern Arizona county sits astride major drug-and-alien-smuggling routes running north from Mexico, has joined with Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, Ariz., and Arizona’s two U.S. senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, to push a 10-point plan for securing the border. The plan includes, among other provisions, completing the necessary border fencing, deploying 3,000 National Guard troops to cover just the Arizona stretch of the border, and deploying significantly more surveillance aircraft than are currently used to patrol the border.
Babeu, who is also a major in the Army National Guard and who did a tour in Iraq, formerly commanded Task Force Yuma, a deployment of 700 Army and Air Force National Guard troops who worked with the Border Patrol to secure one segment of the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.
CNSNews.com asked Babeu about a 2009 report from the National Drug Intelligence Center, an element of the Obama Justice Department, that described the Arizona border as “underprotected,” “especially conducive to large-scale drug smuggling,” and a place where “few barriers exist … to impede drug traffickers, chiefly Mexican DTOs [Drug Trafficking Organizations], from smuggling illigicit drug shipments into the United States from Mexico.”