Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, told Newsmax TV
that the reduced number of drug seizures in border states is likely a result of Border Patrol changing its focus to the flood of illegal immigrant children.
"They're not paying attention to the drug enforcement right now because they're changing diapers and doing everything else at the border," Arpaio said on "America's Forum."
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reported last month that between Jan. 1 and June 14, seizures of marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine dropped significantly compared with the same time period a year earlier. In Texas, drug seizures fell by 34 percent, 62 percent in New Mexico and 26 percent each in Arizona and California.
Up to 90 percent of the drug traffickers arrested in Arizona are in the country illegally, a clear indication of the nexus between illegal immigration and the drug epidemic, Arpaio said.
He said a recent check
of 4,000 of the jail inmates in his area showed almost all were here illegally and 37 percent of them returned after being turned over to the government.
"They should be deported, but they keep coming back over and over and over again – committing crimes again on the streets," he said. "How do you figure that out? Either they're letting these guys out the back door or they're deporting them and they're coming back. They want to check the kids out, but they can't even check the people that we have records on out."
Harvest season is coming up, he added, meaning marijuana imports will be on the rise.
"I've been fighting this battle for 50 years at the U.S. Mexican border as head of the DEA in Latin America, Texas, and Arizona," Arpaio said. "Fifty years and the drugs are still coming in and they will always be coming in, but we can't give up.
"We have to do something to at least reduce the amount of drugs and get with the Mexican government, get with the president, take away their foreign aid if they don't get with it. Let us go over there, operationally work with them, and stop this problem, which can be done if we got the cooperation of Mexico and the U.S., especially the presidents."
Arpaio said he’s disappointed that the president of Mexico was not part of a meeting this month between President Barack Obama and the presidents of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
"The president should've gone to Mexico and had a summit with those three presidents and throw in the Mexican president," he suggested. "How come the Mexican president didn't get invited to Mexico? Maybe he turned it down because the government did criticize Gov. [Rick] Perry for sending the National Guard to the border. He ought to be commending the governor for doing that. Why criticize us when we're trying to do our job on our side of the border? What if they do theirs on their side? Send the army on their side of the border and stop this flood of drugs."
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