An Arizona sheriff contends that President Obama is “undermining the rule of law” by blocking the border enforcement needed to prevent illegals and narco-terrorists from flooding into the United States from Mexico.
In an exclusive Newsmax.TV interview, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said the administration has actively thwarted law enforcement efforts to help secure the border.
As a consequence, Mexican drug cartels now control some parts of Arizona, says Babeu, who is president of the Arizona Sheriff’s Association.
“Every day, there are paramilitary, squad-sized elements who are out escorting drugs or human illegals with AK-47s,” he said. “And they have scouts on top of high points of terrain, hilltops, and literally for miles and miles they control movement in these areas.
“Now we’re the ones who patrol this area. And I can tell you quite honestly that we do not control those parts of the area, because we’re not there all the time. And they know when we’re there and when we’re not there. We don’t even have a helicopter.”
Babeu, an outspoken supporter of Arizona’s controversial new immigration law, said the administration has made it more difficult to protect citizens on an increasingly unstable border.
“The federal government, instead of supporting us and saying, ‘You go, Arizona, sorry we can’t help you,’ they decided to go a step further and drag us into court, with the ACLU, so they’re undermining the rule of law,” he said.
“They literally want to leap frog over border security and just go right to amnesty. And that’s not going to happen. This is our country. You just don’t get to citizenship by breaking the law,” he said.
The nature of the violence “bleeding over into America” has changed during the past year, said Babeu, who lists the following among his chief concerns:
- His department, which is responsible for patrolling an area larger than the state of Connecticut, faces two or three high-speed pursuits a night. That never happened before, he said.
- His deputies routinely face drug gang members armed with AK-47 automatic rifles. In April, one of his deputies was wounded seriously when six members of a Mexican drug cartel ambushed them.
- The gangs that smuggle humans and drugs are becoming more aggressive. “We have sheriffs here in Arizona, myself included, who have death threats against us by the Mexican mafia and the drug cartels,” he said.
- More than 20 percent of illegals passing through his county are OTMs – Border Patrol jargon for “other than Mexicans,” and some are coming from “nations of interest” known for terrorists, such as Iran, Yemen, Somalia, and Jordan.
Babeu, who, along with Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio, has been an outspoken critic of the administration’s failure to secure the southern border, said: “You’ve got to be kidding! And this is not considered a national security threat, when we know their M.O., what they’re trying to do, to have sleeper cells come into America?”
Babeu told Newsmax he is certain border fences work. One reason for his confidence: He helped build the fence that protects San Diego.
A combat engineer and major in the Arizona Army National Guard, Babeu said completion of the fence that protects San Diego from Tijuana has had a profound impact.
“The following year, once it was finally completed, violent crime went down in San Diego by 52 percent,” he told Newsmax. “That’s an FBI statistic.”
He urged the administration to resume construction of the double-walled border fence and to send another 6,000 soldiers to secure the border. Of those, he said, 3,000 need to be assigned to patrol Arizona.
The Bureau of Federal Land Management has responded to the escalating violence, posting signs along 60 miles of highway linking Tucson and Phoenix, warning citizens in English that the area is unsafe because of armed criminals, drugs, and alien smugglers.
Babeu told Newsmax that he wants President Obama to visit the border region and “take these damn signs down.”
He added: “This is the United States of America. This isn’t half way across the world. This is our country, and we should have a right to enjoy our own safety and freedoms here in America, and not have to worry about armed squads of illegals and armed squads of drug cartel members. We don’t even feel safe in our homes and on our own property in many parts of my county.”
Babeu said he believes it’s only a matter of time until the administration files a lawsuit against him or one of his officers.
“The allegation’s going to be made that they racially profiled,” Babeu said. “And of course people are going to believe that, because the president and Eric Holder told everybody that that’s what we’re going to do.
“So that’s what they’re going to use to take us to court again, to drag a hero, a police officer, through the mud publicly . . . which is just shameful that our own president would do this,” he said.
In response, Babeu and fellow Arizona Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County have established a legal defense fund to support the state’s immigration law. Information on the fund is available at BorderSheriffs.com.
“We need help from patriots, from Americans across the country, to donate $20, $50, $100, whatever they can afford, to literally fight back against our own government,” he said.
“We’re building this legal defense fund to articulate a law-enforcement perspective, and to say why we need this law as an additional tool for us to keep our family safe and protect America, because you know what? Our own federal government under Barack Obama is not protecting America by having a secure border,” he stated.
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