AZ Sheriffs Meet with Gov. Hobbs to Discuss Title 42 actions
Sheriffs from 10 counties met with Gov. Katie Hobbs Tuesday to offer input on plans to mitigate the humanitarian and criminal impacts of a wave of immigrants entering Arizona after the end of the federal government’s Title 42.
Sheriffs expressed their concern to Hobbs that not enough is being done from the federal or state level to stop the flow of illegal crossings and the human and drug smuggling cartels that will be taking advantage of the chaos. The sheriffs are concerned with the potential for thousands of migrants released to the streets because of a stressed system to deal with the flood of border crossers.
“For decades, the federal government has failed Arizona with its unsuccessful attempts at border security,” Arizona Sheriffs Association president and Yavapai Sheriff David Rhodes said. “Sheriffs and other law enforcement from across the state seize as much fentanyl here than the rest of the country combined. We need the resources to combat drug and human smuggling. Our message to Gov. Hobbs was plain and simple: help is needed.”
Title 42 restrictions on immigration had been in place since the early days of the pandemic and allowed the federal government to expel migrants back to Mexico or their home country. Now, thousands of migrants are waiting at border crossings in Nogales, Yuma and other ports of entry to apply for asylum.
“Arizona is not prepared for the thousands of people lined up south of Yuma who want to enter Arizona, either through asylum or crossing the border illegally,” said Yuma Sheriff Leon Wilmot, whose county is one of the most impacted along the entire border. “We need more federal and state resources to handle what is a long-term problem. We have asked both the governor and our federal representatives for more help. We hope they hear our calls.”
The Arizona Sheriff’s Association is the one credible voice representing law enforcement and public safety for the counties of Arizona.