(CNSNews.com) — Speaking before the House Judiciary Committee on the issue of illegal immigration, Sheriff Paul Babeu, from Pinal County, Ariz., said up to 30 percent of the roughly 120,000 illegal aliens apprehended every year at the southwest U.S. border around his county have some kind of criminal record in the United States, adding that “the border is not more secure than ever” as President Barack Obama has stated.
According to Babeu, between 88,000 and 123,000 illegal aliens are apprehended each year at the Tuscon Sector, one of nine border patrol zones along the U.S.-Mexico border. Among those illegal aliens, between 17 and 30 percent have a criminal record in the country, Babeu testified.
“This clearly shows that the border is not more secure than ever,” he said.
Babeu also detailed the drug-running and smuggling operations that have become more and more prevalent in his county. In one day alone, law enforcement officials arrested 78 members of a notorious cartel and seized 108 illegal weapons, all during a single drug bust.
“[These are] not just handguns,” Babeu explained. “These are scoped rifles and AK-47s, two of which were traced back to the Fast and Furious operation. This is in my county.”
Illegal aliens who assist in drug-running efforts are also situated on mountaintops as “scouts,” equipped with binoculars and encrypted radios to avoid law enforcement, he said.
“When I tell a story like that, having served a tour in Iraq and commanded soldiers in the army, it almost appears I’m telling a story of some war-torn area,” Babeu said.
“This is on American soil. That’s what’s so disruptive, is the fact that here, as the sheriff, where our primary job is to answer 9-1-1 calls, how on Earth did we get here to this place that local law enforcement is leading the effort to fight criminal syndicates from a foreign nation on American soil?”
—Courtesy of Pat Dollard