Yuma, Arizona.- Sheriffs from two South Dakota counties got the chance to learn about the current situation Yuma County in Arizona faces when it comes to illegal immigration during a visit last week.
According to Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot, Yuma Sector Chief Clem met him; Moody County, South Dakota Sheriff Troy Wellman; and Lincoln County, South Dakota Sheriff Steve Swenson.
The sheriffs were given a briefing on Yuma Sector’s current operations and challenges, and Sheriff Wilmot agreed to share his thoughts in an interview with El Termómetro de la Noticia.
Here is the full interview.
What was the meeting for?
This is an ongoing project Border Sheriffs started, along the southwest border, called “Borders in your back yard”. Sheriffs throughout the country and their local media can come to the border to see what the real impacts are on our local level and how the lack of Border Security impacts their state and county.
What is your current concern about the border and illegal immigration? What are the issues YCSO is facing in order to provide safety to the local taxpayers while illegal migration is still going on?
The situation became a local concern with the lack of preparation by the administration who decided to end the MPP process that was in place and doing this during a covid lock down on travel, resulting in USBP resources being overwhelmed and releasing individuals into the county with no covid testing or resources. With the continued situation, over 240,00 individuals have been apprehended in this last federal fiscal year along with 24,000 getaways, the impacts have been on the local environment: vast amount of trash being dumped in the River area, including clothing, medicines, diapers, personal items etc. Also impacts our local communities to include city EMS services moving their resources to the border instead of focusing on their city, the local NGO’s have expressed to our senators and DHS that this has been a significant cost to them with little to no reimbursement and they do not see this being a sustainable situation. Impacts on law enforcement due to responding to calls for 911 calls either out in the remote county desert, levee area and even calls to the local Mission for disturbance calls and immigrants taxing their resources. Law enforcement also responds to investigate the deaths in the desert to which we have already responded to over 35 this calendar year. Not to mention the vast amounts of Narcotics being smuggled into the country due to USBP resources being used to process and not being out on the border. With over 107,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. this last year, Texas and Arizona, unfortunately, have been identified as the two states where the vast amount of narcotics are being smuggled into the United States.
Is there any similarity between Yuma County and South Dakota’s counties regarding safety or illegal immigration? Why South Dakota?
The South Dakota Sheriffs Association elected to send two Sheriffs to Arizona and Two Sheriffs to Texas due to the vast amount of overdoses they are seeing in their state, as well as criminal activity. This includes one Sheriff having an Illegal immigrant in his jail for molesting his juvenile niece.
Was there any agreement of collaboration between both states Sheriffs?
There are no official agreements from any Sheriffs organizations from other states other than shared concerns for ensuring the safety of our communities and stopping the illegal flow of hard narcotics into our communities that is poisoning our citizens and holding those that would elect to enter this country illegally and commit state crime responsible for their actions.
Anything you would like to add.
Once given a tour of our border, the SD Sheriffs then went to Cochise county and were able to see the vast difference in geography and challenges we each face and were then tasked with returning to their states to compile all of the information to share with their fellow law enforcement agencies and communities of the boots on the ground view of the Border Crisis.