Special to WorldTribune.com
A local law enforcement officer has gone public with criticism of the Barack Obama administration’s border policies.
President Barack Obama has “handcuffed the Border Patrol” and is preventing agents from enforcing immigration laws, an Arizona sheriff said on March 8.
“We should be putting every resource to the border,” Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said. “And instead of threatening the very people who are charged with protecting our country, securing the border, they should be finding ways to further support them.”
Speaking at a news conference, Babeu, flanked by Border Patrol agents and union leaders, said high-traffic smuggling routes are not appropriately staffed and he blasted the Obama administration for politicizing immigration enforcement.
The sheriff said 1,500 Border Patrol agents that are mandated by Congress “are not being hired and we see a submission of another 300 Border Patrol agents that are being cut. That’s approaching almost 10 percent of our Border Patrol that is not being added to guard and defend America.”
National Border Patrol Labor Council President Brandon Judd said “we are either going to be a specialized law enforcement agency dedicated to enforcing our nation’s immigration laws or a political arm of the administration.”
“The president is bypassing Congress by legislating through policy,” Judd said. “These policies in essence are granting amnesty to thousands, if not millions, of persons who enter the country illegally.”
Judd said Obama has continually misled the American people to believe U.S. borders are secure.
“He has manipulated the data, had agents assigned to low traffic areas and attempted to quiet dissent by calling those who question his approach as misinformed without offering an evidence to support these allegations.”
Sheriff Babeu said traffic of illegal aliens in the first four months of this fiscal year is up by 25 percent, adding there has been a 102 percent increase in unaccompanied juveniles.
“What we see from this administration is an actual reduction at a time we should be providing more support to secure our border,” Babeu said.
The sheriff pointed to Border Patrol Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske and said agents “have a leader in Kerlikowske who says if they don’t agree with the Obama administration and this lawlessness that’s happening that they can go find another job.”
“Well, I have a problem with that,” Babeu said.