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An Arizona sheriff says he is “very concerned” about the Biden administration’s decision to end the use of the Title 42 public health order to deport migrants at the border, saying the situation of migrants there is already beyond the level of crisis
He accused the Biden administration of abandoning law enforcement with its border policies.
“Well, that scares me,” Sheriff Mark Dannels told Fox News Digital in an interview Thursday.
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Dannels, chairman of the National Sheriffs Association Border Security Committee, was reacting to reports that the Biden administration planned to end Title 42, which was used to deport more than half of the migrants encountered at the border.
the Biden Administration confirmed on Friday that he would end the policy at the end of May despite fears among Democrats and Republicans and officials within the administration of a massive wave of migrants in the coming months.
Border officials have warned that the border is already at crisis levels, with more than 7,000 encounters per day, more than 164,000 encounters in February and that number is expected to increase in March. Dannels said where he is, “we are already beyond a crisis.”
Dannels said in his part of the state alone there were 22,000 encounters by Border Patrol last month, while there were more than 16,000 “getaways,” migrants who escaped captured and entered the United States. From July to February, border-related crime cost his county more than $1 million.
“And now we’re going to pull out the one remaining border security anchor, and we’re already overwhelmed,” Dannels said. “It’s not a good feeling. It’s frustrating, and I just don’t think it’s going to be a good thing.”
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION TO LIFT TITLE 42 AT END OF MAY, DESPITE FEAR OF IMPENDING MIGRANT WAVE
He said it was part of a pattern of an administration that has dismantled Trump-era border protections since taking office.
“Every decision we’ve seen from this administration has gone to the philosophy of open borders, and now you’re removing Title 42 and where is that going to take us?” Dannels asked. “I am very, very worried.”
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Friday that DHS has “implemented a comprehensive, government-wide strategy to manage any potential increase in the number of migrants encountered at our border.”
“We are increasing our capacity to process new arrivals, assess asylum claims and rapidly deport those not eligible for protection,” Mayorkas said in a statement. “We will increase staff and resources as needed and have already redeployed over 600 border law enforcement officers. We are referring smugglers and some border residents to criminal prosecution. put in place additional and appropriate COVID-19 protocols, including scaling up our vaccination program.”
But Dannels, a Republican, pushed back, saying all he had seen under President Biden was “the erosion of infrastructure and the rule of law.” He described a situation on the ground where checkpoints have been closed and a border patrol station is reduced to a reduced crew.
“We were let down, let’s just say that,” he said.
He told Fox that until the administration begins to secure the border, the numbers at the border will only increase.
“We will take the impact, it will continue to get worse, we are preparing for this, because no one is talking about securing the border,” Dannels said. “Let’s put up more FEMA tents, let’s put up more NGO facilities, but let’s not stop the flow, no one is talking about it. As long as that message remains the same, as it has under this president, it will continue to evolve in this negative mode.”
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Border Patrol officials who spoke to Fox News expressed their displeasure with what is happening at the border under the Biden administration. Dannels said he applauds Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) for their work under extreme pressure, but said he’s seen the same discontent among law enforcement more broadly.
“I haven’t had one officer or one law enforcement officer, whether it’s a state trooper or a local or one of my deputies, who said, ‘That’s a good one. thing, sheriff; we appreciate what our president is doing,'” Dannels said. “In fact, it’s quite the opposite. The frustration is so great.”
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