Arizona sheriff rips Biden's immigration actions as 'political theater': 'Stop this madness'
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels says 'why we need a secure border is common sense.'
Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels also told "Fox & Friends" on Monday that the "political theater that’s being played out is scary to all of us on the southwest border, sheriffs, police departments and our federal partners and every American should be standing up on this."
Dannels pointed to statistics from 2019, noting that more than 1,000 gang members representing more than a dozen countries breached the southwest border that year. He added that thousands of children were being exploited by the cartels as a fraud and there were hundreds of assaults on federal agents.
"It goes back to show you how vulnerable our southwest border is to include every American in this country if we don't have a secure border," Dannels said.
In his first week in office, President Biden signed a number of executive orders, including the administration’s 100-day moratorium on deportations. Ahead of Biden’s inauguration a large migrant caravan had been making its way to America's southern border.
The week before Biden was sworn-in as president, two groups of more than 3,000 Honduran migrants each pushed their way into Guatemala without registering as part of a larger caravan headed to the United States, the Associated Press reported. A third group entered Guatemala on Saturday. The migrants were hoping to reach Mexico, which is north of Guatemala, and eventually make their way to the United States border.
A second migrant caravan was poised to depart Honduras on Monday, days after security forces in Guatemala stopped the first caravan of the year during a series of violent clashes where asylum seekers were met with tear gas and batons, The Daily Mail reported last week.
"We’ve worked so well over the years and why we need a secure border is just common sense," Dannels said.
He pointed to statistics in Cochise County, noting that the 800 cameras deployed in the area have shown "double" the number of illegal immigrants coming into the country since last year when Biden became the Democratic nominee.
"One thing that bothers me as a sheriff serving 37 years on the southwest border is the fact that the lessons of the past continue to be played out in Congress, through the presidency," Dannels added.
He also pointed out that when Donald Trump was president, "We had a very positive, proactive relationship with President Trump at the table to work out community issues."
"Police chiefs and sheriffs are experts of communities. Our federal government is supposed to be experts of national security and border security," Dannels said.
"Together that's a recipe of success for every American and what I'm seeing now is we’re going to go back in time and play this political theater at the backs and the risks of every American."
President Biden signed 17 executive actions during his first day in office—many of which reversed Trump administration policies and directives—like cancellation of border wall funding and construction.
Dannels noted on Monday that the border wall "was a positive protection for our county" and it's "sad" to see that the progress will be stopped.
He added, "We’ve been down this road before. I don't know why we can't look in the past and find balance in our processes, our programs, and stop this madness."
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Tyler Olson contributed to this report.