Things are not going well in Gila Bend, Arizona this month. As if the pandemic and concerns over rising crime rates weren’t bad enough, Mayor Chris Riggs was recently informed by the Border Patrol that they would be dropping off two busloads of illegal immigrants in his town each week for the foreseeable future. Throwing up his hands in exasperation, Mayor Riggs resorted to declaring a state of emergency in his town and calling on Washington for relief. Considering how many other towns and cities along the entire border are dealing with these issues, he may have a long wait. But when you hear his explanation and the specific challenges the people of Gila Bend are facing, his position is totally understandable. (Washington Examiner)
An Arizona mayor declared a state of emergency as a result of the surge of illegal immigrants at the United States-Mexico border and is placing blame at the feet of President Biden.
Gila Bend Mayor Chris Riggs made the declaration after he was told that busloads of migrants would be dropped by the federal government in his town despite him saying that the town is not capable of testing them all for the coronavirus, according to Fox Business.
“Border Patrol let us know that they were going to be dropping migrants that had been detained for 72 hours in our town, which we really didn’t understand because we have nothing here,” Riggs said. “We have no charity organizations that can help, no nongovernmental organizations that a lot of the larger cities and towns do have to assist these people.”
Your first reaction might be to say that Mayor Riggs is just going to have to make the best of it. After all, migrants are being dumped off at Greyhound stations in cities all along the border every day. But that would ignore the reality of the place we’re talking about. Gila Bend isn’t a city. It would barely qualify as a village. They have a population of less than 2,000. They don’t have a Greyhound station. They barely have stoplights.
As the mayor points out, they’re already dealing with their own influx of illegals coming through an unprotected part of the border, sometimes as many as 20 or 25 per week. This has led to a rise in property crime. And Gila Bend doesn’t even have its own police force to deal with them. The best they have is a substation of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.
There are no local offices of charities or NGOs in Gila Bend to deal with these migrants. Riggs was informed that it would cost $600,000 to test two busloads of migrants for COVID per week for an entire year. I couldn’t find their current balance sheet during a quick search, but I’m pretty sure that would be most of the entire budget for the village. So what are they supposed to do?
While things are looking dismal in Maricopa County, the situation isn’t much better in Cochise County. Sheriff Mark Dannels reports that his county is overwhelmed, and like Riggs, he places the blame on Joe Biden for making all of these changes to immigration policy without ever consulting the local governments along the border or having a plan to deal with the human wave of migrants.
“When this administration failed to engage with my governor, my attorney general, our health departments, our emergency services coordinator, along with other border states and beyond, that’s when it started. So, we’re trying to pick up the pieces right now. It’s an unfunded mandate by the federal government to local communities,” Dannels said.
Dannels also warned that the administration seemingly didn’t have a plan to deal with immigrants amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“These people that are being released under catch and release on the MPP program are wards of the federal government,” Dannels said. “But there’s no funding attached to it, and I’m worried about public safety and the global pandemic.”
So things are just going swimmingly along the border now, aren’t they? But don’t worry. According to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, it’s not a “crisis.” And it’s all Trump’s fault anyway. I’ll agree with them on one point at least. The situation on the border used to be a crisis. Now it’s a complete disaster.