Rep. Wright: Lessons from my Southern Border tour

By State Representative Boomer Wright,

Not long ago, I had the opportunity to visit our US/Mexico border just south of Yuma, Arizona. We had the pleasure of taking the tour with several of our amazing border patrol officers. The tour and their comments as they drove us beside the border walls were troubling. We viewed our tax dollars being wasted with wall material stacked in piles along the way discarded and some being sold as scrap over the last 4 years. Lights and monitoring equipment were stripped off poles, seemingly with no explanation by current immigration administration.

The discussion centered around the estimated 15 million people who have either claimed asylum or illegally crossed undetected. Those claiming asylum are held in transition centers for 72 hours and then released with court dates set. However, with so many claiming asylum, the timeline for appearance could be decades in the future or simply non-existent. These centers, we were told, cost over a million dollars a day to operate and several more are planned.

Yuma grows most of the leafy vegetables that we use during October through May here in the US. These fields are estimated to be within about a couple hundred yards of the border walls. We were told that asylum seekers contaminate the fields at times and crops would have to be plowed under costing the farmers thousands of dollars each time. In addition, the human traffic has changed dramatically from families to single men coming with young children not necessarily their own. Sex trafficking is a concern. The three patrol officers told us that the cartels are in charge of the border. They control who crosses or doesn’t, charging them thousands of dollars and some even end up as indentured servants. Many women and children are abused and even raped prior to crossing. We need to be in charge of the border, not the cartels. This is inhumane!