Some New Mexico sheriffs and county commissioners say the immigration crisis at the border is an emergency. They wrote and signed a letter to the state’s congressional delegation urging action to be taken now. They are from Eddy, Chavez, Otero, and Lincoln counties to name a few.
They are hoping there is strength in numbers. The letter states the immigration crisis is draining all of their resources, and that it’s time to put politics aside and support President Trump in securing the border.
“There’s a crisis that has been denied it’s a crisis,” said Eddy County Sheriff Mark Cage.
Those KRQE News 13 spoke to who signed the letter say the main challenge they’re facing is an exponential rise in illegal drug seizures. Sheriff Cage says the illegal drug seizures are up a staggering amount, Fentanyl alone is up 194% since January.
Otero County Commission Chairman Couy Griffin says in April the dollar amount of all drugs they seized was around $61,000. In February, it was around $3,500 and in March, $23,000.
“We’re the ones that live this. We’re the ones with boots on the ground, having to handle this,” said Cage.
“That escalation is a direct result of an unsecured border,” said Griffin. Griffin has already issued a declaration of emergency for Otero County. He says the governor has ignored his requests for help.
Chaves County Sheriff Mike Herrington says they’re also combating a rise in human trafficking.
“With that, we already know there’s more places where people are being stored in Chavez County, we just haven’t found them yet,” said Herrington.
“There’s no checkpoints at the border…and it’s a free for all,” said Lea County Sheriff Corey Helton.
Those counties want the governor to deploy the National Guard back to the border. They say in addition to making it safer, the Border Patrol agents sent there would be able to go back to their internal checkpoints.
The checkpoints were closed in March. The governor’s office sent a statement Friday afternoon stating the idea that the governor “hasn’t done anything to help” is absurd and insulting.