Listen: Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier gives first hand opinion of the Mexican Border
"Sense of culture. It's a very diverse community now in your experience working as the sheriff in Pima county. Obviously different from when you're in Tucson being right there where we're having these conversations but earlier even when you weren't along the border. What was your experience when it came to illegal immigration how that was affecting crime and national security? Well, I the issue of illegal immigration from crime because they're not the same thing. Many people who immigrate to this country without proper documentation have no intention of committing a crime basket or in this country without proper documentation, many of them are very struggling in their home-country coming here for a better life declined picture, which is faced is a Tucson police officer and then commander on the south side of Tucson is was a drug trafficking. We have load houses throughout my area and a drug rip crews would come from the border and actually engaging gun fights with other drug dealers in our community to steal either drugs or money or both. And of course, crime associated with human trafficking, the coyotes and bandits would prey upon the undocumented is our bottom across the border, and there was crime associated with that so often, and too often in my opinion, we. We we don't separate the issue of illegal immigration from transnational crime. They're not exactly the same. They kind of blend together a little bit. But so many people Patty in this world is specially in Central America, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, are making very very desperate decisions. And you and I probably everybody listening with food in our stomachs roof over our head and safety. Can't imagine the desperation some of these people feel and and they they walk hundreds of miles to try to come to this country for a better life, many of them are victimized criminally victimized by the environment, which is very harsh and southern Arizona during the summer and many of them lose their lives. And that's something. I've heard you talk about whether it's their the migration and trying to walk from wherever you make that that that journey to the borders or after the cross the border into your jurisdiction. I know that you've talked about how many bodies you recover throughout the year. How about how many did you have last year? Well, over one hundred bodies were covered in in the desert Pima county, those are the ones we find and the tragedy is that. We absolutely have no idea how many are out there. And imagine that you are in Honduras, or all Salvador and five years ago, you kissed your family goodbye and said I'm going to walk to American the hope of a better life and last week. My deputies found your bones. And we'll never know who you were your family will never know what befell you, and that's that's a human rights issue. So proud of the president last week when he led with the humanitarian issue that was the first thing he said in his address last Tuesday night, he talked about this humanitarian crisis in Israel. I see it. Mike, Mike county all the time. And we're keenly aware in this part of the world the impacts of that humanitarian issue. Do you struggle with the the vocabulary of the language that's used in these arguments? A you mentioned that the president framed it in with the words of humanitarian effort, you know, and I have to be part of that is informed by perhaps the two children who lost their lives and other people who are struggling and suffering. Do you would you prefer that the president and other politicians perhaps found a better way to have this public discourse? Yes, I'm really disappointed in and honestly from my viewpoint. I am a Republican sheriff. But there's most certainly enough blame to go around. I think what you're sheriffs in thirty one border sheriffs Senate, the international border with Mexico, and we'll we'll collectively responsible two thousand miles of international border is that we have people that come to excuse the phrase are part of the world, and they'll stand by Puerto of entry, and they'll get their picture taken with some people in uniform and fly back to Washington DC experts on the border. Well, that's ludicrous. We live this every day of this has been my home for thirty one years. We have a pretty good handle on this and the rhetoric. The political rhetoric is so charged in Washington DC on both sides of this issue that we're not moving the ball forward. And unfortunately, this has become a battle of who wins a political fight. And don't we send people to Washington DC, not to win for Republicans or Democrats, but to win for the American people, isn't that why we sent him to Washington DC? So I'm I'm. Troubled, by the fact, that we can't seem to move the ball forward. We're talking to sheriff Mark Napier. He is a sheriff of Pima county Arizona with over one hundred and twenty miles and his jurisdiction is on the border with Mexico. He is our experts as mentioned folks, go down, and they take a picture that we have these arguments we act as though we are experts, but he is living this day to day with the men and women that he works with in law enforcement. They're really putting themselves out there and trying to keep everybody safe. We're gonna continue our conversation in just a moment with the sheriff. We'll take a break here, sir. If you don't mind, thank you, Donald right back more in a moment on seven twenty WGN. And this is your conversation. Three one two nine at one seventy two hundred. If you have any thoughts you'd like to share with us, perhaps you have a question for the sheriff. We'd love to hear from you three one nine eight one seventy two hundred this is firefighter Raphael for"