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News reports are frequent in PinalCentral and elsewhere about chases on Pinal roadways and drug and human smugglers being apprehended. This activity is tied to suffering by countless people, but there also is a danger to motorists in the area.

A column in the Wall Street Journal recently pointed out that nationally, much of the reporting is about Texas, but federal agents and other officers in Arizona are exhausted from the situation also. The Journal column by Leo Banks says that Customs and Border Protection agents might encounter more than 1.8 million illegal crossers nationally this year, setting a new record. On the other side of the equation, in less than a year, a CBP estimate says that 105,000 illegal crossers may have avoided capture in the 262-mile Tucson Sector. Vehicle chases in Cochise County are up 300% this year.

Arizonans are being paid $1,000 a person to transport people, a fraction of what cartels charge them. Through this many, including young people, become engaged in an international criminal enterprise. While agents are busy caring for the immigrants, including young children, smugglers have an easier time bringing in drugs, including deadly fentanyl that goes all over the country.

The Biden administration quickly ended Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy for asylum seekers. However, federal courts have mandated a reversal because of the way the policy was changed. The flood of immigration, however, is difficult to stop now because of recent rhetoric and policies.

Law enforcement agencies have protocols that seek to minimize danger during pursuits. However, some danger remains. Some of the drivers are dangerous anyway while vehicles are overloaded. To allow them to pass unchecked would be refusing to enforce multiple laws.

This is a mess that cannot be fixed without some serious policy changes. For now Pinal County, while not actually on the Mexican border, is in the middle of the mess.

— Donovan Kramer Jr.

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