Western sheriffs rip Biden, demand he replace DHS chief

An organization comprising sheriffs from 17 states is pressing President Joe Biden to dismiss Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for failing to secure the U.S.-Mexico border following months of record illegal crossings.

A position paper obtained by The Epoch Times from the Western States Sheriffs’ Association (WSSA) says that while “a great deal of progress was made” enforcing immigration and border statutes under President Donald Trump, the situation now has degenerated into “a complete and total breakdown” of security along the porous international boundary under the current regime.

Encounters and apprehensions with migrants who illegally crossed into the U.S. this year have grown steadily each month Biden has been in office after he reversed many of Trump’s enforcement policies on day one, breaking several monthly records along the way. Apprehensions fell in October, but the number of encounters still set another record for that month, The Epoch Times noted.

U.S. border officials have encountered more than 1.7 million illegal migrants in 2021; that number is expected to rise above 2 million by year’s end, which is another point of contention the WSSA has with Mayorkas.

The organization said that Mayorkas was appointed to ensure that all immigration laws were upheld and that the border remained secure, but his policies “continue to dismantle the security of our country and the enforcement effort of the hard-working federal officers assigned to an extremely difficult task.”

The sheriff’s also said that they have looked on in disbelief as the border has “turned into an invisible line in the sand” amid escalating human trafficking and drug smuggling, as well as crimes committed later throughout the U.S. by people who have crossed illegally.

“After witnessing this disaster over the past several months and listening to the continued rhetoric and intellectual dishonesty from Secretary Mayorkas, The Western States Sheriffs Association, and its membership must emphatically state our position of having NO confidence in the ability of the Secretary Mayorkas, and his leadership within the Department of Homeland Security, to affect any positive outcome on this matter,” the WSSA stated.

The group went on to demand that Biden fire Mayorkas and renominate someone else “who recognizes, respects, and will enforce the rule of law.”

One member of the organization, Yuma County, Ariz., Sheriff Leon Wilmot told The Epoch Times human and drug trafficking has become substantially worse in his area.

“All signs show an increase in crossings here, we are averaging 750 apprehensions every day,” he said, adding that during the recently ended fiscal year, agents in his sector intercepted migrants from 107 countries, 17 of which are on the U.S. government’s terrorism watch list. He blamed the DHS chief for “restricting law enforcement from making arrests” and then failing to prosecute illegal immigrants.

“Hardly any Border Patrol agents are working the border as they are stuck processing. All of his advertised policies are contrary to enforcing the rule of law,” Wilmot noted further.

In testimony before Congress this week, Mayorkas appeared to pat himself on the back and claimed that the Biden administration inherited a broken system that will take time to fix, but that improvements have been made already.

“I think rebuilding a broken immigration system and rebuilding a dismantled one takes time, and we’re on the road to success,” Mayorkas said.

Republicans disagreed.

“When you run DHS like it is an ‘abolish ICE’ fan club, you shouldn’t be surprised when you have an immigration crisis on your hands,” Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted.

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