HIDALGO COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — A national sheriff’s group is calling for stronger action at the border.
The American Sheriff’s Alliance met last week in San Diego to discuss a number of border-related issues.
The ASA said they’re seeing an increase in the number of criminals coming across the border, a rising number of fentanyl deaths across the country, and dwindling resources in their communities.
Hidalgo County Sheriff Eddie Guerra said, “We all feel abandoned by our elected officials. All of us, including myself.”
The group said that so far this year, law enforcement had encountered over 18,000 people who were either convicted criminals or wanted by authorities.
Sheriff Guerra, who is a member of the American Sheriff’s Association and was at the meeting in San Diego, said he was concerned by the recent data.
“We have non-citizens coming into this country from 180 countries, claiming asylum,” Guerra said. “We only have 195 throughout the world. And some of these countries are obviously adversaries of the United States.”
Guerra said he’d been dealing with an influx of migrants at the border ever since he became Sheriff in 2014.
He said what’s new, and most concerning about the recent numbers was fentanyl.
Guerra said the number of fentanyl deaths in the U.S. was approximately 109,000 per year. “It’s like a 7-37 crashing every day in this country. Every day. That’s how many people we lose.”, Guerra said.
Guerra said the migrants coming over, and the fentanyl being smuggled, were depleting resources everywhere, not just in Hidalgo County.
He said he sometimes had to re-direct county resources away from local calls to assist federal agencies. Guerra said, “Immigration is a federal problem. It’s a federal issue. But yet, these border sheriffs and these local communities, these local P-D’s are the ones that are affected.”
The Sheriff said he was sympathetic to a lot of the migrants entering the country. But he and the ASA, are calling for solutions from Congress and the White House.
“The majority of these people, just want to make a better life for themselves, we all get that, and we want them to make a better life for themselves. But there has to be a process in place,” Guerra said.