Editorial: Enforcing current laws won’t solve our border crisis

This editorial originally appeared in the Casa Grande Dispatch.

On our family farm, 90 miles from the border, I’ve seen the horrors of Biden’s failed border policy and Obama’s before it. During the Obama years, the cartels stole our family vehicle and, when we reported it, the police were forced to evacuate my family from our home due to credible threats. Later, our neighbor was murdered and found in a 55 gallon drum in the desert.

I wish those were isolated incidents or my story is unique. The sad reality is they weren’t and it isn’t. Ask my friend Sue Krentz – her husband was murdered by an illegal immigrant on their ranch. 

The situation improved under Trump. Ask my friend John Ladd – under Trump’s watch and with the wall, illegal border crossings on his ranch went from hundreds per month down to less than 100. 

Here we are in 2022, however, and the border crisis and all the violence and chaos that accompanies it has returned with a vengeance. The numbers speak for themselves. In 2021, Border Patrol reported a record 1.6 million+ encounters with illegal immigrants, a 2300% increase in Arizona border encounters, and 1 million+ encounters with illegal immigrants from countries as far away as Saudi Arabia.

Make no mistake: this is Biden’s fault and the result of a failed border policy.

That’s why I am running for Arizona Attorney General. In the absence of a federal response to this crisis, Arizona has a duty and the authority under Article 1, Section 10, Clause 3, of the US Constitution to protect Arizonans from this invasion.

Now, one of my opponents for the Republican nomination has said that the Attorney General exists to simply enforce the law and not to advocate for policy. I disagree. We cannot secure our border with just the laws that are already on the books.

We need big and bold ideas. That’s why, as Attorney General, I am not only going to enforce current law, I am going to ask our legislature for new laws that focus on securing our border and giving law enforcement the tools they need to protect the people of Arizona. 

First, Arizona needs to designate cartels as terrorist organizations and we need to reform our civil asset forfeiture laws to allow law enforcement to interrupt their revenue stream. 

Second, we need a law enforcement agency with a single mission – defending our border. Local law enforcement is doing the best they can, but they are not equipped to handle a crisis of this magnitude. I support reconstituting the Arizona Rangers as a border force tasked with interrupting the flow of drugs and illegal immigrants across our border. 

Third, we need to finish the border wall on our own because walls work. Ask our ranchers.

I am pleased to see many of our Republican Gubernatorial candidates rallying around these very same ideas, but they are going to need an aggressive Attorney General who is ready to defend them in court because you better believe Biden is going to fight us on this.

The cavalry isn’t coming. I’ve accepted that, but I refuse to accept a situation where Arizona families like mine live in a state of perpetual chaos and violence. Since Biden won’t do anything, I am rolling up my sleeves to get it done myself. 

– Tiffany Shedd of Eloy is a Republican candidate for attorney general.