EXCLUSIVE: Sheriff’s Challenge to Obama: Give Me Half Hour, I’ll Show You How to Secure Border
August 18, 2010 - 4:46 PMSheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., is issuing an invitation to President Barack Obama: If the president will come and spend a half hour with Babeu in Arizona, the sheriff says he will convince the president he can succeed in securing the border and thus make himself a hero who transcends partisan politics.
Babeu’s southern Arizona county, while not contiguous with the border, has been designated by the Justice Department as part of a High Intensity Drug Trafficking region that is a major route for drug and alien smugglers bringing narcotics and illegal aliens into the United States from Mexico. Babeu has joined with Sheriff Larry Dever of neighboring Cochise County, Ariz.—which does sit on the border—as well as with Arizona’s two senators, John McCain and Jon Kyl, in endorsing a ten-point plan for securing the border.
Noting that President Obama has visited Afghanistan to assess the security situation there, CNSNews.com asked Babeu in a videotaped interview whether he would like the president visit with him in Arizona so he can have the opportunity to persuade the president that his plan to secure the border will work.
“If the president gave me a half hour, I am confident that I could convince him and to show him the way that he can personally secure the border, and he would be the hero of everybody that truly transcends bipartisan politics and secures that border,” said Babeu. “I believe that if a leader truly wanted to do that we have the means and the resources necessary to secure our border and to protect America once and for all, and then we can get to the point in the future, only after the border is secure, that there is some type of discussion about what do we do with the approximate 13 million people who are here illegally.”
The ten-point border security plan backed by Sheriffs Babeu and Dever and Senators McCain and Kyl includes provisions to complete 700 miles of double- and triple-layered border fending, significantly increase the number of drone surveillance aircraft patrolling the border, and deploy 3,000 National Guardsmen to the Arizona section of the Mexico border alone until the governor of Arizona in consultation with local law enforcement officials certifies that the border is secure.
In addition to serving as sheriff of Pinal County, Ariz., Babeu has served 18 years in the Army National Guard, where he is now a major. Babeu did a tour in Iraq and also commanded Task Force Yuma, a group of 700 Army and Air National Guard troops who worked with the Border Patrol on securing the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona.