Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s planned deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the border has earned him criticism from Democrats and Mexican officials, the latter who are “seething,” Fox’s Neil Cavuto told Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio today during an interview on the “Your World” program.
Arpaio, recalling his tenure as head of the DEA in Mexico City, said, “We should be across the border,” noting that at one time, U.S. agents worked hand-in-hand with Mexico’s federal police and military on arrests, drug seizures and even gun battles. The two countries “were always operational,” the sheriff said.
“The National Guard, they’re not going there with machine guns. … So, why can’t we send the Border Patrol or the military across the border to work in a bilateral situation? I can’t understand why they are afraid of the National Guard in the United States at the border. It doesn’t make sense.”
“But it does make sense. They don’t like anything we’re doing here.”
Noting President Obama’s planned White House meeting Friday with the presidents of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, Arpaio asked why the focus was not on Mexico.
“Why doesn’t he have a summit meeting in Mexico City where Mexico is the most critical country regarding all this?” asked Arpaio. “Why do we always leave Mexico out? Why isn’t the Mexican president invited to the White House also?”
Reading a statement from Mexico’s foreign affairs agency calling for the immigration problem to be addressed “from a long-term regional perspective and based on principals of good neighborliness and shared responsibility,” Cavuto suggested Mexico didn’t see the deployment of the National Guard as neighborly.
Arpaio fired back.
“If they were neighborly they would do something in Mexico and crack down on the illegal drug traffic and the illegal immigration instead of criticizing our country all the time. If you want to be a good neighbor that’s what you do.
“I’m not criticizing Mexico in a sense, but there’s something fishy going on with this administration in bed with Mexico.”
Arpaio conceded Mexico’s economic importance, but argued the U.S. should take some of the foreign aid given to its southern neighbors to meet the $3.7 billion Obama has requested to address the border crisis.
“Help pay for our operation – that’s good neighbors,” said Arpaio.
Arpaio dismissed concerns putting the National Guard on the border would complicate an already volatile situation.
“What complications?” asked Arpaio. “I have thousands of posse members – in fact, I’m 30 miles from the border. If I was at the border you’d see my posse out there.
“They’re not going to be going around there locking people up. First of all, they don’t have the authority to do that. They’re just assisting, just like my posse assists my people.
“Why is Mexico concerned about the National Guard? They ought to be happy. … they should say, ‘Come on National Guard or military. Come on across the border and help us out,’ instead of criticizing our operations.”
Mexico is not the only one concerned about Perry’s National Guard deployment. The White House announced today it had sent a team to Texas Tuesday to assess whether a U.S. National Guard deployment would help to handle the immigration crisis at the Mexican border.
The team, made up of officials from the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security, is scheduled to be on the ground Thursday.
To date, the White House has resisted calls from Republicans to deploy the National Guard to fight the onslaught of migrants from Central America.