Border sheriffs: Trump’s ‘wall’ focus impedes broader border security discussion

Years ago, the late Chochise County Sheriff Larry Dever was the only member of the border sheriffs’ organization.


By Perla Trevizo | Arizona Daily Star

As the government shutdown nears its fifth week, border sheriffs are saying “the wall” has become a lightning rod of division and a sound bite that constrains talks on securing the border.

“The term ‘the wall’ gets in the way a lot. It has become this semantic game of what is a wall,” said Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, a Republican.

“Let’s talk about border security, which part of it will be physical barriers, part of that will be technology and part of that will be human resources,” he said.

Those, along with better technology and staffing at ports of entry, are the main points of a new, three-page statement released by the Southwestern Border Sheriff’s Coalition. Napier said he authored it on behalf of 31 sheriffs in four southern border states.

Napier was among a group of law enforcement officials and others who spoke to President Trump during a conference call Wednesday. He’s also talked to lawmakers in Arizona and nationally about the issue, including “a few Democrats,” he said, “but not as many as I would like.”



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