Politicians are ‘not out here when it’s 120 degrees, processing a crime scene where 14 people were left to die in the desert’
YUMA, Arizona—Right along the southwest border, sheriff’s departments are left picking up the pieces in the wake of cross-border crime. It then spreads beyond the border.
Consequently, sheriffs need a bigger seat at the table during border security discussions, said ex-Marine and Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot.
“We all too often see interviews in Washington [with] mayors and governors but, no offence, they are not the ones that are down here on the border,” Wilmot said in an interview at his office on May 25.
“They are not the ones that are investigating the crimes. They are not the ones out here when it’s 120 degrees, processing a crime scene where 14 people were left to die in the desert.”
Wilmot has witnessed it all in his 30-plus years with the sheriff’s department. He knows a vulture will peck a human body down to nothing but bone, because he has seen it. He knows bandits follow the smugglers over the border and rape the women before running back to Mexico, because he is left with the victims. He knows the cartels will commit any crime to get drugs and humans across the border.
Yuma County is 5,522 square miles—larger than the state of Connecticut—and it shares 126 miles of border with Mexico. California and its Imperial Sand Dunes are just a mirage away on the western border beyond the Colorado River.
The Yuma Border Patrol Sector used to be the worst in the country for illegal crossings, until it became a poster-child for the effectiveness of a border fence.
In 2005, before the fence, more than 2,700 vehicles crossed the Colorado River and open deserts, loaded with illegal immigrants and drugs, according to Border Patrol numbers.