Yuma County sheriff weighs in on troops being pulled from US-Mexico border

The Pentagon is pulling 1,100 troops from the U.S.-Mexico border and the Yuma County sheriff says he's concerned about the lack of resources at the border.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 3:47 PM MST
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YUMA, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) On Tuesday, the Pentagon announced that 1,100 active-duty troops sent to help along the U.S.-Mexico border earlier this year were being pulled by the end of August.

They were deployed in May due to concerns about an influx of migrants after Title 42 was lifted. In the days leading up to Title 42′s end, border agents were encountering about 10,000 migrants a day, but after it ended, the numbers dropped and have reportedly stayed low. Still, the Yuma County sheriff says the Pentagon’s move is concerning for all border communities.

“We try to fill the gap, local law enforcement does, but there is only so much we can do,” Sheriff Leon N. Wilmot said. Wilmot says military personnel have been vital in helping border patrol with office duties, in turn allowing agents to be out in the field patrolling the border.

“That helps the border patrol because they don’t have that personnel, especially when we’re dealing with an influx,” he said. “I don’t run the federal entity, but my hope would be that they had an exit strategy to fill that gap without depleting the resources along the border.”

On average, Wilmot said they’re seeing 300-400 crossings from undocumented people each day. “The numbers have dwindled down a little bit , but the activity going on in the remote part of the county is still there,” he said, adding that things could quickly shift.

“Right now when you look at the numbers, Tucson is up 130% of apprehensions, so we’re starting to see the flows moving, and the concern for Yuma is that now that they’re starting to see an increase, it might swing back toward Yuma County.”

Sheriff Wilmot said he’s continuously in talks with state leaders in order to get the resources needed to help secure the border.

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