NOGALES (Cronkite) – Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday inspected the border fence that separates this border city from its Mexican neighbor and blamed Democrats for inaction on what the Trump administration calls a “security and humanitarian crisis.”

Standing with Gov. Doug Ducey near the razor-wire-strewn steel fence that divides the cities, Pence called on Democrats in Congress to fix what he called the “magnet of our broken asylum system.”

[WATCH: Border security officials tell VP Pence the system is broken]

“You’re doing your job, the president’s doing his job, it’s time for the Democrats to do their jobs,” he told a group of Border Patrol agents.

Although the administration is not considering restarting its controversial policy of family separation, Pence said, he called for an end “catch and release” policies and to “amend court decisions” related to the detention of minors and their family members. Pence was referring to the 1997 Flores Settlement Agreement, which establishes limits on the length of time and conditions in which immigration authorities can detain minors who crossed into the U.S.

[WATCH: Vice President Pence, AZ Gov. Ducey visit border in Nogales]

Legal advocacy groups have come out against such changes championed by the Trump administration.

“These regulations would eliminate long-standing, court-mandated protections for minors, resulting in more families, including young children, being detained for longer periods of time,” Anastasia Tonello, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said in a 2018 news release.

Pence also emphasized the administration’s commitment to funding a border wall, despite congressional resistance.

[RELATED: Pence says migrant family separations will not return]

“Walls work. You all know that better than anyone,” he told the agents, adding that the administration also was looking at ways to fill staffing shortages within Customs and Border Protection and Border Patrol and modernize ports of entry.

Pence’s visit came several days after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen stepped down amid President Donald Trump’s reported frustration over what he called alarming numbers of Central American migrants crossing the southern border, most of them seeking asylum.

Customs and Border Protection recently reported that apprehensions at the southern border for the first half of fiscal 2019 were nearly as high as all of 2018.

Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino was among opponents who reject the administration’s characterization of the southern border as dangerous or in crisis.

Garino and the Nogales City Council have asked the Trump administration to remove the concertina wire it placed along the downtown border fence earlier this year. Garino has said the wire represents a safety hazard and sends the wrong message to people in Sonora, Mexico.

In downtown Nogales, Evan Kory, whose family owns the retail stores Kory’s and La Cinderella, said he hoped Pence would discuss the problems faced by people crossing the border legally to shop in Nogales, especially with long border wait times.

“The crisis does not exist that’s being portrayed,” he said.

Pence’s visit to Nogales comes less than a week after Trump visited the border in Calexico, California. Last Thursday, Nielsen also visited the border in Yuma before joining Trump in California.

Both visits came after Trump threatened to close the U.S.-Mexico border entirely. He later walked back that threat, saying he would give Mexico a “one-year warning” to stop the flow of migrants crossing the southern border.

Civil liberties and immigration advocacy groups, including Amnesty International, have argued against the administration’s immigration policies, especially as they relate to asylum seekers, who have the right under international law to present themselves in the U.S. and have their cases processed for protection.

Pence last visited Arizona in March, when he expressed his support of Trump’s declaration of an emergency, allowing him to use federal emergency funds to build his long-promised border wall without congressional approval. That declaration is now before the courts.

In a statement, Arizona Chamber of Commerce CEO and President Glenn Hamer emphasized the economic importance of cross-border trade.

“The White House should also stop its threats to close the border completely. Not only would a closure be an economic catastrophe, but it is doubtful that it would have any effect on the migration patterns from Central America,” Hamer said.

Garino said 65 to 70 percent of the sales tax Nogales collects comes from Mexicans who cross the border legally to buy products in Nogales and throughout Arizona.

Environmental groups also have spoken out against the concertina wire and the administration’s border policy.

“Pence should be ashamed to show his face in Nogales or any other borderland community,” Laiken Jordahl, borderlands campaigner at the Center for Biological Diversity in Tucson, said in an email.

“Unless Pence is here to take down the vile razor wire his administration strung through this safe community, he should pack up and go home. It’s disgusting that Pence and Trump keep demonizing these border cities and then using them as props. It needs to stop.”

Hamer said the longterm solution to border security involves “comprehensive immigration reform that enhances border security, boosts staffing at the ports to process trade and travel while also interdicting contraband, overhauls our outdated visa laws, and once and for all addresses those undocumented individuals already here, including the estimated 800,000 individuals in an undocumented status who were brought to the U.S. as children”


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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(5) comments


It's a literal invasion and the Democrats are absolutely total traitors to America for both encouraging it and opposing all efforts to get it under control. The enemy within.


The only reason they come to the US is because of the freebies they get. Make it so they DO NOT qualify for any state or federal assistance. If they do not show up for their court appearance then once apprehended they should be deported. Let's start sending them to San Francisco and let Nancy take care of them. They can camp out in her front yard and walk the streets of San Francisco feeling welcome by all. Time to close the border not only to illegals but to all the so called 'political asylum seekers'. We have troops so let's stop this invasion.


Illegals don`t qualify for benefits. If their children were born here, they do, not the parents. Instead of babbling ignorant nonsense, and spreading hate, get yourself an education.

gail todd


Make no mistake, Democrats want this. They will with hold support allowing as many

illegal aliens to enter the country before assisting in border security. Dems offer

rewards, incentives so.....More caravans on the way. The current migration at our

border is costing U.S taxpayers a Kings ransom. Fleeing persecution? or fleeing for

freebies? they sure don't stay in Mexico when they reach "safety" or ask or offered

political asylum in Mexico. Why? because Mexico will give them NOTHING. So they

make the long journey to our border, our generous Democrats, and our tax dollars.

Notice how many have made the long, difficult, dangerous journey to our country

8-9 months pregnant? Give birth on American soil and the U.S. taxpayers will not

only pay for the birth of you're child but will also give you state government



To Democrats/Progressives/Socialists (whats the difference?) programs like

Temporary Protective Status (TPS) or Deferred Action for Childhood arrivals

(DACA) are permanent programs. There is nothing "temporary or deferred" about

these programs to Democrats. These programs are designed to admit refugees

(usually from the third world) then Democrats fight to keep them here permanently

using the charge of racism, religion, guilt against anyone opposed. Simple formula

works great.


It seems Democrats view U.S. citizens as acceptable collateral damage to their

future long range goals of flooding the country with refugees & illegal aliens and

having taxpayers paying the cost. Democrat politicians and their voters have put

families at risk of being victimized by illegal aliens as in the cases Kate Steinly

(nothing done) then, Mollie Tibbetts, (nothing done) Police Cpl. Ronil Singh,

(nothing done) now Bambi Larson; butchered in her home, nothing will be

done...who's next? These victims would be alive today if our border was secured.

Most of these killers have been deported numerous times. Bambi 's killer claimed

"amnesty" to get into the country.

Google search "illegal alien crime" or "victims."

Just a few examples of the more outrageous costs associated with illegal

immigration, we will pass this burden on to our children & grand children as has

been passed on to us.

*Cost of educating illegal aliens is staggering. From K-12 it costs taxpayers on

average $122,000 for EACH illegal alien student. This does not include the millions

spent on bilingual ED, instructors, special need children & day care. School class

size are negatively impacted by illegal aliens and our students suffer as a result.

*Taxpayers in some states are funding "in state college tuition" discounts for illegal

aliens. (AZ voted to terminate this taxpayer expense.) Cost to taxpayers over a

billion dollars annually.

*About one in five inmates in federal prison are foreign-born, & more than 90% of

those are in the U.S illegally. This does not include local jails and state prisons. At

roughly $24,000 per year expense per inmate.

*$3Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate, process Illegal aliens in the criminal

justice system.

*Mexico received 33 billion last year in remittance from our country. $120 billion

total was sent out of the United States in total remittance last year.

*Every child birth by illegal aliens in the U.S is paid for with tax dollars.In the US, the

average cost to have a baby without complications during delivery, is $10,808,

which can increase to $30,000 when factoring in care provided before and after

pregnancy (July 9, 2018 google.)

* Section 8 housing. Illegal aliens take full advantage of this program. Citizens &

their families in poverty in many cases wait years behind non citizens for

emergency housing.

* City emergency services Taxpayer pay for every police, fire, paramedic service

call for illegal aliens in their city. Taxpayers also pay for all hospital, emergency

room treatments, ambulances, medications....everything. Hospital wait times for

citizens are negatively impacted.


Your stats might seem valid, perhaps even convincing at first, but they come from an org that SPLC considers a hate group. When I read statistics about immigration coming from white supremacists and believers in eugenics, it gives me pause. Nice try. Sadly, your snow white world is ending, my dear. And there's really nothing you can do about it.

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