7 Mile Gap Makes For Security NIGHTMARE

Border security is job one, declares Yuma sector Chief Chris Clem. Immigrants come in through the gate, while criminals jump the fence and swim the river. Clem isn’t here to process immigrants, he’s here to keep America safe. That means rounding up border jumpers, arresting them and sending them back where they came from.

Security the primary mission

We are the second-smallest sector on the southwest border when it comes to personnel, so that makes any border security issue that much more challenging.” As related by Fox News, our Border Patrol has 20 sectors and nine of them are on Arizona’s southwest border, including 126 miles near Yuma. Those are the ones monitored by Chief Clem.

The number of illegal crossings this year has been astronomical. That leaves him dealing with large numbers of criminals with only “a limited amount of resources.

Currently, Clem’s staff has been seeing an average of 800 to 850 people a day. The security wall started by President Donald Trump covered 119 miles of the Yuma sector border.

The project was shelved with only 7 miles remaining but the gap is a major one. Numbers have been skyrocketing since word got around South America that Joe Biden had rolled out the red carpet.

In 2019, it was 68,000 arrests. In 2020 it was just over 8,800 arrests. In 2021, it was just over 114,000. In this last fiscal year, fiscal year 2022, while the official numbers are not out, we will surpass 300,000. So this is the highest.

The security nightmare they are seeing there in Yuma, Clem insists, is “really unprecedented.


Ports of entry

To Chief Clem, the distinction is crystal clear. Immigration and border security are different issues. There is a right and wrong way to enter America. “The ports of entry along the border in Arizona are Douglas, Nogales, Lukeville, Naco, San Luis and Sasabe.

If migrants come through any of those ports, with the appropriate paperwork and identification seeking asylum here in the United States, that is by definition legal immigration.” He and his crew have nothing to do with that because they don’t run a port of entry. They patrol a border.

As soon as someone steps across the border in any other area, not through a port of entry, it is considered illegal immigration.” That, Clem declares, is a serious issue and he’ll arrest you for it.

National security and border security. That is what our function is. It’s to interdict, apprehend, and process and basically turn over anything that we catch that enters illegally between the ports of entry.” Meaning contraband as well as humans.

Contrary to popular belief, not all of the border jumpers are walking right up to them, though some do. “Typically the large amount of people that we catch daily are not evading arrest. But, we still have quite a few people that are right in front of us, that are assaulting us. In fact, our assaults are up 240% compared to last year because they’re trying to evade us.

The first item of business is evaluating their security threat level. “Step 1 is to determine if they are a threat or a true asylum seeker. If they are deemed a non-threat. They are medically screened, given access to clean food and water, even clothes if needed.” The rest “go to ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations for detention to go through the removal proceedings.”

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