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Real Border Sheriffs Get It: Best Way to Secure the Border is Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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Pima County Sheriff Dupnik Speaks Up; Senators Kyl and McCain Step Back

Washington, DC – Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, whose jurisdiction of Pima County, AZ includes Tucson and 123 miles of border with Mexico, is the latest in a chorus of law enforcement voices to oppose the new Arizona anti-immigrant law and to call for sensible federal immigration reform. 

According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice, “Border Sheriff Clarence Dupnik joins a growing list of prominent law enforcement professionals who are saying no to the Arizona immigration law and yes to comprehensive immigration reform.  Meanwhile Arizona’s two Republican senators are saying yes to the Arizona law and no to comprehensive immigration reform.  Remarkably, Senators Kyl and McCain are blocking the very approach they championed in the past.  We can only conclude that they are more interested in pandering to the Republican Party’s nativists than in delivering the control Arizonans desperately want.” 

Here are some of the key points made by Sheriff Dupnik in a letter to the Wall Street Journal that has been reprinted in Arizona media outlets:

“…in the past few weeks Arizona became a model for the rest of the country of what not to do.

I have an enormous amount of respect for the men and women of my department… But no one can tell them what an illegal immigrant looks like and when it is ok to begin questioning a person along those lines. This law puts them in a no-win situation: They will be forced to offend and anger someone who is perhaps a citizen or here legally when they ask to see his papers—or be accused of nonfeasance because they do not.

Law enforcement did not ask for and does not need this new tool. What we do need is assistance from the federal government in the form of effective strategies to secure the border.  Additionally, the federal government must take up this issue in the form of comprehensive immigration reform policy.  If any good is to come from this firestorm, it is that our legislators will finally recognize that a problem exists and that they are the only ones with the authority to address it.”

Added Sharry, “the only way to truly secure the border is to enact comprehensive reform that complements professional and accountable border enforcement with measures that turn off the jobs magnet, ensure all workers are legal, and create a mechanism for future legal immigration.”

In fact, this is what Senator McCain said in 2006 after the Senate approved the McCain-Kennedy comprehensive reform bill:

“In passing this legislation, the Senate rejected the argument for an ‘enforcement first’ strategy that focuses on border security only, an ineffective and ill-advised approach. . . . I believe the only way to truly secure our border and protect our Nation is through the enactment of comprehensive immigration reform.” Congressional Record, September 29, 2006

That was then.  Now Senator McCain is running an ad entitled “Complete the Danged Fence.”  What a difference a primary makes. 


America’s Voice — Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.