Otero County, New Mexico Sheriff David Black is pointing out the danger in pulling border agents away from security missions. An estimated 50-percent of agents have now been pulled from various inland posts to process, transport and care for asylum-seekers. This comes as an estimated 800 migrants are arriving in the region each day.
Some believe the migrant influx has served as a so-called “smoke screen” for cartels, whose criminal activity has skyrocketed.
Otero County has reallocated their resources to monitor the abandoned areas of the border for drug-runners and human smugglers. Before the checkpoints closed in March, deputies seized $3,500 worth of illicit drugs, including meth, heroin and marijuana. They seized over $60,000 worth of drugs in April.
“I believe its a direct result of having our checkpoints shut down, so the state of emergency is pretty much a shout out to cry for help to get our checkpoints back open,” stated Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin.
Otero County was the first border community to declare a state of emergency over the border crisis. Griffin believes that without proper defense, the crime will begin to move north.
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