KGUN 9NewsBorder Watch


Santa Cruz Sheriff says leave immigration law to the Feds

Opposes vote to have local agencies enforce immigration
Posted at 7:40 PM, Jun 05, 2024

NOGALES, Ariz. (KGUN) — Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway says he would have rather seen Congress pass an immigration control reform but President Biden had to resort to an executive order instead.

The Sheriff says immigrants are not coming here for lives as criminals, they are coming to the US to work. He thinks there should be a guest worker program to allow them to work legally.

In a related border issue, he is not happy that Arizona lawmakers put an issue on the November ballot that would allow voters to make illegal border crossing against state law, and have local sheriffs and police enforce that law.

He says, “Santa Cruz County is the smallest county in Arizona. We work on the basics of law enforcement, violent crime, and property crime. The federal agents in my area outnumber us 30 to one. There's 30 Federal officers for every one local officer so it makes no sense to try to make us take on a federal function. In a town that's already 95% Hispanic, I don't want to be chasing people around that look Hispanic asking for their documents.”

Crossing the border illegally is already a violation of Federal law.

Sheriff Hathaway says if voters approve a state law on illegal border crossing he will not enforce it. He says he’s not worried whether that could get him sued or bring down penalties from the state.