Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, Ariz. told CNSNews.com that President Barack Obama has “got his hands wrapped around our throat” as his administration sues the state of Arizona for trying to enforce the immigration laws that the federal government itself will not enforce.
Dever also said he has “zero confidence” Obama will secure the border before his presidential term is up in two years and that the president is putting the people who live and work in Cochise County at risk by willfully failing to secure that border so that he can maintain political leverage for his goal of winning an amnesty for illegal aliens.
CNSNews.com videotaped an interview with Dever on Aug. 13, the same day Obama signed a $600 million bill to provide 1,000 additional Border Patrol agents. When asked whether he believes Obama actually wants to secure the border, Dever said that Obama did not want to do so.
“No. He’s as much as said so,” said Dever. “He’s playing the border security card, holding that, his trump card, to get immigration reform. And he’s basically said, you’re not going to get the kind of border enforcement you want, you’re asking for, unless you give me immigration reform.”
Cochise County is one of four counties in the state of Arizona that is contiguous with the Mexican border. Dever, a native of the county, was first elected sheriff in 1996 and has worked in local law enforcement in the county for three decades.
When CNSNews.com asked Dever if he was saying that President Obama was putting ranchers, other people in his county and the even Border Patrol agents who worked there at risk by holding off on securing the border while trying to win an amnesty for illegal aliens, Dever said: “If that’s what it seems like I’m saying, let me just make it perfectly clear, as the president likes to say: That’s exactly what I’m saying.”
Asked how much confidence he has that President Obama will eventually secure the border before his term of office ends in two years, Dever said: “I have zero confidence in that.”
“While this new funding is welcome, it’s still far short,” Dever said of the bill the president signed that day. “It’s an improvement, and we welcome that. But what really irritates me, really irritates me, is that while throwing out all this money in the government, he’s suing us on the other hand.”
Dever was referring to the lawsuit brought against Arizona by the U.S. Justice Department seeking to block an Arizona law enacted earlier this year that requires local law enforcement officers in Arizona to determine the immigration status of someone they stop for another reason and then have a reasonable basis for suspecting may be an illegal alien. In July, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking enforcement of key provision of the Arizona law, and it is now on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
“So, he’s got his hands wrapped around our throat—to use a Gulf oil—his foot on our throat, to use a Gulf-oil-spill metaphor, and, holding out a few crumbs in his hand and saying eat this,” said Dever. “Lift the lawsuit, Mr. President, and drop that thing. Let Arizona take its leadership role like it’s willing to do. We’ll help. We’ll do more good with that than anything else that’s going on right now. Other states are getting on board. And then give us the resources we need to get this thing done.”