Controversy Erupts In Pima County Over Rejected Border Security Grant

Published: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 1:20pm
Updated: Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 2:39pm
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The immigration rhetoric in Washington, D.C., is hitting the Pima County Sheriff’s Office where it hurts — their budget.

Earlier this week, the Pima County Board of Supervisors narrowly voted to withdraw from a controversial $1.4 million border security grant known as Operation Stonegarden. The money would have gone to the the sheriff’s department in an effort to encourage collaboration between local and federal law enforcement agencies.

Many activists argue that the money would pressure local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law — but according to Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, that couldn't be farther from reality.

He joined The Show to talk about where the $1.4 million would have gone.

So, why did the Pima County Board of Supervisors make this decision?

Well, it wasn’t an easy one, according to District 2 Supervisor Ramón Valadez. He said there are drawbacks on both sides of this one that he considered before ultimately voting to terminate the funding.

On one hand, he said he was concerned about what other department might receive this funding instead of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office, and he worried that there wouldn’t be any local oversight of the border task force otherwise.

But, in the end, he said one thing that made him vote the way he did is the fact that we’re seeing a drop in crime reporting in immigrant communities.

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