In the letter, dated February 9th, the mayors, Arturo Garino of Nogales, Juan Escamilla of San Luis, and Michael Gomez of Nogales, accuse Babeu of “cultivating a culture of fear” which “hurt cities and towns like ours by causing those who live and travel to the border to fear for their safety when in our communities”. The letter goes on to state that violent crime is down within their cities and the mayors belief that it likely is within Pinal County as well.
Letter to Sheriff Babeu
Babeu responded earlier this week with a letter of his own.
Babeu’s letter, dated February 14th, cited an increase in border-related crime statistics for Pinal County. The sheriff furnished numbers which showed the amount of drug seizures and vehicle pursuits in 2009 was double that of 2008. 2010′s numbers were similar to the previous year’s. Babeu also listed a number of violent border-related crimes within the county that were not reflected in the above-mentioned statistics.
The sheriff also noted the “national security threat that is presented with other than Mexicans (OTM’s) and persons from countries of interest (foreign countries that harbor/sponsor terrorist and actively speak against America and our values)”.
Babeu argues that the “10-point Border Security Plan” introduced last year by Arizona Senators John McCain and John Kyl should be implemented immediately and “only then can we have a reasonable discussion about ‘immigration reform.’”
Yesterday, PCSO Public Information Officer Tim Gaffney sent his own letter to the mayors emphasizing the sheriff’s point, and included several graphic photos to support his case.
(Warning: Contains graphic images)
Gaffney letter to mayors
Top photo: Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu (Sam McCallie/Maricopa 360.com)