Arizona county sheriff disappointed in Ducey supporting border shutdown
PHOENIX – The sheriff of an Arizona county near Mexico was disappointed that Gov. Doug Ducey said he would support a potential shutdown at the border after a meeting with President Donald Trump.
“He should stand up for the fact that Mexico is our trading partner. Millions and millions of dollars of goods cross the border every single day,” Santa Cruz County Sheriff Tony Estrada said Thursday on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News.
“Any stoppage, for hour a day or whatever it may be, is going to hurt both countries tremendously,” he said. “(Ducey) should realize that. He should be thinking about the people in Arizona.”
Trump has said he would close the border at Mexico to stop the surge of Central American migrants who have been crossing into the United States.
Ducey met with the president at the White House on Wednesday. Afterward he said he would be supportive if the border were to close but would like it to be “as short as possible.”
Patrick Ptak, the governor’s spokesman, said Ducey didn’t want a shutdown and that Congress “needs to act.”
“He’s not going to go against the president on this issue,” Estrada said of the governor. “He’s going to enable him.”
Trade with Mexico accounted for $16.7 billion for Arizona last year.
Customs and Border Protection said it would close the Nogales port of entry on Sundays starting this weekend.
Estrada, who grew up in Nogales, Arizona, has run his department since 1993.
Santa Cruz is the smallest county in the state at 1,237 square miles. Maricopa and Yuma counties have had the greatest numbers of formerly detained migrants being dropped off by federal immigration agencies.
“There’s no question” the surge has become a problem, Estrada said, but the Mexican government cannot prevent migrants from crossing the border into the U.S.
He does believe, however, “Mexico can help in some way.”