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Sharper Point: Here’s how to NOT solve the immigration crisis

(Getty Images/Justin Sullivan)

We launched our weeklong series, KTAR News 92.3 FM presents Arizona’s Immigration Crisis, on Monday in the shadow of a brilliant idea from President Donald Trump. He said he wants to send the record number of migrants who are filling up our detention centers to…sanctuary cities!

“Democrats have said they want these individuals in their communities, so let’s see if it works and everybody gets a win out of it,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News.

Sanctuary cities and states are political subdivisions, that, as a matter of policy, claim to be welcoming to immigrants — whether they are legal or not.

As soon as the president came out with that idea, reasonable people rolled their eyes. They know it’s just another empty threat like, “I’ll shut down the border!” or, “Mexico will pay for the wall!”

Yet, I call it brilliant — for political reasons. That’s because a whole mess o’ Democrats took the president’s bait – including Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, who chairs the House’s Homeland Security Committee. Thompson said this idea is more of Trump’s “manufactured chaos that he has created over the last two years at the border.” He says Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” and “Zero Tolerance” policies “created this crisis.”

You have to give Thompson some credit. While he’s not blaming what’s truly driving thousands of people to make the trek across the entire length of Mexico in order to seek asylum in the U.S. (Central American violence and political unrest), at least he’s not blaming climate change like New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

The funniest to watch were the Democrats who suggested that Trump’s plan would create an unsafe situation in sanctuary cities. Because, you know, illegal immigrants are great for your city – unless they are sent by Trump.

One of the impediments to solving our border crisis is getting some people to admit that there IS a crisis. It seems like a lot of Democrats, upon hearing the term “border crisis,” are sticking their fingers in their ears and yelling “La La La La!!” Or if they are willing to admit there’s a crisis it’s got to be Donald Trump’s fault. (I dunno – maybe he’s running a secret TV show south of the border called Smuggler’s Apprentice.)

But there is a crisis. Just over the past month, more 103,000 southern border apprehensions were reported by Customs and Border Protection. Sixty-seven percent of those folks were comprised of families.

Close to home, nearly 16,000 individuals were apprehended – just in March – in the combined Border Patrol sectors of Yuma and Tucson. The Yuma Sector saw a 273% increase in March 2019 vs March 2018.

And more than 22,000 immigrants have been released into Arizona communities by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the past three months. Many show up in our towns with nothing more than the clothes on their back.

Many Republicans think the only solution to this crisis is “The Wall.” That’s silly. But equally ridiculous are the many Democrats who say any wall is a racist and completely ineffective symbol.

Meet The Press‘ Chuck Todd, who joins me most Fridays on Arizona’s Morning News, is not a fan of the president weaponizing policy as a political tool.

But he’s also no fan of the extreme Left: “The majority of this country thinks we should have borders. The majority of this country thinks we should allow asylum. The majority thinks we should have rules for immigration. That’s the center here in American politics. Both parties seem to be afraid of the center and more worried about the extremes.”

I’ve toured the border. I’ve talked to dozens of local and federal law enforcement officials about the border. And I have some strong beliefs about immigration. But I’d be lying if I told you that I know exactly how to solve this border crisis.

I can tell you one thing know for sure, though: politicians pandering to the extremes of their parties means we will never solve a damn thing.

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