Wednesday, November 6, 2013
AZMEX POLICY2 6-11-13
AZMEX POLICY 2 6-11-13
Note: from AZ Capitol Reports Yellow Sheet Report 6 Nov. 2013
AZMEX ACTIVITY also show much more activity than gets reported.
THAT WINDMILL ISN'T GOING TO JOUST ITSELF
Nearly three years after the Arizona Border Security Trust Fund was created, Smith still doesn't have a solid plan to create a border fence with the $264,028 in donations the fund has received. At today's Joint Border Security Advisory Committee hearing, he gave reporters no answers about what he and the committee plan to do with the money, saying only that he wants to secure a portion of the border with it to prove it can be done, even if it is only in a small area. Smith blamed the committee for not spending the money on a fence yet, though he said he still didn't know what exactly he would spend it on or where the fence would be located if it were solely his decision.
"Unfortunately, it's not the Steve Smith project, which I wish it were. Because if it were, it would have been [done] two years ago, and you would have seen what can be done with a little bit of money. But I'm at the mercy of everyone in this room, and other people who aren't in this room," Smith said. (Smith and the other legislative members of the committee – Crandell, Griffin, Mesnard, Stevens and Ward – are non-voting members.)
Publicly, Smith was still clinging to the idea that the money could buy a border fence, which usually costs more than $2 million per mile, saying that others want to help and donate, though they haven't done that yet. But Stevens told The Associated Press yesterday (LINK) that Smith realized the money wouldn't be enough to build a fence and has given up on the idea, opting instead to give the money to border sheriffs to help with their operations.
FREE LEGAL ADVICE: CHANGE THE LAW
Before the committee began, House GOP spokesman Chris Leone told reporters that the committee would be going into executive session to discuss the trust fund. But as the committee gaveled in, Stevens said he didn't put that on the agenda, so that would be put off until next month. Stevens said the committee wanted to go into executive session to hear advice from their lawyers about how they could legally spend the money on projects other than a border fence. He acknowledged that they couldn't realistically build a border fence, but declined to go into further details about what other options the committee was considering. In the end, the committee again made neither motions nor decisions about what to do with the money. A plain reading of the statute makes it unlikely that the committee has any flexibility to spend the money on anything but a fence, and throws cold water on proposals to use the money for border monitoring equipment – often referred to as a "virtual fence" – or to give it directly to border sheriffs. In 2011, the Legislature created ARS 41-108 with Laws 2011, Chapter 309, which allows the state to collect private funds (or use taxpayer money) for "the construction and maintenance of a secure fence along the Arizona- Mexico border line." There are multiple references to "border fence" throughout the statute, and subsection K explicitly says that "all monies in the [border security] trust fund shall be used exclusively to carry out the purposes of this section."
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YELLOW SHEET REPORT November 6, 2013 Page 4 © by ARIZONA CAPITOL REPORTS LLC UNLESS OTHERWISE CREDITED
PANELIST: BORDER SECURITY OFFICIALS ON CARTEL PAYROLL
Members of the committee started off the meeting with a presentation from former Border Patrol agent Tom Crosby, who told them they "are being lied to" by Border Patrol leaders. Crosby said Dept of Homeland Security statistics show that Border Patrol apprehended or turned back 75 percent of people they knew were crossing the border in the Tucson sector. However, Crosby said, drone radar showed 7,533 crossers were counted and only 410 were apprehended. Of those 410 people, 52 were drug smugglers, he said. Extrapolating that number, Crosby announced that, "in the last eight years, up to four million criminal aliens may have come into the United States through the Tucson sector." All the statistics lawmakers hear from DHS add up to "smoke and mirrors," Crosby said. Crosby, a member of the National Assn of Former Border Patrol Officers, also claimed that the level of organized crime in the United States cannot exist without political protection, and accused politicians on both sides of the border and DHS higher-ups of corruption: "In my opinion, if we see a welcome decrease in the amount of border violence and the amount of violence in Mexico, it is because the US government and Mexican government have been paid off by and have surrendered to the dopers." He cited Shawn Moran, Vice President of the National Border
Patrol Council, who recently told Breitbart News that "the politically-appointed class within the US Border Patrol and in the US Customs and Border Protection Agency are cooking the books to make it appear illegal immigration is decreasing." Crandell asked Crosby if he had any evidence that the cartels are getting political protection in the United States, and Crosby didn't offer any.