Presidential debate sparks discussion on Yuma County border safety

YUMA, Ariz.– During the Republican Presidential debate Dr. Ben Carson mentions Yuma County one of the most effective border areas in controlling illegal immigrants from coming into the United States.

“Yuma County they stop 97 percent of the illegal immigration through there,” said Ben Carson during the debate.

Securing the border has been a long road for Yuma Sector Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies.  At one point Yuma County was the busiest illegal border crossing in the nation.  In 2005, more than 140,000 people were crossing the border illegally.  By fiscal year 2014, Border Patrol statistics show the number of arrests have reduced to 5,500.  It’s attributed to many factors including Operation Streamline, a program that was started in December 2006, that prosecutes every criminal offender caught committing any type of illegal activity. Law enforcement also say the reduction in arrests are attributed to more fencing, specialized technology, cameras, and man power.

Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot remains vigilant in his attempt to continue to keep the county safe.  Wilmot said with the high number of illegal immigrants crossing the border the crime also increased dramatically.  Operation Streamline was one way to ensure all criminals were prosecuted according to the law until the Attorney General decided not to prosecute some federal offenses like first-time illegal crossing.  In order to continue to keep Yuma County’s crime at a minimum Wilmot deputized some federal agents to ensure all crimes were punishable on a state level.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

Related posts