Yuma Sector Border Patrol arrested 21 undocumented immigrants for allegedly smuggling marijuana across the border. However, the Yuma county sheriff’s office says local residents will be the ones paying for their crime.
On Thursday April 28th, Wellton Station Border Patrol agents arrested 58 undocumented immigrants. 21 of them were smuggling more than 800 pounds of marijuana in back packs according to Yuma sector border patrol agent Richard Withers.
YCSO says those 21 undocumented immigrants were booked into the Yuma county detention center after the United States Attorney’s Office of Arizona refused to prosecute them. Making local taxpayers literally pay for their crime. Alfonso Zavala with YCSO says, “The average is they are in our facility for 100 days costing 78 dollars per day.” Zavala says the combined total of all 21 immigrants is costing Yuma taxpayers more than $600,000.
“It’s cost is roughly $600,000 on illegal immigrants that cross into the United States, have committed a crime that we have had to fund from our general fund, out of our local taxpayers money because the federal government won’t do their job,” says Zavala.
Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot has spoke out about the lack of prosecution on undocumented immigrants. Wilmot said in a statement, “When the United States Attorney’s Office of Arizona continuously refuses to prosecute illegal immigrants smuggling drugs into our state it places a significant burden on local governments to pick up the cost of prosecuting and incarcerating these criminals.”
Zavala says it’s the FBI administration in Washington are the ones making the attorneys office not prosecute. “We’ve sent numerous letters to Washington asking for clarification on why this isn’t good so it’s not something locally. This is something that is occurring in Washington and is streamlining down that we have no control over.”
YCSO says they will continue to detain these immigrants for committing crimes.
“Sheriff Wilmot is committed to the community and he will continue to push forward,” says Zavala