Arizona leaders rained down praise on President Trump during a meeting by the U.S.-Mexico border Tuesday, touting how hundreds of miles of newly constructed barrier have boosted public safety and led to a decline in illegal crossings.
“I worked on the road back in the early 2000s, and I understand firsthand the calls for service related to undocumented immigrants and how high those calls for service were,” Yuma, Arizona, Police Chief Susan Smith told Trump during the briefing. “After the border enhancements were put in place, I can tell you we saw a marked decline in many of those calls associated with undocumented immigrants, such as load vehicles coming across with drugs and humans, human trafficking, stolen vehicles.”
Yuma Mayor Doug Nicholls told Trump that if the 110 miles of new border barrier had not been installed along southwestern Arizona’s border with Mexico and the border crisis that unfolded last year happened today, the coronavirus pandemic may have had a hugely negative impact on his city’s 97,000 residents.
“If you fast-forwarded that situation to today, and those families were coming through with COVID-19, that would be 5,200 people coming through my community potentially with COVID-19,” said Nicholls, a Republican. “So, it’s simple math. The wall prevents people from coming — that prevents the number of exposures we can have to COVID-19. From a local perspective, that helps our community.”