(WIAT) — A group of Alabamians who’ve tasked themselves with patrolling the United States-Mexico border is welcoming the proposed crackdown on crimes by undocumented immigrants.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions laid out his plans on Tuesday in Nogales, Arizona, where he also toured an area along the border.
“I’m just glad that they’re getting the attention that we need down there,” said Barry White, taking a lunch break from a job in Guntersville to talk to CBS 42.
CBS 42 first met White in Nogales last year, where he and his fellow Borderkeepers of Alabama camped out, patrolling the border with the goal of helping U.S. border agents by observing and reporting illegal activity.
“The main people that you see coming across the border, they’re not coming across just to live and find a job,” White said. “They’re bringing drugs across. They’re bringing other people across. They don’t want anyone to stop them, so they’re armed, and they’ll harm you.”
The U.S. Attorney General seems to agree with White and his colleagues.
“Depravity and violence are their calling cards,” Sessions said Tuesday, referring to gangs that cross into the U.S. From Mexico. “They threaten the very integrity of our nations in our hemisphere.”
Sessions urged federal prosecutors to make these crimes a top priority.
While those who support the Attorney General say this plan will mainly impact undocumented immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S., Isabel Rubio, the Executive Director of the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama said it will not drive crime rates down.
Rather, Rubio believes that it will only create unnecessary paranoia around people who immigrate to the United States to work toward a better life.
“We need to make sure that we look at the criminality issues and address those,” Rubio said. “But that is such a small percent of the people who live in our communities. And we certainly need to make sure that we provide a path to citizenship to the millions of people who’ve been here, and who’ve been contributing to this economy and this great nation.”