President Biden's executive order on immigration has Arizona politicians reacting

Local officials from Yuma Mayor Douglas Nicholls to Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels and more reacted to President Biden's executive order aimed at limiting asylum at the southern border.

Both agree more is necessary for border protection, with Nicholls highlighting the authority the President hold to change border policy and Dannels emphasizing the need to enable border patrol agencies to operate effectively. 

"For those who say the steps I've taken are too strict, I say to you that be patient and goodwill of the American people are going to are wearing thin right now. Doing nothing is not an option. We have to act. We must act consistent with both our law and our values, our values as Americans," President Biden said.


Biden issues executive order on border security

President Biden has issued a long-expected executive order on security at the US-Mexico border that could lead to a shutdown of asylum processing.

But Dannels see it as too little, too late and he questions its efficacy against cartels' smuggling operations. 

"For us, with the got-aways where it's controlled by the cartels - the fight, flight, the smuggling - I don't see it being much of a difference because they're already sneaking in," Dannels says.

He also believes the move could have been motivated by political discourse.

"I'd ask the question of, 'Is this truly something he believes in? Is this passion? Or is this pressure by politics, pressure by elections? And I hope that's not the case." he said. 

Nicholls views the move as a much-needed tool, having awaited action for three-and-a-half years.

"It did confirm what I was saying and a lot of local government leaders have been saying. The president has the authority to do executive orders and policy changes along the border like all his predecessors or all parties and this one hasn't yet until today," Nicholls said.

Senator Mark Kelly delivers remarks

Meanwhile, Senator Kelly stressed that Arizona requires a solid solution, vowing to continue efforts toward passing comprehensive legislation to address state concerns, national security, and immigration policy.

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"I'm happy to be here today and what I hope is we will have a safer situation and operational control over our southern border," Kelly said.

"We also need comprehensive immigration reform that will benefit our economy."

He emphasized that he will continue to push for policy that deals with problems at the border because of Arizona's status as a border state.

"Really what we need is legislation from Congress and I'm going to continue to work on this because it is important to my state. It's also important to our national security and for immigration policy, Kelly said.