Border Sheriff Quits Homeland Security Task Force, Calls It Hypocrisy

February 12, 2011

Three days ago, top Department of Homeland Security officials touted new levels of cooperation with local law enforcement in a border task force. Now, one of the most prominent members of that task force has resigned, calling the government's announcement hypocrisy.

The task force is called the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats. Last Tuesday in Tucson, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Alan Bersin issued a challenge to people crossing the border illegally. Part of it was in Spanish.

"No mas!" Bersin shouted from the podium. "No more returns without consequences if you act illegally in crossing this border."

Now, Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever calls that profiling.

Photo courtesy Cochise County Sheriff's Office.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.

He sent out a resignation letter, saying, "How do you say "no more" in Mandarin Chinese, or Farsi, or Russian or any other language spoken by illegal border crossers?"

Commissioner Bersin also cited statistics, saying they proved that border crime had dropped.

Dever criticizes those statistics. He calling them misleading.

Here is the full text of his resignation letter:

A few months ago, I was asked to accept a chair at the table of the Alliance to Combat Transnational Threats (ACTT) to represent Az. Sheriffs. My understanding was that the request was made by acclamation of the Az. Border Sheriffs. I accepted the opportunity, not knowing fully what the ACTT stood for, but knowing it represented a possible enhancement of border security. Today, following a series of meetings with local and federal officials, I must step down. I believe that the vision of ACTT and its operational capability have great potential. The Cochise County Sheriffs? Office will continue to contribute to the intelligence and enforcement operation ability that the initiative expects to achieve. That said, I am stepping down from my representation on the committee because I cannot buy into the politicization of the whole dang thing. Alan Bersin, Commissioner of CBC, for whom I have great respect in many venues, when touting the accomplishments of ACTT, announced that, in his words, "no mas, no mas" would border crossers be processed without sanctions.

The U.S. Dept. Of Justice is suing the State of Arizona over its efforts to deal with the consequences of illegal immigration and cites as part of its suit the potential for abuses associated with racial profiling. Then Commish Bersin uses the term "no mas, mas." How do you say "no more" in Mandarin Chinese, or Farsi, or Russian or any other language spoken by illegal border crossers? Is there not some profiling or at least stereotyping going on there? And then they throw up a whole bunch of interesting, but meaningless this federal government hypocrisy and duplicity. I'll continue to fight the battle for security, but  I won't participate in spreading propaganda based on false statistical premises.