An Arizona police officer was forced to release 17 illegal immigrants after requesting for assistance from federal immigration authorities.
The officer conducted a traffic stop early Friday morning when he suspected that the van, driven by an American citizen, was transporting illegal immigrants on Interstate 10 in Chandler and Phoenix.
“Upon contact with the driver, a United States citizen, the state trooper observed 17 undocumented aliens in the vehicle,” a statement from the Arizona Department of Public Safety said on Facebook.
“AZDPS requested assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the United States Border Patrol to take custody of the undocumented aliens, both agencies declined the request.”
The statement added that because the agencies were not able to step in, the state trooper could only issue citations and not bring them into custody.
“Absent response from the agencies with jurisdiction on immigration violations, the state trooper issued the appropriate citations for the traffic violations, impounded the vehicle and was forced to release the subjects.”
Federal agencies have been overwhelmed with the surge of migrants arriving at the border, with apprehensions hitting nearly 20,000 in the Tuscon sector, and around 12,000 in the Yuma sector and other border states are also incredibly strained.
— Rudy Rivas (@RudyRivasAZ) April 16, 2021
It would be reasonable to assume that the decision not to assist the state trooper likely had to do with limited resources, but that is unclear at this time.
The Biden administration repealed many of former President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, which is largely being attributed to the surge.
Republican Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has repeatedly called out the administration’s neglect of the crisis, as President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have yet to visit the southern border.
Absent response from the agencies with jurisdiction on immigration violations, the AZDPS trooper issued the appropriate citations for the traffic violations, impounded the vehicle and was forced to release the subjects. (3/3) pic.twitter.com/5STfZA9kqr
— Dept. of Public Safety (@Arizona_DPS) April 16, 2021
“The Biden/Harris administration needs to get its head out of the sand when it comes to the crisis at our border. This lack of action defies all logic, and flies in the face of the law,” Ducey said about Friday’s incident in a statement.
“This administration is asleep at the switch, and their total lack of action is having real consequences here in the state of Arizona. I’ve met with our Border Patrol and they need help, and they need the support of the administration.
“It’s time for the White House to act and do its job so the dedicated law enforcement officials on the ground have the resources, support and direction they desperately need. I’m hopeful that our United States Senators and Congressional delegation will join me in calling for the President to deploy the National Guard to our border.
“If the federal government isn’t going to do its job, then Arizona will take matters into our own hands and provide support to sheriffs and local law enforcement. The policies of the Biden/Harris administration are inhumane to those seeking legitimate humanitarian relief, and do nothing but empower those that pose a serious threat to public safety, including drug cartels and human traffickers,” he added.
This administration is asleep at the switch, and their total lack of action is having real consequences here in the state of Arizona. I’ve met with our Border Patrol and they need help, and they need the support of the administration. 2/
— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 16, 2021
Border states like Arizona have been working tirelessly to manage the influx of migrants arriving at the border, but the federal government has a duty to take leadership as well.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.