Congresswoman and 2012 Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann came to the Arizona Capitol today, to discuss border security with Senate leaders and law enforcement. Rep. Bachmann wanted to hear personally how Arizona is bearing the brunt of the Federal Government’s inaction on enforcement. The Congresswoman also wanted to learn more about the border fence initiative, led by Senator Steve Smith. The website www.buildtheborderfence.com is set up to gather private donations for building a border fence.
Rep. Bachmann heard stories from border lawmakers, including Senator Gail Griffin, who has seen border smugglers moving through her land, ten miles from the border. Senator Sylvia Allen described how the border in a sense has moved north into Pinal County, 70-80 miles from the U.S. Mexico border.
Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever described his frustration over the disconnect between the Department of Justice and Homeland Security. Congressman Trent Franks shared his concerns over the connection between a lack of border security and national security. Rep. Bachmann agreed with Rep. Franks that it is a terrorism issue.
Rep. Bachmann talked about how it is not right for Arizona to be punished for what the Feds aren’t doing with the border. She also described a recent town hall in Iowa, where border security was top-of-mind for many participants, even though they live in the heartland of America, not along the border.
After the 45 minute meeting in the Senate, Rep. Bachmann walked over to the Old Capitol to meet with reporters and take questions about the meeting.