The District 3 representative feels the topic has been too politicized and would like to see more funding to assist those helping - 13 On Your Side's Luis Lopez reports
YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - Saturday morning locals around the border area met at the San Luis Medical Mall. Locals gathered to talk about what problems they face in the border towns.
A conversation that Congressman Raul Grijalva wants to make sure has the right focus.
“I think what happens with the conversation at the border is that the conversation is consumed by people running for office and so it’s twisted,” Grijalva said.
U.S Customs and Border Protection has reported over 74,238 encounters at the border in Fiscal Year 2022, the third highest among the southwest region. Grijalva says he’d like to see more focus on criminal activity at the border, on things such as drugs and weapons smuggling. He feels the overall conversation, has turned into something too politicized.
“Because what you’re seeing already is the red rick around, ‘build a wall, shut it down, it’s an invasion,’ what does that do to the people that live in the border region? It hurts them, it hurts their economics, and it hurts their satisfaction and their quality of life,” Grijalva said.
When asked about Yuma’s state of emergency being declared in December of last year, Grijalva says he disagreed with the decision.
“I think you know, personally, I thought that was an overreaction on the part of the mayor to be honest with you but, you know that’s his call, and that’s his jurisdiction,” Grijalva said.
Grijalva also went on to express a need for more funding towards non-profits helping immigrants, along with more funding to assist border patrol in processing and finding credible criminal threats among immigrants.