TUCSON – Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) released the following statement on Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ visit to Nogales, Arizona today. Sessions is scheduled to tour the U.S.-Mexico border and meet with law enforcement and military personnel at the Mariposa Crossing Port of Entry in Nogales.
“When Attorney General Sessions arrives in Nogales today, he will find a community completely at odds with this administration’s depiction of life on our southern border,” Rep. Grijalva said. “The question is not whether or not their policies meet the needs of our borderlands, but rather, will they even bother to learn what those needs actually are? So far, the answer has been a resounding NO.
“Taking time for a photo op at a wall is not the same as taking time to understand how that wall arbitrarily splits the desert landscape, blocking local wildlife from their natural migration patterns, and scarring the ecology of the entire region. Nor is a conversation in a law enforcement facility the same as a conversation with the real men and women who call our borderlands home. If Sessions would listen to the locals, he would hear how Trump’s confrontational stance towards Mexico, and his proposed Border Adjustment Tax, are both toxic to cities like Nogales, where the local economy is entirely dependent on cross-border commerce. He would hear from tribal leaders about how a border wall is a direct assault on tribal sovereignty. He would hear how the Muslim ban and deportation raids that Sessions has carried out for Trump have stitched fear across this nation. Perhaps most of all, he would learn that this region is intricate and complex – solutions here require more than campaign rhetoric and a majority party in Congress willing to rubberstamp policies without concern for consequences.
“If Sessions learned any of these lessons, his trip would be well worth it. But given his track record of opposing commonsense immigration reforms, and given his role as Trump’s henchman in justifying deportation raids, all I can say is I do not have high hopes.”