Fresno County sher­iff tells Trump im­mi­gra­tion im­pact breaches bor­der

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What hap­pens at the bor­der doesn’t stay at the bor­der, Fresno County Sher­iff Margaret Mims said Fri­day.

Mims said that was her mes­sage to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump dur­ing a visit Fri­day af­ter­noon. The pres­i­dent trav­eled to Calexico to take part in an im­mi­gra­tion and bor­der se­cu­rity brief­ing as well as to view 2 miles of re­fur­bished bor­der fence.

Sher­iffs in­clud­ing Mims, Mike Boudreaux of Tu­lare, Dave Robin­son of Kings and Donny Young­blood of Kern joined the pres­i­dent dur­ing his visit. Mims was in­vited to give brief re­marks dur­ing a round­table dis­cus­sion ear­lier in the day and stressed that more is needed to se­cure the bor­der with Mex­ico.

Speak­ing to re­porters in Clo­vis on Fri­day night, Mims said she shared with the pres­i­dent that the pres­ence of the deadly nar­cotic Fen­tanyl along with crimes linked to MS-13 in Fresno County were con­se­quences of a lack of bor­der se­cu­rity. She said she was con­fi­dent the pres­i­dent un­der­stood her con­cerns.

“When bad things hap­pen at the bor­der, when things get through that shouldn’t, it causes our lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties prob­lems,” Mims said.

She elab­o­rated on the crimes by MS-13 and said au­thor­i­ties have iden­ti­fied 18 deaths in Cal­i­for­nia, Texas and Ne­vada that were linked to MS-13 gang mem­bers from western Fresno County.

The gang, com­prised of Cen­tral Amer­i­cans, has been a fre­quent tar­get of the pres­i­dent.

Trump in­sisted dur­ing the round­table that the United States was over­bur­dened with the surge of il­le­gal im­mi­grant cross­ings, mainly by peo­ple from Cen­tral Amer­ica. He said, “Our coun­try is full.”

The meet­ing and visit came af­ter the pres­i­dent had vowed to shut down the bor­der with Mex­ico, but later re­treated, giv­ing Mex­ico a one-year warn­ing to ad­dress the mi­grant is­sue. Trump added that Mex­ico has been helpful in re­cent days in stop­ping the in­flux of mi­grants mov­ing to­ward the U.S. bor­der.

Mims, who said that im­ages of peo­ple “rush­ing the bor­der” are signs of a cri­sis, pro­posed two so­lu­tions: fix asy­lum laws and get Congress to re­form the im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem.

She also in­sisted that her in­volve­ment on im­mi­gra­tion dis­cus­sions are purely for public safety rea­sons. She noted to re­porters that she also met with for­mer Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and re­cently had a break­fast with Demo­cratic fresh­man Rep. TJ Cox where she shared her feel­ings about im­mi­gra­tion re­form. She also said she had a good re­la­tion­ship with David Val­adao, who for­merly held Cox’s seat.

“This is a con­gres­sional is­sue. We def­i­nitely need im­mi­gra­tion re­form so we can start from scratch,” Mims said.

The Associated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port.

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