Jones: Obama joins cartels, conducting 'coyote' operation
Republican candidate for governor Christine Jones attacked President Obama on Monday, accusing him of conducting "the biggest 'coyote' operation in history" and blaming the administration for the influx of illegal immigrants. Jones said a PR campaign to deter young immigrants from Central America is a waste of money.
Continuing to focus more on attacking the federal government than discussing state issues, the former GoDaddy executive said it's a "stunt' for the administration to move to stem the flow of illegal immigrants by knocking down rumors of "permisos."
"With a surge of illegal immigrants coming to Arizona, it’s unacceptable that the Obama administration has decided to waste money on an ad campaign rather than actually enforce our immigration laws and secure the border," Jones said in a press release. "We don’t need to spend $1 million on billboards and ads in foreign countries in order to deter illegal immigration, we need to uphold our laws and send those people back to where they came from until they decide to immigrate legally."
In June, federal officials began a public relations campaign to counter the wave of undocumented children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, including an open letter by Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson published in Spanish language outlets.
The letter attempted to dispel "misperceptions" about U.S. immigration policy, including rumors of the existence of "permisos" or passes that would allow unaccompanied minors to stay in the United States.
"The long journey is not only dangerous; there are no 'permisos,' 'permits,' or free passes at the end," wrote Johnson in Spanish, describing the perilous trip that children may face on their way to the United States.
"The U.S. Government’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also called 'DACA,' does not apply to a child who crosses the U.S. border illegally today, tomorrow or yesterday. To be eligible for DACA, a child must have been in the United States prior to June 15, 2007 – seven years ago," Johnson wrote.
"Also, the immigration reform legislation now before Congress provides for an earned path to citizenship, but only for certain people who came into this country on or before December 31, 2011 – two and one half years ago," he wrote. "So, let me be clear: There is no path to deferred action or citizenship, or one being contemplated by Congress, for a child who crosses our border illegally today."
Jones, part of a field of eight candidates vying to face Democrat Fred DuVal in November's general election, called the federal moves "another example of more talk and no action."
"The more I examine the facts, the more convinced I am that this recent migration was all contrived as a maneuver in the 'comprehensive reform' effort," Jones said. The Obama administration is distorting and using the 2008 law to bring in massive numbers and claim it is all a humanitarian/refugee crisis. And just like that, Barack Obama joins the cartels, turning the U.S. government into the biggest 'coyote' operation in history."
In addition to the PR effort in Central America, the White House is trying to staunch the flow using diplomatic pressure and foreign aid.
Last month, officials told reporters that the administration would provide $9.6 million in aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to fund programs to repatriate those deported from the United States.
A second effort through the U.S. Agency for International Development will send $40 million to Guatemala, $25 million to El Salvador, and $18.5 million to Honduras for crime prevention and security measures.