By John Hernandez
San Manuel Miner
At a Border Security Town Hall Meeting/political rally held Monday, July 14, in SaddleBrooke, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu said his deputies would not tolerate violence or threats being made at a planned protest of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children being bused to the Sycamore Canyon Academy in Peppersauce Canyon. The bus, Babeu said, was expected to arrive sometime Tuesday. It was unknown how many protesters would be picketing.
“Transportation will be allowed to pass,” Babeu said. “I am sworn to uphold the law. I have to insure that everyone is safe.”
Two groups had announced plans to protest. Those in opposition to the plan were led by Robert Skiba, Oracle resident and activist. A community group also rallied to offer support and compassion to the immigrant children. That group was organized by Frank Pierson and others.
Babeu was concerned that his office had not been notified by the Federal government about the plans to relocate the children to the Sycamore Canyon Academy. He said he heard about it from two of his friends who are ICE agents. According to Babeu, some of the immigrant teen aged children being detained at the border are gang members including members of MS13 one of the most violent gangs in Central America and now in the United States. He wanted more information about the children to be held at the academy and said he did not believe that the academy was a secure facility.
The Border Security Town Hall Meeting featured Christine Jones who is a Republican running for Governor. She shared her plan for securing the border if she is elected: she will deploy 1,200 Arizona National Guardsmen on the border to support law enforcement; technology will be used to monitor the border including drones; and she will finish building the fence.