Arizona Sheriff: Illegal Immigrants Being Handed $5,000 Visa Gift Cards, Cell Phones, And Plane Tickets

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by Tyler Durden
Friday, Dec 08, 2023 - 04:00 AM

Authored by Matthew Lysiak via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

Immigrants who illegally cross the border into Arizona are being handed $5,000 in good-as-cash gift cards, along with cell phones and costly plane tickets, all of which are being paid for by the American taxpayer, according to Arizona Sheriff Mark Lamb.

Mr. Lamb, sheriff of Pinal County, Arizona, told The Epoch Times that he had been informed of the lucrative hand-out through his close sources working at the United States border.

I was absolutely in shock when these agents came forward,” said Mr. Lamb. “I had known we handed out free cell phones and plane tickets, but to give out $5,000 Visa gift cards to people who break our laws and come into our country illegally when the average American is struggling to pay their bills is just tough to swallow.”

“People need to know the truth and let their representative lawmakers hear about it. This needs to end,” added Mr. Lamb.

Mr. Lamb, who in April became the first Republican to announce his candidacy to challenge Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.) for the United States Senate, says that the high-end gift cards, in addition to the plane tickets and cell phones, are paid through American tax dollars funneled from government agencies.

“We know they've been giving illegal immigrants money for a long time,” said Mr. Lamb, who worked in the position of sheriff of Pinal County for seven years. “The government can make the claim that they aren't directly paying for it, because each dollar first goes from the government to a non-government institution like a charity before it is used to pay for the illegals.”

“They are just moving the money around, but it all comes from the same place,” he added.

The Epoch Times reached out to a representative from Customs and Border Protection (CBP), who was not immediately available for comment.

Surge in Crossings

In recent years the nation has seen a large surge in illegal border crossings.

In October, CBP reported the highest number of illegal immigrant encounters for any October on record, with 240,988 encounters at the southern border. The agency also reported that 13 of the arrests it made during the month were of people on the FBI terror watchlist (12 from the southern border and one from the northern border). It is expected that the fiscal year total for 2023 will exceed 2.4 million, surpassing 2022's record of 2.3 million, once the figures are finalized.

In Arizona, a record high of 17,500 illegal immigrants were arrested for unlawfully entering the southeast region of the state from Mexico between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30—up from approximately 15,650 the previous week.

On Monday, the number of illegal immigrants crossing the border into Arizona had grown so large that the federal government shut down a port of entry in Lukeville, Arizona to pull those federal customs officers to manage the crisis.

In Tucson, Arizona, the surge has spiraled so far that there is no longer room to hold new arrivals, according to an email obtained by the Washington Examiner.

"As you are aware, Tucson Sector is experiencing an unprecedented surge of illegal entries in our [area of responsibility]," Tucson, Arizona, leadership wrote in an email to agents this afternoon, according to the Washington Examiner on Nov. 27. "This morning we had more than 5,000 people in custody—far more than our holding capacity."

As the chaos at the border continues to spiral into an unmanageable crisis, the government needs to prioritize the growing number of struggling American families, according to Mr. Lamb.

“We got Christmas coming up,” said Mr. Lamb. “Families are finding it difficult to keep lights on and find a way to buy their kids a few presents for under the tree, and now the American taxpayer has to watch as their hard-earned money is being taken from them and handed to people who have broken the law?”

“It is infuriating. I know a lot of hard-working Americans who could use that money,” he added.

Mr. Lamb says in his role as sheriff—where he is tasked with enforcing existing law—his hands are tied. However, securing the border has become one of the main platforms, and reasons, for his current run for Senate.

The race to represent the GOP in the upcoming Senate race continues to be tight. Currently, Mr. Lamb is polling second in the GOP primary behind former television anchor and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, according to a Noble Predictive Insights poll conducted between Oct. 25 and Oct. 31.

However, if he does go on to represent the people of Arizona in the Senate, Mr. Lamb says he will do “whatever it takes” to close the border and end the taxpayer-funded gifts being handed to those who come into the country illegally.

The border is our greatest national security threat,” said Mr. Lamb. “I’m the guy who has the experience and knows how to finally do what it takes to secure it.”