A Firsthand Look at the Arizona-Mexico Border

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 45

By Mark Krikorian and Leo Banks on March 17, 2022

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Listen to "A Firsthand Look at the Arizona-Mexico Border" on Spreaker.


Earlier this week the CBP released its latest statistics on illegal migrants it “encountered” at the Southwest border. Nearly 2.2 million migrants have been caught in the first 12 full months of the Biden administration, in addition to 500,000 “got-aways”. This week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy focuses on the Tucson sector of the southwest border, a 232-mile stretch that receives the third highest number of apprehensions of the nine sectors of the southwest border.

Leo Banks, a journalist in Arizona who has observed and researched border issues for decades, joins the podcast to talk about what he is seeing on the ground. Much of his conversation centers on the cartels – their wealth, fees, strategies, and their violence which is spilling over into the U.S. He describes “task saturation”, the strategy used by the cartels to occupy and distract the Border Patrol while they move their contraband across the border – both people and drugs. More than 95 percent of the fentanyl being sold in the U.S. comes across the border and most of it comes across on the southwest border.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and the host of Parsing Immigration Policy, draws attention to interior immigration enforcement. The Biden administration finally allowed ICE to release a congressionally required report on its enforcement operations for FY2021, but the report is missing key data that has been included in reports for at least the last decade. A close analysis of the incomplete report shows that ICE officials are arresting a lot fewer criminals, including murderers, rapists, and kidnappers.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Leo Banks


Leo Bank's Website

Bordering on Chaos

Encounters at the Southwest Border Rose in February

CBP-Border Patrol Fentanyl Seizures Up at the Southwest Border

New ICE Report Touts Improved Enforcement — Until Compared to Last Year

Biden Administration Still Hiding ICE Enforcement and Removal Report


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".