This week, Arizona 360 embarked on a journey to continue our coverage of border-related issues. We traveled across state lines to trace the international border through New Mexico and to El Paso, Texas where President Trump held a campaign rally Monday. Our travels took us to the rally, and to communities along the way, where we sought to understand if rhetoric about border security reflects a crisis at the U.S. southern border.
The former chief of Border Patrol's Tucson Sector calls El Paso home after serving the agency for two decades. A native Tucsonan, Victor Manjarrez teaches at the University of Texas at El Paso and is associate director for UTEP's Center for Law and Human Behavior. Manjarrez shared his views about border security with Lorraine Rivera.
"My biggest challenge when I was in the Border Patrol was getting clear definition of what effective border security is," Manjarrez said. "I think success, anyways, is going to look at a combination of personnel, tactical infrastructure … from roads, to border fences, to border barriers, to access roads, things of that nature, and technology."
Manjarrez said he believes the ongoing surge in asylum claims reflects a humanitarian crisis at the border. When discussing solutions to current disagreements over border security, Manjarrez said the issue has become so polarizing that it's unlikely any proposal would satisfy everyone.
"Especially in the last 30 years. It's either far right, far left, very few in the middle. And then the sides flip," Manjarrez said.