February 20, 2019 / Modified feb 20, 2019 2:12 p.m.

Policing a Highway With No Immigration Checkpoint

The sheriff of Cochise County talks Highway 80, which straddles New Mexico and Arizona.

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.


Our path back to Arizona took our crew onto Highway 80, which straddles the New Mexico and Arizona state line. The highway runs between Douglas, Arizona, and Interstate 10. Unlike other highways in Southern Arizona, Border Patrol does not have an immigration checkpoint on the route. Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels spoke to Lorraine Rivera about some of the challenges patrolling the highway. 

"You've got your three major highways coming out of the county moving up to I-10, but Highway 80 east is wide open," Dannels said. "It's a very vulnerable spot. I've heard ADOT talk about it, I've heard Border Patrol talk about it and it all goes back to one thing: funding."

Dannels serves on the Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council and is chairman of immigration and border security on the National Sheriffs' Association. He discussed his views on how to improve security along Arizona's southern border and President Trump's approach.

Arizona 360
Arizona 360 airs Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on PBS 6 and Saturdays at 8 p.m. on PBS 6 PLUS. See more from Arizona 360.
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