Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., says his state is being overwhelmed by the crisis at the southern border.

“We’re being overrun,” Gosar tells The Daily Signal.

“I mean, I was down in Yuma a week and a half ago, and we saw ‘coyotes’ just bring children over and just give themselves up. One ‘coyote,’ in the evening, she brought in two young boys, [ages] 7 and 10, and five girls, 11 to 17,” he says.

“None of them were related. They were being overwhelmed. And you saw the mayor of Gila County basically say they have ‘no room at the inn.’ They have run out of resources,” the Arizona Republican adds.

A “coyote” is a slang term for a person who smuggles illegal immigrants across the U.S.-Mexico border.

Gosar also discusses Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey’s recent announcement that he will deploy the National Guard to the border, as well as the political battle over an election audit in Maricopa County.

We also cover these stories:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention releases new guidelines on mask-wearing during the pandemic. 
  • John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s special envoy for climate change, denies he disclosed secret information concerning Israeli military actions in Syria during a conversation with an Iranian official.
  • Idaho lawmakers reject education programs that include critical race theory. 

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Rachel del Guidice: We’re joined again on The Daily Signal by Congressman Paul Gosar of Arizona. Congressman Gosar, it’s great to have you with us.

Rep. Paul Gosar: Thanks for having me, Rachel.

Del Guidice: Well, I wanted to talk about some news that’s kicking off today and will be at top of conversation. We’ll talk a lot about immigration, but to start off, to talk a little bit about election integrity. The state of Arizona is starting their election audit today. Can you tell us about what is going on in that process?

Gosar: Yeah. So, we’ve gotten through all the lawsuits. The state Senate is in possession of the paper ballots and the machines. They had to be moved to the Coliseum. So they started their audit today.

So we’ll see, particularly when troubling information came about with the one audit for 100 random ballots showed 3% error rate, which was over 90,000 ballots in the county of Maricopa. When they did further 2,500 random duplicate ballots, they didn’t even finish that. And there was a rate of failure of 17%. That’s a big number.

So every slick in the road, every rock in the road’s been placed in front of them. But the audit starts today and the facts will set you free.

Del Guidice: Well, also in Arizona news, but kind of losing to the immigration debate, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey recently announced that he’s deploying the National Guard to the state of Arizona. And he’s declared a state of emergency because of what’s happening at the border. Can you tell us about, in your perspective, what’s happening and why he made this decision to do this?

Gosar: We’re being overrun. I mean, I was down in Yuma a week and half ago and we saw “coyotes” just bring children over and just give themselves up. One “coyote” in the evening, she brought in two young boys, 7 and 10, and five girls, 11 to 17. None of them were related. They were being overwhelmed.

And you saw the mayor of Gila County basically say they have no room at the inn. They have run out of resources. And when you see these family units, all the workers are for [Customs and Border Protection]. The Border Patrol have to be focused on those individuals.

There’s four to five times the people in custody that are supposed to be in custody. They’re not complying with COVID. They’re not testing for COVID. We have a national security, we have a humanitarian crisis. We have a health care crisis. And the Biden administration who’s put [Vice President Kamala] Harris in charge of it now is not going to be coming to the border anytime soon.

First time she’s going to do something is go down to the [Northern] Triangle countries in June. This is an epidemic. This is a crisis right now. And we need action.

So I applaud Gov. Ducey for doing that, but we’re Arizona. We’re not Texas. We don’t have the same kind of resources. So we are going to have to demand from the federal government they reimburse us for the money that we have to spend for our National Guard.

Del Guidice: Speaking of the crisis that you mentioned, Reuters had a report out recently that said that over a million migrants are expected to come through the country over the border from Mexico into the U.S. this year. Would you say this is unprecedented?

Gosar: It is, particularly when we just talked about the highest month that we had. It was 172,000 just in March alone, with over 20,000 children, the highest number ever.

And as I said, if we’re catching only one out of every two that are crossing the border—because the invitation’s been wide open. We’ve caught people from Yemen that are on the terrorist watchlist. We’ve caught people from almost every nationality coming across the border. A million or 2 million may be small in numbers because if you’re catching one out of every two, you’re talking about 350,000 people that came in March alone.

Del Guidice: The Biden administration [is] asking [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and CBP to stop using the term “illegal alien.” What is your perspective of this? And what do you think should happen? Or should they be called that? What should they be called?

Gosar: They’re illegal, they’re aliens from another country. So from that standpoint, the term matters.

They’re trying to make this so that, once again, utilizing a term, redefining a term so it’s more plausible and being accepted by people. They were running under the old Alinsky rules that basically say, you pass on a word or a falsehood, you say it enough, people adopt it as truth.

Del Guidice: Well, before we got started here, we were talking a little bit about the situation of the drug crisis at the border and even in the rest of the country due to illegal immigration. Can you tell us about how this crisis impacts the people of Arizona as well as beyond?

Gosar: Yeah. So, as these family units are detaining and occupying all the Border Patrol’s attention, you see the mules now bringing through large dumps of drugs. In fact, one confiscation last week, fentanyl, is more than what was confiscated all of last year under the border, just one.

We’re coming off COVID where we’ve had higher incidents of drug overdoses, suicide, domestic violence. So all we’re doing is we’re empowering the cartels to have operational control of the border. No one crosses that border without the cartels knowing it.

And so, what we’re now is we’re complicit with aiding and abetting the cartels in human smuggling because these people never get away from this. Once you’re part of the cartel under the ratchet, you never get away.

No. 2 is now the drug aspects are just coming across fast and furiously. I use that with pun intended. But it’s coming right and left.

And you know, we’re harboring all this and we’re not following the rule of law. And then Congress is making it worse by putting forward amnesty bills when we’re allowing people to violate our law, go pass, go collect $200 to become a citizen when the people waiting in line are the better way to look at.

Del Guidice: Are there any stories from your Arizona constituents about how they have been impacted or harmed by the cartels in your home state?

Gosar: Hey, I can tell you right now, Gila Bend, the city that doesn’t have a lot of resources, their mayor is up in arms. They have no resources to take care of these people. And they’re being just dropped off right and left. You’re starting to see some counties around the country that are saying, “Listen, nope, we’re not taking these individuals.” But as I stated, we were there a week and a half ago.

We saw coyotes bringing children across, giving themselves up. We watched them plan it early morning across the way at the bridge. And the resources are just not there. So they’re not even being able to inventory, fingerprint them, do DNA samples. They’re just turning them loose, putting them on buses, if they can get a bus ride where they can go.

Some of these kids have bracelets and these bracelets are people are identifying them, whether it be picked up in the United States and taken somewhere else. Once again, probably to have a life of servitude.

Del Guidice: What are the constituents, your constituents in Arizona, saying about what is happening at the border right now? What are you hearing from them?

Gosar: They’re up in arms because they see the degradation, not only in the environment, the trash is coming, the proliferation of human trafficking and exploitation.

I mean, how can you look at yourself in the mirror when you know this is going on? When you know the cartels, know that this is part of their business model, to actually extort children and pass that child around? How can you look at yourself in the eyes and say this is a condoned practice? So they’re up in arms.

We’re a country, a country is defined by defendable borders. A country has the ability to say how many people come in and how many exit in a given timeframe.

And we were always known as the rule of law, where equal application of the law was very important. Here, we see a degradation of the rule of law and therefore one group gets precedence over another. That’s totally wrong. And they’re up in arms about it.

Del Guidice: Do Arizona residents, do they feel safe?

Gosar: Well, I mean, that’s one of the reasons why you see the Second Amendment so prominent here. I mean, particularly when you go out on the borders to the ranchers that I’ve been around, they have them running right and left.

The Second Amendment is a big deal to people here because if you’re waiting on law enforcement in many of these places, you’re going to be a story with the report, that’s it. So they defend themselves. So from that standpoint, we’re being overrun.

And they also see this government trying to put a curb on their way of self-defense, the Second Amendment. And they want to have that inherently built as one of their principles, freedom of speech and freedom of the Second Amendment, to defend it.

Del Guidice: What needs to be done to turn this crisis at this border around? What do you think needs to happen?

Gosar: We didn’t have this problem with [former President] Donald Trump at the end of his term. You know, he ended a hold in Mexico until your asylum claims can be adjudicated. Even the president of Mexico has alluded to this, saying this is out of control. He’s got problems over there with the Mexican side of aspects, but we saw a mere trickle of people coming across here.

And once again, is Article 42 in regards to the COVID pandemic. And if you’re from Mexico, you return to Mexico immediately. It doesn’t matter if you’re children, family, you go back to Mexico. So there’s some very easy things to do, but you got to love this country more than you hate Donald Trump.

Del Guidice: What are you hearing from law enforcement—so sheriffs or deputies, others in your state—about the situation at hand? I know CBP mainly deals with the migrants crossing the border, but a lot of these local sheriffs do have to address the situation one way or another. It impacts them as well. So what are you hearing from them?

Gosar: They’re overrun. Once again, they have limited resources, limited cells. They’re trying their best. But once again, it comes down to the contract that the federal government had with the states that they were supposed to defend the borders of this country and making sure that the things got done accordingly.

Now, some of the things that I think are coming, I think you’re going to see the walls start coming back, being built. And part of that is that Congress authorized the wall to be built. And the executive branch is forced to adjudicate that. And I think the courts will see it that way.

So you may be able to see the wall being built again, but we just got to get back to that commonsense aspect of following the rule of law. They’re already on the books, not changing it, not doing it because you hated the previous administration, but that also tells you what this administration lost.

They’re on a fast track to tearing this country apart. And not only from its immigration laws, but the lack of enforcement of laws. And then looking at D.C. statehood today and looking at the Second Amendment, putting curbs and taxes on Second Amendments, and then our spending into oblivion.

Del Guidice: Lastly, Congressman Gosar, what kind of risk does the country run if this immigration crisis isn’t turned around?

Gosar: Well, then what we were told were 11 million [illegal immigrants] in the shadows, we’re going to talk about 40 million people in the shadows.

And there’ll be a big push to legalize them, let them come out like [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] individuals, and you have a whole different analogy of a country. You have more people dependent upon the federal government, which is exactly what the left wants. They need people dependent upon the federal government.

Remember, you can’t hire an illegal [immigrant]. They’re not getting Social Security. They’re not getting benefits here. So somehow, some way, they’re violating the law here. And if you don’t like the law, change the law, but don’t override it.

So a fundamental concept on numerous fronts, the rule of law, the integrity of this country, sovereign borders, invalidating the way we have proper immigration processes in this country, they’re all invalid.

And then the other thing we’re doing is we’re also providing cheap labor, cheaper labor to the big platforms and stuff like that. There’s programs out there like the LPT program, which incentivizes these big corporations to bring in foreign workers that they pay much less and that they get a 15.5% discount.

That’s withholding taxes on behalf of the big employers. That’s what goes to our Social Security and Medicare. And isn’t it interesting that Medicare’s … insolvency [now] is moved up to 2024? They’re not paying their fair share. And this is all being done at the expense of the American citizen.

Del Guidice: Well, Congressman Gosar, thank you for being with us on The Daily Signal. It’s great having you with us.

Gosar: Thanks, Rachel.