The Daily Signal recently traveled to Cochise County, Arizona—which shares 83 miles of border with Mexico—to see firsthand how the illegal immigration crisis is affecting those who work and live on the U.S. side of the southern border.

Brandon Judd, a Border Patrol agent and president of the National Border Patrol Council, told The Daily Signal that the current “surge is bigger than we’ve ever seen before.”

Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels said he is frustrated by the fact that Vice President Kamala Harris, assigned March 24 by President Joe Biden to be his point person on the border crisis, still hasn’t visited the border.

“We haven’t been prioritizing the southwest border. If that was the case, the vice president would be here,” Dannels said.

Dannels added that “every day, we’re dealing with crime connected to the border.”

John Ladd, whose family has had a ranch at the border for more than 120 years, said that the Biden administration’s policy encourages illegal aliens to come into the country.

“The biggest difference with the people coming now is, when Border Patrol catches them, they tell them, they say, ‘We’re going to stay here, no matter what you do to us, because your President Biden wants us,'” Ladd said.  

The Daily Signal spoke with Judd, Dannels, Ladd, and others about the latest surge of illegal immigration, and what they said will be featured in a series of real stories of the border crisis.