The Biden administration and its allies promote the narrative that Americans who support border security are racist, xenophobic, or uncompassionate, at best. But after six long months living with the U.S.-Mexico border crisis, border residents are frustrated and angry over the blatant disregard the administration has demonstrated—not only for the security and well-being of its own citizens, but also for the illegal immigrants for whom it purports to have compassion.

“[The Biden administration] is giving a lot of false hope,” Arizona resident Stephanie Hubbell told me in an interview. “[President Joe] Biden invited [illegal immigrants] over and they are sleeping in the streets in Gila Bend because facilities are all full. They bring them from Phoenix, dropping them off [by] the busloads. What they think they’re getting [doesn’t happen] and what they’ve been falsely promised by the Biden administration isn’t what is happening.”

On the morning of April 3, Hubbell arrived at her clothing boutique in the small town of Sonoita, Arizona, to find that traffickers of illegal immigrants had broken in, stolen money and merchandise, and left used drug paraphernalia behind.

The traffickers had been recently released from a nearby jail and into the community—a regular, new occurrence since Biden took office. 

“For a small business like me, this was a hard hit,” Hubbell told me.

>>> WATCH: Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels provides a firsthand account of the illegal immigration surge.

Hubbell and her family have lived near the Arizona border for 17 years. Yet, she said that she has never seen a border crisis like the one created by Biden—the high level of criminality, the stark lack of law enforcement, and the large number of illegal immigrants pouring into her community with no place to go or food to eat.

“I try to tell people the Border Patrol stations are full,” Hubbell explained. “They are buying hotel rooms for them now with our tax dollars, they’re giving them money, plane tickets—but there are a lot who don’t get anything.”

According to Hubbell, many illegal immigrants come believing Biden has promised them food, health care, and lodging.

“A lot has been promised,” she said. “If [the administration] were actually compassionate about them, then they would have a better plan for them when they are over here. It wouldn’t be like, ‘You made it, but now you’re on your own.’” 

According to Arizona rancher Jay Whetten, busloads of illegal immigrants have been “dumped” in front of local stores like Safeway and Walmart and in the communities where he and his family live. Whetten expressed concern, saying:

These people don’t have any relatives in the U.S., they have no money, they dump them out … what are those people going to do? … They’ve got to steal to be able to eat.

Like Hubbell and Whetten, many border residents exasperated by the circumstances feel compassion for the illegal immigrants left stranded. As Whetten told me, “A lot of [illegal immigrants] are getting assistance from church groups, religious groups, people trying to help … I do know several [charity] organizations that try to help and get them relocated.”

The fact that illegal immigrants must gain authorization from Mexican cartels to cross the border, and pay huge fees to be trafficked, exacerbates their situation. Those who cannot pay in full remain indebted to cartels—which are brutal, dangerous, criminal enterprises.

Hubbell comments that after arriving in the U.S., illegal immigrants who cannot pay in full often wear colored bracelets to indicate they are still in debt to a Mexican cartel. Families left behind in Mexico or other Central American countries are pressured to pay the debt.

“Who knows how they get out of it?” she said. “Are they truly escaping the bad circumstances they were in or are they just trading it for something else terrible? If you’re indebted to the cartel for 20 years, is that better?”

When asked about the narrative that Americans who want border security are uncompassionate, Hubbell’s voice raised. “[The administration] would love for that agenda to apply, but it really doesn’t … If they can get the bleeding hearts to think we’re racists, they’ve created fear.”

She continued: “Just because I think we need border security doesn’t mean I am not for people coming into America. But I am for them coming the right way.”

According to Hubbell, leftist media and the current administration paint a rosy picture of illegal immigrants seeking a better life, but the reality is “so much criminal activity” and the exploitation of vulnerable people.

“As much as the Biden administration is letting us down, they’re letting [the illegal immigrants] down as well,” Hubbell declared. “In Gila Bend, they’re sleeping out in the parks. So, where’s their fruit baskets, their little apartment key that Biden has promised them all? ‘Come over here, we’ll take care of you,’ he says, but there are too many to take care of.”

She shakes her head and adds, “It’s a shame that Washington doesn’t want to admit there is even a problem.”

The Daily Signal publishes a variety of perspectives. Nothing written here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Foundation. 

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