Texas Democratic Sheriff Slams Biden Immigration Policy, Cost of Placing Migrants for County

Val Verde County, Texas, Sheriff Joe Frank Martinez said Friday that "criminal aliens" are flooding across the U.S. southern border from Central and South American countries, diminishing the ability of his deputies to help anyone other than Border Patrol.

Speaking with Fox Business Network, the Democratic sheriff warned that immigrants who entered the country illegally are being released back into "law abiding communities," no matter what local law enforcement is doing to increase border apprehensions. Martinez said three-quarters of his deputies are too busy helping U.S. Border Patrol officers that they are unable to assist the citizens of Val Verde County in Texas.

On Thursday, Martinez told Fox News that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are simply releasing the illegal immigrants after processing them for a future court date.

The sheriff said he and other local law enforcement agencies along the U.S. southern border with Mexico are "basically on our own" in the fight to curb illegal immigration. He commended Florida GOP Governor Ron DeSantis for sending a letter to the Biden administration that demanded it stop enforcing policies allowing the release of "criminal illegals" into Florida.

"We're seeing a large number of individuals coming across from the countries of Honduras, Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, Venezuela. This month alone, we've held for our Border Patrol partners 538 individuals from those countries. Those are just a wave of people coming through," Martinez told Fox News on Thursday.

"We just wait on the side of the river. One crossing point here in Val Verde County, Texas that all these individuals are coming through. We hold them for Border Patrol to arrive. They transport them to get them processed and once they're processed, they're turned over to an NGO, and the NGO ships them out of my county," Martinez continued.

Talking with Fox Business Network during a segment entitled "Biden's Border Crisis," the sheriff highlighted three incidents in just the past week in which a "criminal alien was going to be let go from our facility" before he and his deputies took those individuals back to the border themselves.

"So, releasing these individuals into our communities, it's not safe. In our jail, it's costing our taxpayers. In the last 10 days, our taxpayers have had to come up with $6,500 out of our tax base. So, if this kind of activity continues over the next 90 days, you're talking about $66,000," Martinez said Friday.

"But over a year's time, you're looking at a little over a quarter-million dollars. That may be a drop in the bucket to D.C., but that's a huge chunk of change to Val Verde County. So, releasing these individuals into our communities, I don't think that it's safe. The individuals that are coming to Val Verde County, these immigrants that are coming through here, they're not coming here to stay. They're going to go elsewhere within the United States," he continued.

Newsweek reached out to the Val Verde County Sheriff's office Saturday morning for any additional remarks on the subject.

A nine-year-old boy from Mexico died last week while attempting to cross the Rio Grande River into the U.S. Here, U.S. Border Patrol agent questions an unaccompanied minor after a group of asylum seekers crossed the-Rio Grande into Texas on March 25, 2021 in Hidalgo, Texas. John Moore/Getty Images