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Local sheriff visits Arizona

TUSCON, AZ (FOX19) - Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones is visiting Arizona to talk about the state's new immigration law.

FOX19's Dan Wells is in Arizona with the sheriff, reporting on the trip.

In Monday's exclusive story, Jones explained why he made the trip - which he is paying for on his own - and why he thinks immigration in Ohio is an issue.

On Tuesday, it was announced that 1,200 National Guard troops are heading to the border. President Obama is also asking Congress for another half billion dollars to help secure the border.

In Arizona, it's welcome news that the National Guard troops are coming. The guard troops will be doing support work so the border patrol can devote all of it's resources to actually patrolling the border.

How to permanently fix these border issues is still a big debate. Almost everyone agrees that it's a big problem, and that is why Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones came to Arizona - to find out what is really going on.

Arizona's recently adopted immigration law has supporters - critics and those that are curious.

"Basically we're here to see how much worse that it's gotten from the last time we were here two years ago and basically we're shock," said Sheriff Jones.

For John Ladd, a fourth generation Arizona rancher, immigration is more than just a mission.

"There is about 200 people going through this ranch right now," said Ladd. "And you can see the foot prints, cut fences. You can see gates left open, you can see water troughs that have been vandalized to get water."

Ladd took Jones and Ohio Rep. Courtney Combs on a tour of his 14,000 acre ranch just outside Bisbee.

"I's getting worse. There is absolutely no control over the border," said Ladd.

This property, like so many, share miles of border with Mexico and the problems that come with it.

"More people are going to get killed if you try to control it," said Ladd. "More people are going to get killed and the sanctions are what the answer is. Mexico needs to step up and the U.S. needs to step up and control this border."

Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever says more illegal immigrants enter the country here than any other part of the border, and says violent crime in this area has skyrocketed.

"We're having more home invasions, we have kidnappings, of course the murder of Rob Cress, a local rancher here, so it's much worse in that aspect," said Dever.

According to the local law enforcement community, there are nine different types of fence that separate Arizona from Mexico in Cochise County. The sheriff says they are at varying levels from 10 feet to 3 feet but they still don't stop the traffic.

Nearly everyone seems to blame the federal government for a lack of strong immigration enforcement.

"Legal immigration is totally broken down because of illegal immigration and it appears that people in D.C. have lost their ways in both parties and they just want to let everyone come in," said Jones.

So, how does all of this affect the Tri-State?

"They need to understand that the people that are coming through my ranch and end up in their cities," said Ladd.

More than 556,000 people were arrested last year trying to enter the country illegally, and that's just a small fraction of the people that actually get in.

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