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Marshall at White House to discuss improving border protection

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall speaking during a congressional hearing in 2018.

Monday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) participated in a White House panel discussion on protecting America’s borders and was a guest at a Presidential ceremony in the East Room honoring the men and women of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

Attorney General Marshall joined CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, ICE Deputy Director Ron Vitiello, U.S. Senator David Perdue (R-Georgia), Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R), and Cochise County, Arizona, Sheriff Mark J. Dannels in a discussion in the East Room of the White House about cooperation between federal, state, and local government in protecting national borders. The panel was chaired by Mercy Schlapp, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor for Strategic Communications.

Attorney General Marshall accepted the White House invitation to participate in the panel because border security is a concern of all states as crime associated with cross-border drug trafficking and illegal immigration affects much of the country.

“Due to our state’s proximity to Atlanta, a major distribution point for drugs, and to Texas, a border state, Alabama has become a prime transit point for drug trafficking,” said Attorney General Marshall. “We see marijuana, cocaine, meth, and now illicit fentanyl coming into our state as a result. The drug trade brings dangerous and violent illegal aliens into Alabama. Just this summer, our state was rocked by the brutal murder of a special needs 13-year-old girl, killed by affiliates of the Mexican drug cartel. I am grateful to the President and the White House for allowing me to share the observations of Alabama law enforcement and our citizens.”

Attorney General Marshall also attended a White House special ceremony honoring the contributions of America’s ICE and CBP agents who have been targeted politically in the immigration policy debate for doing their sworn duty to enforce the law.

“As the chief law enforcement officer of the State of Alabama, I want to thank each member of ICE and CBP for your courage and your loyalty to enforcing the laws of this country in the face of irresponsible rhetoric and meritless attacks,” Marshall said. “The people of Alabama thank you, too. The work of ICE and CBP has a direct connection to the safety of the citizenry that extends far beyond those states that are on the border.”

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Montrose) said, “Glad Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall was on hand at yesterday’s ceremony at the White House to show support for ICE and border patrol agents. We should stop attacking our nation’s law enforcement officers and instead support them!”

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President Donald J. Trump (R) said, “We’re here today to salute the incredibly brave patriots who keep America safe: the heroes of ICE and CBC. To everyone here today from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection, I want to you let you know that we love you, we support you, we will always have your back, and I think you know that.”

“Many state and local partners are represented in the audience, including Arizona Governor Doug Ducey,” Pres. Trump continued. “Doug? Thank you, Doug, for being here. Thank you, Doug. Great job you’re doing. A wonderful man, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall. Steve, thank you very much. Thank you.”

The President also thanked South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson, the sheriffs present and the law enforcement professional representing ICE and CBC: Enforcement and Removal Operations, Homeland Security Investigations, ICE prosecutors, the Office of Field Operations, Air and Marine Operations, and Border Patrol.

“You’re incredible people,” Pres. Trump said. “You do an unbelievable job. You’re not appreciated enough, but I’ll tell you what: Ninety-nine percent, we get it. We really get it. We love you. We’ll always be with you. We’ll never let you down. Thank you very much for being here, too. Over the last year, these are incredible numbers, ICE and CBC seized more than 2.8 million pounds of illicit and deadly narcotics. A lot of people would have died. In the interior of our country, ICE officers arrested over 127,000 criminal aliens, and these are tough ones too, aren’t they, fellas? Right? These are tough, these were tough ones, including those charged or convicted of 48,000 assaults, 12,000 sex crimes, and 1,800 homicides.”

“To protect our nation from smuggling, trafficking, drugs, crime, the men and women of DHS are building the border wall as we sit, and the wall is getting longer, and taller, and stronger each and every day,” Trump claimed. “We’ve spent and will soon be spending about $3.2 billion and we’re looking for about $5 billion for this next coming year. We’re building the wall, step-by-step. And it’s not easy because we have a little opposition called, “the Democrats.” I guess they just don’t mind crime.”

“Today, I sent a letter to state and local leaders across our nation asking them to pledge their full support and cooperation with the officers and agents of ICE and CBC,” Trump stated. “Sadly, in recent months, incredibly, I have to say; incredibly, a coalition of open borders extremists, and, to me, that means crime; people that don’t mind crime. They mind it when it happens to them. They don’t mind it when they have to watch it on television. Have waged an unprecedented assault on American law enforcement, our greatest people, threatening ICE and Border Patrol for performing their duties admirably and for defending our country from horrible people and horrible, horrible events and crimes.”

“Last month, the mayor of Portland, Oregon shamefully ordered local police to stand down, leaving federal law enforcement officers to face an angry mob of violent people,” Trump continued. “Leading members of the Democrat Party have even launched a campaign to abolish ICE. In other words, they want to abolish America’s borders.”

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“Congressional Democrats have opposed Kate’s Law, opposed legislation to crack down on MS-13 thugs, and supported deadly sanctuary cities, which are a disaster and which are becoming, on a weekly basis, more and more unpopular with the public,” the President added. “Last month, House Democrats even boycotted a resolution supporting our brave ICE officers and agents.”

“We will never surrender our nation to the forces of anarchy and chaos and crime,” Trump said. “We will not allow our communities to be consumed by deadly poisons and violent predators. The poisons are flowing across our border, and we’re hitting it from every angle. But we need new laws. We need border laws. We need immigration laws. We need them fast. We’re going to get them. Hopefully, the midterms will help toward that end. I think we’re going to do very well in the midterms, and this is one of the very big reason. The fact is, people respect law and order, and they love our law enforcement. And I think we’re going to have much more of a red wave than you’re going to see as a phony blue wave. Blue wave means crime. It means open borders. Not good. We will not stand for the vile smears, the hateful attacks, and the vicious assaults on the courageous men and women of ICE, and Border Patrol, and law enforcement. We will protect those who protect us.”

“The extremists who attack ICE and CBC like to portray themselves as champions of social justice, they are not,” Trump said. “But their radical policies are the ultimate injustice, hurting innocent Americans and spilling innocent blood. People are dying because of their either lack of knowledge, lack of understanding, or just plain stupidity. Last year alone, sanctuary jurisdictions and local communities unleashed nearly 8,000 criminal aliens onto our streets.”

“The true champions of justice are right here in this room, and they’re proudly wearing the badge of American law enforcement,” the President concluded.

Steve Marshall faces Joseph Siegelman (D) in the November 6 general election.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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