Rep. Gallagher, sheriffs discuss effects of border crisis in NE Wisconsin

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:38 PM CDT
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OCONTO, Wis. (WBAY) - Several local law enforcement agencies say there’s a drug problem in our community, and Mexican drug cartels are capitalizing off of it, coming after a suspected cartel member was arrested for murder in Oconto County.

U.S. Congressman Mike Gallagher (R-Green Bay) met with area sheriffs, claiming an unsecured southern border is to blame for the drug problems.

Gallagher and the sheriff’s spoke at the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office Friday. That’s the sheriff’s agency investigating Manuel Antonio Herrera-Hernandez. As we’ve previously reported, he’s a suspected Mexican drug cartel member and accused of shooting another drug dealer in Little Suamico in February.

Brown County prosecutors also filed charges against Herrera-Hernandez related to a drug operation in Green Bay.

“The bottom line on our end is, this is a federal problem and we’re spending local tax dollars that could be utilized so many different ways in our community here,” Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban said.

“Perhaps the simplest thing we can do as Wisconsinites, whether you are elected official, a law enforcement professional, or just a concerned parent is support law enforcement,” Rep. Gallagher said.

Sheriffs stressed the importance of the federal government having a handle on the border and border crossings.

“There’s no doubt that drug cartels influence every community throughout the country, and to think otherwise would be naïve,” Brown County Sheriff Todd Delain said.

There are reports that the Biden Administration in a few weeks will rescind Title 42, which is a health emergency order put in place at the start of the pandemic by the Trump Administration that closed the southern border to asylum seekers.

“I think that’s incredibly counterproductive. I think it’s dangerous, actually, and I actually think it increase the humanitarian tragedy along the southern border,” Gallagher said.

This week the Wisconsin National Guard and 23 other states announced they were sending troops this fall to the border.

The non-profit “Forward Latino” criticized that decision, saying immigrants are being scapegoated and categorized as criminals as justification by certain individuals to deploy the National Guard to the border.

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