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Arizona AG candidate vows to declare cartels a terrorist organization as border crossings shatter record

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Arizona Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh is vowing to declare Mexican drug cartels a terrorist organization as the border crisis continues to affect Arizonans. 

The Trump-endorsed candidate, a former Army intelligence officer, joined “Fox & Friends” Tuesday to discuss his efforts to combat the “unsustainable” crossings happening on a daily basis from “150 countries” and enforce harsher punishments, including a minimum of 10 years for smuggling drugs. 

“This is where Arizona needs to take power back from the federal government and take matters into our own hands,” he told Ainsley Earhardt. 

FBI WARNS SMUGGLERS ARE HOLDING MIGRANTS FOR $10K RANSOM AT TEXAS STASH HOUSES AFTER CLEARING MEXICO BORDER 

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection released its June 2022 Monthly Operational Report showing record levels of border crossings are continuing, including a record-setting number of terrorist sightings and an increased number of unaccompanied children and illegal drugs found at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In the report, the CBP said there were more than 207,416 encounters at the U.S.-Mexico border for the month of June. Of those total encounters, 26% were seeking to enter the U.S. after having “at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months,” the CBP said. Also, 68% were single adults, without children or accompanied family members.

The Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB) flagged six hits in June, bringing the total to 56 for FY’22, which is nearly double the 30 in the previous four years combined. 

Aerial view of immigrants waiting to be processed by the U.S. Border Patrol after crossing the border from Mexico on June 23, 2022 in Yuma, Arizona. (Getty Images)

Hamadeh said drug cartels not only affect Arizona, but the entire country. He said the threat must be treated the same as a terrorist organization because cartels are “sophisticated” operations, with individuals from 150 countries “pouring across the southern border.” 

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“We need to start realizing what’s going down at our southern border.I’m proud to be endorsed by President Donald Trump because when he was president, he had the border under control. I think there was about 15-30,000 migrant crossings, and now it’s ballooned to 240,000 [a month],” he said.

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard contributed to this report

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