As Amnesty Looms, Illegal Immigration Picks Up Speed in Arizona

Katie Pavlich

2/13/2013 12:40:00 PM - Katie Pavlich

During his State of the Union address last night, President Obama touted the lowest illegal border crossings in 40 years, but with amnesty looming and border enforcement most likely coming after citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants, law enforcement officials in Arizona are seeing an uptick in activity.

"We are seeing an uptick in bodies as of the last couple of weeks. We are starting to see large groups again in our AOR [Area of Responsibility]. The groups are up into the 20 to 40 range," Pinal County Sheriff Department Lieutenant and SWAT team member Matthew Thomas tells Townhall.

Late Monday, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office released a warning to the public about a traffic stop involving illegal immigrants near Cordes Junction, Ariz. an area more than 200 miles north of the Mexican border.

"During a drug interdiction detail on February 7, 2013, involving Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office K9 deputies, a gold Dodge Caravan was stopped for an equipment violation on north I17 in the area of Cordes Junction. The 3:15 PM traffic stop resulted in contact with a male driver who produced a Mexican identification card but was otherwise unlicensed to drive. While speaking with the driver, the deputy saw approximately 15 individuals attempting to hide within the van. During the deputy’s request for additional units, the driver and 4 others fled into the adjacent area. The deputy was able to contain the remaining occupants pending arrival of assisting deputies. Attempts to locate the driver were not successful. Based on the deputies training and experience, it appeared these individuals were illegal aliens," the warning stated.

ICE officials were notified of the situation and later determined everyone in the group was undocumented.

Thomas tells Townhall Pinal County deputies are bracing for a "mad dash" as hints of amnesty continue.