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AZ Sheriff Claims Feds Demanding Border Agents Reduce Illegal Alien Arrests

“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God..."

A sheriff in Arizona says he has information that Border Patrol officials have repeatedly been told to reduce -- sometimes stop -- their arrests of illegal aliens at the U.S./Mexico border.

According to Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever, Border Patrol officials have told him that the government is pressuring them to "scare people" instead of arrest them.

“The senior supervisor agent is telling me about how their mission is now to scare people back,” Dever said in an interview with FoxNews.com. “He said, ‘I had to go back to my guys and tell them not to catch anybody, that their job is to chase people away. … They were not to catch anyone, arrest anyone. Their job was to set up posture, to intimidate people, to get them to go back.”

Foxnews.com has more details:

Dever said his recent conversation with the Border Patrol supervisor was the latest in a series of communications on the subject that he has had with various federal agents over the last two years. Dever said he plans to relay the substance of these conversations when he testifies under oath next month before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

But an official with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehemently denied Dever's accusations.

"The claim that Border Patrol supervisors have been instructed to underreport or manipulate our statistics is unequivocally false,” Jeffery Self, commander of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Joint Field Command in Arizona, said in a written statement to Foxnews.com.

“I took an oath that I take very seriously, and I find it insulting that anyone, especially a fellow law enforcement officer, would imply that we would put the protection of the American public and security of our nation’s borders in danger just for a numbers game," he said. "Our mission does not waiver based on political climate, and it never will. To suggest that we are ambiguous in enforcing our laws belittles the work of more than 6,000 CBP employees in Arizona who dedicate their lives to protect our borders every day.”

Dever is set to testify next month in front of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, and said he will tell his story under oath.

“I will raise my hand to tell the truth and swear to God, and nothing is more serious or important than that,” he said. “I’m going to tell them that, here’s what I hear and see every day: I had conversation with agent A, B, C, D and this is what they told me.”

Read the full story at Foxnews.com.

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