My husband and I live a mere sixty miles from the southern border. He, as a police pilot, has flown multiple missions in tandem with several federal agencies on the southern border over the years. We live in a community with agents and we discuss the following topic often.

We have friends who live and work in close proximity to the border. The people who are driving the narrative that the border crisis is manufactured are dead wrong. I invite anyone who continues to buy into that narrative to come down to Southern Arizona and see for themselves.

Speak with the ranchers who’ve been forced to build safe rooms and escape hatches in their homes due to the violent home invasions they, and their neighbors have experienced.

 I invite you to tour the US National Parks that have posted warning signs to stay out of the parks due to heavy drug trafficking and cartel activity.

I invite you to speak to workers at the detention centers where they must take DNA from the children in order to match them to the “parents” who have them in tow. Because, more often than not, those “parents” are sex traffickers.

Come and tour the crossing points where coyotes and crossers are dumping thousands upon thousands of pounds of garbage every month.

Take a picture of a “rape tree” where coyotes hang the undergarments of the women and girls they have raped and hung in the branches as “trophies”.

Watch from the air as groups of hundreds of unknown migrants, from unknown origins with unknown intentions for our country, filing across our border in the areas that have merely a five-foot tall fence, or others that have no barrier whatsoever.

If you are amongst the naysayers when it comes to the border crisis, I urge you, at the very least, listen to those of us who live it every day, better yet, come see for yourselves.

 The following is a piece that originally appeared in the The Washington Times, and was reprinted by The Heritage Foundation.

A new report from the U.S. Border Patrol proves that only the willfully ignorant can doubt that we’re dealing with an immigration crisis.

“The entire system right now is at full capacity,” agent Manuel Padilla said. “Actually, it’s overwhelmed.”

Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 66,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexican border in February. That’s the highest total for a single month in almost a decade.

The makeup of the migrant population has changed as well. It used to consist primarily of single men from Mexico. Now it’s more likely to be families and children, arriving by the busload from Guatemala.

In February 2017, families and unaccompanied children made up 27 percent of those arrested or deemed inadmissible at the southern border. Two years later, it’s 62 percent.

Why the change? According to immigration expert David Inserra, loopholes in U.S. immigration law are the culprit. Combined with a weak asylum process, they “are creating incentives for adults to use children as pawns to get into the U.S.,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal.

So I’ll ask you again. Is there a crisis at the Southern Border?