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WASHINGTON, D.C. (LifeSiteNews) — A group of state and local prosecutors took the stage Thursday at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in the nation’s capital to decry the state of the rule of law in America and offer their insights on how to correct the situation.

Moderated by Matt Whitaker, who briefly served as Acting Attorney General during the Trump administration between Jeff Sessions and William Barr, the conversation consisted of Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey, Macomb County Prosecutor Pete Lucido of Michigan, and Pinal County Attorney Kent Volkmer of Arizona.

Volkmer called the crisis at America’s southern border Arizona’s biggest law enforcement issue, telling the crowd that open borders were responsible for 60% of fentanyl pills in the country. The issue is further exacerbated, he said, by local officials who abuse prosecutorial discretion to not enforce the law at all, as well as lack of support from the federal government to deal with the problem. However, he noted, legislation is currently pending in Arizona to empower state and local police to arrest illegal immigrants and state judges to issue deportation orders.

Lucido said that Detroit has become a major hub for various ills coming through the border, including fentanyl and human trafficking, to the point that there have even been cases of child slaves turned into prostitutes, with the influence of these crimes having a ripple effect driving businesses to flee. He implored parents to impress upon their children the difficulty that police officers have in dealing with such maladies and teach them to always convey their respect and gratitude to the profession while not adding to their strain. 

Bailey condemned the Biden administration for having “willingly refused” to enforce existing immigration laws, arguing that under the current president criminals no longer respect the rule of law, and while states can do things to mitigate the damage – such as his office’s promotion of reforms to require juvenile certification hearings to transfer violent offenders into adult courts – ultimately nothing will be solved until there is a new president in the White House.

He also relayed his work last year to oust Kim Gardner, a circuit attorney for the City of St. Louis whose candidacy had been backed by far-left financier George Soros and whom he said “was committed to not prosecuting crime” to the point where she refused to act on police reports submitted to her office at a rate of 96%. On top of the ramifications for public safety, her actions led 542 businesses to flee the area, Bailey said. Yet by filing a petition for her removal that a judge affirmed was backed by solid evidence, he pressured her into resigning, which in turn put other Soros-backed prosecutors throughout the state “on notice.”

CPAC 2024 will continue through Saturday, February 24. LifeSiteNews will continue to cover the highlights.