February 23, 2016
By Rafael Bernal

Stumping for Donald Trump Monday night in Las Vegas, Sheriff Joe Arpaio implied Mexico could be pressured into paying for a proposed border fence by threatening to cut off foreign aid.

Arpaio, the Maricopa County, Ariz., sheriff infamous for his unorthodox immigration enforcement tactics, said the construction of a fence would take two days.

Trump owes part of his success in this year's Republican presidential race to his strong opposition to immigration. His pledge to build a southern border wall paid for by Mexico has been central to his campaign.

In 2013, the last year for which information has been fully reported, Mexico received a $272 million out of $420 million assigned in foreign aid. Most of the disbursed aid, $149 million, was destined to combat the drug trade.

Citing his experience in border control, Arpaio said he would not "get into his experience with G. Gordon Liddy" in closing the border. Liddy, best known for his role in the Watergate scandal, was a senior adviser to President Richard Nixon during Operation Intercept, a 1969 drug enforcement operation designed to quell cross-border marijuana trade.

In 1969, Arpaio was an agent for the now-defunct Federal Bureau of Narcotics. The nature of his personal relationship with Liddy is unclear.

In his autobiography, Liddy called Intercept "an exercise in international extortion, pure, simple, and effective, designed to bend Mexico to our will."