For years, I’ve covered illegal immigration and the growing crisis at the border, even before it was being called a crisis by anyone in Washington DC or the press. Members of the law enforcement agencies tasked with keeping our sovereignty intact have been telling me about their challenges throughout, but the recent spike in illegal immigration has changed their tone dramatically. They’re no longer talking about how they’re having challenges. The language today is about the border being overrun and the officers having neither the power nor the resources to do much about it.
Border patrol representatives, agents, and leadership are dumbstruck by the lack of action. For months, they’ve been telling anyone they can that this is a full-blown catastrophe unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Some veterans who have been on the border for over two decades say the rush to the border is far greater than it’s ever been; “it’s a completely different ballpark,” one told me.
Despite all this, nothing. Crickets. Washington DC has turned silent, including the person they and I thought would do what it took to fix the situation: President Trump. The unfortunate reality that no Republicans want to hear is that during their watch, things have gotten much, much worse.
As the President fights to get the much-needed border wall funding against legal challenges to his national emergency declaration, one would think he’d be out there using all of this amazing data from the CPB and others that backs up his claims. There’s definitely a national emergency and CPB is supplying him with all the information his team needs to prove it. Unfortunately, they’re also noting things that the administration has done or failed to do that have made the problem worse. Perhaps that’s why the President is busy Tweeting about the low ratings on “Morning Joe,” OPEC increasing flow, and Jussie Smollett instead of more beds, more agents, more technology, and a wall.
His lone Tweet this morning about the border blamed Mexico and Democrats.
Mexico is doing NOTHING to help stop the flow of illegal immigrants to our Country. They are all talk and no action. Likewise, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador have taken our money for years, and do Nothing. The Dems don’t care, such BAD laws. May close the Southern Border!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2019
I don’t want to hear anyone in DC blame Mexico or the Democrats for the absolute failure to do anything that supports CBP and secures the border with a wall and technology. If you’re telling me GOP control of the House, Senate, and White House for two years was still so overpowered by the Democrats that improving border security was impossible, then I think we need a whole new batch of Republicans who actually know how to fight. And no, signing 11 spending bills before shutting down the government over wall funding does not make President Trump a great fighter. It demonstrates he’s too easily manipulated to do what he promised.
If you want to hear what it’s like on the ground, here’s a report from CPB that says some, though not all, of the challenges they’re facing. Keep in mind, this is just for the El Paso sector. When we view the border as a whole, it’s a lot more depressing.
Dramatic Increase in Illegal Crossings Straining CBP Resources
EL PASO, TX — On Wednesday morning, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan hosted a press conference in El Paso, Texas to discuss the impact of the dramatic increase in illegal crossings that continue to occur along the Southwest border.
“CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest Border,” said McAleenan. “And nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso Sector. Here in El Paso, we have almost 3,500 migrants in custody this morning, in facilities designed for many fewer. We had over 1,000 apprehensions on Monday. The vast majority are families from Central America.”
Nationwide, CBP had more than 12,000 migrants in custody this week. The agency considers 4,000 to be a high number of migrants in custody and 6,000 to be at a crisis level. More than 12,000 migrants in custody is unprecedented.
CBP is on pace to record more than 100,000 apprehensions for the month of March. It would be the highest monthly total in a decade.
The increase is having a detrimental impact on CBP’s primary border security mission. With up to 40 percent or more of CBP personnel working to care for, transport, and process vulnerable families and children, CBP’s security posture on the border is negatively impacted. The same transnational criminal organizations and smugglers that exploit and profit from migrants benefit from that reduced border enforcement presence. Smugglers and criminal organizations are using large groups of families as diversions.
CBP is taking more than 60 migrants to the hospital each day and has dedicated almost 100,000 hours of officer and agent time to medical transport and hospital watch. The agency continues to see unprecedented numbers of migrants with severe medical conditions. The expanded medical checks and CBP personnel’s concerted efforts are saving lives, but at a high cost to the enforcement mission.
CBP is taking a number of steps to address this crisis. According to the commissioner, CBP will use additional funding provided in fiscal year 2019 to extend medical contracting to key sectors; augment law enforcement assets with contract support for migrant care and food services; enhance transportation; and establish new processing facilities, including a planned center in the El Paso area.
Up to 750 CBP Officers (CBPO) from ports of entry along the Southwest border will soon be supporting Border Patrol with care and custody of migrants. CBPOs will assist with processing, transportation, and hospital watch. This shifting of resources and personnel will have a detrimental impact at all Southwest border ports of entry. CBP will have to close lanes, resulting in increased wait times for commercial shipments and travelers.
CBP will continue to do everything possible to manage this crisis and protect the most vulnerable in this process. The men and women of CBP are serving with honor and vigilance, despite stark challenges.
This message was a lot more kind than it should have been.
Keep in mind, by no means am I suggesting the Democrats would do better, nor do I ignore the fact that they’re the primary reason we can’t secure the border. But the GOP has not done anywhere near enough to address the issue or form a strong stance. At this point, nothing should be allowed to move forward in DC until this issue is addressed. That should have been their stance the moment they passed tax reform.
If this issue was given its proper attention in 2017 and 2018, the situation could have been dramatically fixed. But like an leak, when it’s allowed to get bigger, it will then grow even faster. We need a wall, more beds, changes in legislation, and more agents, and we need them immediately.
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