In 2016 I did not vote for President Trump. However, one thing I did agree with him on generally is that as a nation we needed an immigration system that is in the national interest of the United States. The idea of a 2000 mile concrete barrier sounded outrageous, and I was not a fan of some of the rhetoric around the topic. But I did agree that something needed to be done.
After watching the latest press conference from the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) a 2000 foot concrete wall no longer sounds outrageous. I took five pages of notes on statistics provided by Chief of Operations Brian Hastings and Commissioner Kevin McAleenan, rewinding frequently to ensure I heard correctly. All the time wondering what the heck Democrats in Congress are hearing when they watch the same video.
I would encourage everyone to watch the presser. These public servants who supervise the agents and officers who patrol the border are frustrated. They are also crystal clear. There is a security and humanitarian crisis at our border.
And it is a direct result of legislative failures to create laws that discourage people from Central America to migrate to the United States. This is compounded by accumulated court decisions. And it is accelerated by the “oppose everything, Orange Man Bad” philosophy of Democrats and their allies in the states and pro-immigrant organizations.
The trend is clear. Illegal immigration is no longer young men from Mexico that can be easily repatriated using existing laws. Now between 70 and 80 percent come from the Northern Triangle with the largest populations coming from Guatemala and Honduras.
Because of recent court decisions, Commissioner McAleenan asserts that transnational criminal organizations are building a multi-billion dollar business trafficking migrants to our border. Using the recent decision regarding the detention of children they are telling people in the Triangle that arriving with a child is a guaranteed admission and release for an indefinite stay in the U.S. With the return of mandatory catch and release, they are not wrong.
Further, 80% of migrants who present themselves meet the credible fear screen for asylum. Only 10% have their claims validated after a hearing. Seems maybe the screening needs a tweak or ten?
Because of enhanced medical screening, especially for children, an average of 55 people a day are taken for medical care. Agents and officers have spent 57,000 hours doing hospital duty and the price tag for medical care provided to migrants sits at $98 million.
Large groups are also becoming more common. There are documented cases of the trafficking organizations using these groups as cover to bring in drugs and contraband. They are also getting more efficient. Last year there were thirteen groups of more than 100. In 2017 there were two. To date for 2019, there have been 70 and it is projected this number could top out at 179 totaling a projected 29,000 deportable migrants.
Because of our own legal vulnerabilities, families and unaccompanied minors now make up 65% of all border apprehensions. There were a total 66,000 in the 28 days of February and 268,000 so far in this fiscal year. This is 97% increase over the same period last year.
With the horrors that occur in the transport of people to our border, especially the abuse of women and children, the next Democrat who expresses concern about how people are processed at the border should be thoroughly mocked. It is the intractable position of Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats that creates the humanitarian crisis at our border.
Likewise, they should be eviscerated verbally when they express concern about the opioid crisis. The Democrats have had every opportunity to listen to the professionals who are responsible for protecting our border and provide them the legal and resource relief they need. In their fervent opposition to the President, they have turned a deaf ear.
The CBP officials are clear that in the absence of changes to our legal system, there is no reason to believe the current migrations will slow or stop. Traffickers will continue to lure migrant families to make the journey dropping them in some of the most remote and dangerous territory along our border. Far from processing centers , medical care and transportation. Traffickers are running buses of large groups of 100 or more through Mexico every four to seven days.
If the GOP and the President can’t make the case that there is a crisis at our border to voters in advance of 2020, it’s over. all they really need to do is use clips from this presser and insert some footage from the victims of the human trafficking. For their dereliction of duty in this area alone, the Democrats should lose every moderate district they gained in the midterms. Unless their newly minted representatives wake up and do the right thing.
In the meantime, the complete lack of concern for the victims of emboldened traffickers, the net increase of deadly opioids on our streets and the danger to those charged with protecting our border falls squarely on the Democrat caucus. Over to you Speaker Pelosi.