There really is a crisis at the border.
At least if you listen to Rio Grande Valley (RGV) Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch, who is, after all, a bit of an expert.
At a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing on Tuesday, Karisch dropped a ton of data and statistics, but none was more eye-popping than this.
Karisch said that in his sector alone, border agents have captured people trying to enter the country illegally from more than 50 different countries, including Turkey, China, Bangladesh, Egypt and Romania. “People are traveling across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the U.S., using the same pathways as the Central Americans,” he told lawmakers.
While Democrats claim President Trump is making up a fake crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border — and some presidential candidates, like former Texas Rep. Robert “Beto” O’Roarke, want to do away with all border barriers — Karisch said the influx of illegals is reaching epic proportions.
“Much media attention has focused on caravans coming across from Central America,” Karisch said. “But the fact is that RGV is receiving caravan-equivalent numbers every seven days.”
“Karisch noted that Border Patrol has apprehended more families illegally crossing the border in the first five months of fiscal 2019 than during all of fiscal 2018,” Fox News reported. “Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehended more than 76,000 migrants across the border in February and said it was on track to apprehend more than 100,000 in March. In the Rio Grande Valley alone, Karisch said that at current pace, they would have more than 260,000 apprehensions in his sector by the end of fiscal 2019. There were 162,000 in RGV last year. He also said that his agents apprehend, on average, 1,000 people a day.”
1,000 a day.
While partisan politicians who know nothing about the border claim Trump is playing politics, those in the know are repeatedly sounding the alarm that things are getting dire there. Last week, former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan, who served in the post during former president Barack Obama’s time in the White House, told lawmakers that the crisis is “at a magnitude never seen in modern times” as he urged them to end the U.S.’s “open border policy.”
“We’re experiencing a crisis at the southern border at a magnitude never seen in modern times, it’s unprecedented,” Morgan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
Trump in February declared a national emergency and has threatened to shut down the entire U.S.-Mexico border. “If we don’t make a deal with Congress…or if Mexico doesn’t do what they should be doing…then we’re going to close the border, that’s going to be it, or we’re going to close large sections of the border, maybe not all of it,” he said in the Oval Office last week. He later gave Mexico a reprieve, saying officials there will have one year to shape up.
The president has been purging Homeland Security officials in an effort to get “tougher.” Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen resigned Sunday (some say she was ousted) and Secret Service Director Randolph Alles was booted out on Monday. On Friday, the White House pulled its nominee for director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ronald Vitiello, with Trump again saying he wanted to go in a “tougher direction.”
More heads are expected to roll soon, news agencies report.
Trump, asked Tuesday if he was “cleaning house,” said: “I never said I’m ‘cleaning house.’ I don’t know who came up with that expression.”
“We’re bucking really bad things with Congress — with the Democrats in Congress not willing to act. They want to have open borders, which means they want to have crime; they want to have drugs pouring into our country. They don’t want to act. We have to close up the borders. We’re doing it, but we’re doing it — I could do it much faster if they would act,” he said. “So it’s a terrible thing. The Democrats in Congress — what they’re doing and the obstruction — they don’t want to fix it. And we have to fix it. They want open borders. They want to have millions of people pouring into our country. They don’t even want to know who they are.”