Last month, there were more than 173,000 illegal aliens detained at our southern border. If they were unaccompanied children, they were allowed to stay in a DHS shelter for a few days until room opened in another shelter run by HHS. If they were families with children, they got even luckier. Chances are very good they were released into the United States with a slip of paper with a court date written on it.
But in addition to those detained, there were at least 40,000 “got aways” at the border. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) revealed the shocking fact at a Senate hearing this past week and DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas did not dispute it.
A “known got away” is “an unlawful border crosser who is directly or indirectly observed making an unlawful entry into the United States” who is not apprehended and who does not turn back into Mexico.
Once they get a few miles from the border, these got-aways are pretty much free and clear of any border patrol action.
Of course, that number doesn’t include the thousands of illegals who enter the U.S. completely under the radar. Earlier this month, police pulled over a semi truck carrying 50 illegals and the passengers scooted away. Most of them were eventually caught but how many semi-trucks coming over the border every month with illegals make it through without being detected? There are a dozen ways that coyotes bring their customers across the border and avoid detection. That 40,000 number is only a fraction of the got-aways.
These aren’t people who are seeking asylum (if they were, they would turn themselves in). Rather, as Portman put it: “We have no idea who these individuals are.” As saliently, the United States and DHS have no idea where they are from, where they are going, or what their intentions are.
And, to give you some perspective, the more than 40,000 got-aways last month are almost as many aliens as Border Patrol actually did apprehend at the Southwest border in the first three full months — February to April — of the Trump administration (February to April 2017, 42,076), combined.
New DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas does not have a handle on the situation — neither the people nor the drugs pouring across the border.
The border crossings are a huge business, of course, but the cartels have begun to try to overwhelm the border patrol with illegals while rushing their drugs across at the locations that the border patrol just vacated to process and care for the new arrivals.
To complicate matters further, as Sen. Portman noted, smugglers and traffickers send children and family units across to “divert Border Patrol agents” so that those smugglers and traffickers can move other migrants, drugs, and contraband across the border (Portman explained that, notwithstanding the large amount of drugs that are seized by CBP at the border, “most drugs get through”).
Multiple agents have to be sent to the scene when large numbers of aliens and, in particular, large numbers of families and unaccompanied children are encountered at the border. They are questioned initially upon apprehension, and then they have to be transported to stations and processing centers.
Would hiring and training more border patrol agents do any good?
So, at any given time, just over 5,500 Border Patrol agents have to enforce the smuggling, trafficking, and narcotics laws of the United States along a 1,954-mile border, while at the same time apprehending, detaining, caring for, sorting, and processing some 5,782 migrants each day (the daily average of migrant apprehensions in April).
The problem is that we’re protecting the border the wrong way. A wall would sure look nice but stopping sophisticated cartels with a billion dollars to invest in ways to evade capture and detection? Not going to happen.
Laws must be changed so that America’s policies don’t encourage people to come here illegally. All an illegal has to do when being taken into custody today is plead for asylum. And considering that the asylum rules have been broadened beyond reason, just about anything is seen as a reason to plead for it.
As it is now, a resident of the south side of Chicago could ask for asylum and probably get it.
At the very least, asking for asylum will get you a bus ticket inland and a court case years from now. That will be long enough to establish yourself in a job and start a family. Uncle Sam won’t kick you out then.
We must stop playing games at the border and get serious. That won’t be possible as long as radicals see every new arrival as a potential voter to keep their friends in Congress in power.
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