America faces a national emergency crisis on her Southern border with Mexico.
Though Congress has been negligent in its responsibility over the power of the purse — as columnist Marc Thiessen notes on today’s op-ed page — and has now decided to block President Trump’s appropriation of funds that it has repeatedly denied for border security after he declared a national emergency last month because of the “invasion of drugs, invasion of gangs, invasion of people,” the crisis is real.
Wednesday, Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen told the House Committee of Homeland Security that a surge in illegal immigration is under way and will overwhelm U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents if they’re not provided additional resources.
“In February, we saw a 30% jump over the previous month, with agents apprehending or encountering nearly 75,000 aliens,” she said, which The Washington Times termed an 11-year high. She said this was “an 80% increase over the same time last year, and CBP is forecasting the problem will get even worse this spring as the weather warms up.”
The CBP arrested 267,900 illegal aliens between October, the start of the federal fiscal year, and February, compared with 136,209 over the same period a year earlier said Wednesday’s Wall Street Journal.
“This situation is not sustainable,” said Customs and border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan Tuesday. “The system is well beyond capacity and remains at the breaking point.”
Thursday, Rodolfo Karisch, chief of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley Sector, told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight, Management and Accountability that the CBP in his sector has intercepted illegal aliens trying to enter the United States “from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China.”
Saying he couldn’t speak “for all components of Customs and Border Protection,” CNSNews reported he said, “Border Patrol agents rarely know exactly who or what they will encounter.
“In a single day an agent may arrest a violent felon, encounter a large group of families and children, or rescue a drowning migrant sent into the river by smugglers,” adding that in his sector the CBP apprehends “nearly a thousand people between the ports of entry each day.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has divided the U.S.-Mexico border into nine Border Patrol sectors. Running from the Pacific Coast to the Gulf of Mexico, these include the San Diego Sector, the El Centro Sector, the Yuma Sector, the Tucson Sector, the El Paso Sector, the Big Bend Sector, the Del Rio Sector, the Laredo Sector and the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
Although most of the illegal aliens the CBP intercepts in the Rio Grande Sector come from Central America, Mr. Karisch said agents stopped aliens from “all over the world.”
“The majority of the apprehensions are family units and unaccompanied children from Central America, and many travel in large groups of a hundred or more,” he said.
“In addition to the high volume of Central Americans, we encounter people from all over the world, many of whom don’t want to be caught. In my sector alone,” he continued. “We have encountered aliens from 40 different countries, including Bangladesh, Turkey, Romania and China. People are travelling thousands of miles across hemispheres to attempt to illegally enter the United States, using the same pathways as Central Americans.
“Contrast this incoming tide of migrants,” Mr. Karisch told the committee, “with our limited resources and infrastructure at the Southwest border, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley and Tucson Sector.”
Using a spread sheet listing the number of illegal aliens apprehended in each border sector in 2017 by their nation of citizenship, he said of the 303,916 who were apprehended that year along the U.S.-Mexico border, only 127,938 — or approximately 42.1% — were from Mexico.
• 1,364 of deportable aliens intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 were from the People’s Republic of China; of these, 702 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
• 564 deportable aliens from Bangladesh were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017; of these, 304 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
• 433 deportable aliens from Romania were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017; of these, 94 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
• 35 deportable aliens from Turkey were intercepted on the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017; of these, 21 were intercepted in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
The net cost for each illegal alien that sneaks into the U.S. is nearly $70,000.
In February, the CBP seized 254 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill 57 million Americans, said the DEA, with 385 pounds of methamphetamine, the third largest ever seizure. Fentanyl, said the DEA, is “approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin as an analgesic.”
In 2017 alone, the number of Americans who died by drug overdose hit a new record of more than 70,000. Most of the drugs causing the deaths crossed our Southern border.
Wanting to abolish ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement that enforces immigration laws, Democrats accuse Mr. Trump of “manufacturing” a crisis, which he most assuredly has not done.
America has a national emergency, which without real border security to halt or greatly obstruct illegal immigration, will only grow and metastasize, totally overwhelming us.