Last Thursday, Congressman Michael Cloud (R-TX) became the latest federal lawmaker to visit the US-Mexico border in order to assess the situation on the ground.
He was joined by Hector Garza of the National Border Patrol Council, a border patrol agent-advocacy organization that promotes policies that contribute to the security of the United States and oppose efforts that inhibit Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents from doing their jobs.
The National Border Patrol Council applauded President Trump’s decision to deploy the National Guard to support the U.S. Border Patrol in its mission to secure the border last year.
Cloud took a night excursion along the Rio Grande near Laredo and asked Garza to give his take on what is happening at our southern border.
“We are not conducting border-security operations any longer,” Garza said, citing the manpower needed to handle the humanitarian crisis of over 100,000 apprehensions by CBP officials over the past two months.
“Most of our agents are now dedicated to transporting, feeding, and caring for these families that are coming across,” said Garza.
In early May, CBP opened a temporary facility in Donna, Texas to deal with the mass influx they have seen throughout the year.
The day prior to Congressman Cloud’s visit, CBP reported apprehending a record 1,036 people after they illegally crossed the border in El Paso shortly after 4 a.m. Mountain Time.
This was the largest group ever encountered by border patrol agents.
A statement from CBP said, “The group of 1,036, comprised mostly family units and unaccompanied children, adds to the more than 530,000 aliens apprehended or encountered at ports of entry on the Southwest border so far this fiscal year. The El Paso Sector continues to set record numbers as the situation escalates.”
The week prior to Cloud’s visit, CBP reported the arrest of two previously deported sex offenders.
That same week, U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Eagle Pass Station apprehended a group of 15 undocumented immigrants from Congo early Tuesday morning.
“Our Border Patrol agents are facing more unique challenges every day as the number of family units from different regions of the world continue to increase,” said Del Rio Sector Acting Chief Patrol Agent Randy Davis.
When Congressman Cloud asked Garza what was needed, Garza said, “Manpower, mixed with infrastructure and technology. If we have technology, without manpower, [border security] is not going to work.”
Cloud mentioned that he had been told on multiple occasions by CBP agents during the day that, “there’s no end in sight right now to the situation.”
Many Democrats, including presidential candidates like Beto O’Rourke, have called for a complete halt to any and all physical barrier constructions.
Both March and April saw consecutive months with total apprehensions in excess of 100,000 individuals.
And preliminary reports show that Texas alone saw nearly 72,000 illegal immigrants apprehended in May, signaling that the six-figure surge in apprehensions is likely to extend for three straight months.
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