In a recent testimony to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas made contradictory statements about the state of the border, raising concerns about the level of control the United States has over its borders.
While initially claiming that the border was under control, Mayorkas later admitted that the U.S. does not have operational control, according to the legal definition, which requires preventing “all unlawful entries.” Border Patrol chiefs also testified that the border is not under operational control, with one chief stating that control has been squandered.
The testimony of these Border Patrol officials is significant because it challenges Mayorkas’ claims and highlights the complex situation at the southern border. Under President Biden, the border has become chaotic, in stark contrast to the relatively calm border under President Trump in 2020.
The chiefs revealed several key insights into the situation at the border. They explained that smuggling cartels have significant control over border crossings, demanding payment from migrants and resorting to brutal consequences for those who refuse to pay. They also highlighted the role of catch-and-release policies in attracting migrants, as released people often share their experiences on social media, creating a draw to specific areas.
Furthermore, the chiefs discussed the tactics employed by the cartels and the high costs associated with crossing the border. Migrants pay exorbitant amounts of money to smugglers, with prices ranging from $8,000 to $20,000 depending on the mode of transport. Large groups of migrants, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, can pay as little as $500 to expedite their journey.
The cartels have intricate knowledge of Border Patrol operations, including the number of agents on duty and their shift changes. This allows them to time their smuggling activities to distract agents with sheer numbers or discreetly transport high-value loads through the border. The cartels also put migrants in danger, forcing agents to respond and make rescues, further diverting resources from border enforcement.
The testimony of these Border Patrol officials demonstrates the challenges those tasked with securing the border face. They work tirelessly to fulfill their critical mission, but the Biden administration must provide the necessary support and resources to address the border crisis effectively.
The ongoing debate over the state of the border and Secretary Mayorkas’ credibility highlights the need for transparency and accountability in addressing this issue. The testimonies of these chiefs provide valuable insights that should inform the decision-making process and policy responses related to border security.
As the situation at the border continues to evolve, it is crucial to listen to the experts on the ground and prioritize effective solutions that prioritize national security while posed by illegal border crossings.