The immigration crisis occurring at the border between the United States and Mexico is worse than the mainstream media is letting on, Border Control Headquarters Chief of Operations Brian Hastings described during a press briefing on Tuesday.
During the presser, as the Daily Wire reports, Hastings said over 66,000 migrants were apprehended at the border in the month of February alone. He also said that immigrant apprehensions year-over-year rose 97 percent since October, totaling more than 268,000 apprehensions.
Similar figures have occurred in the past, Hastings admitted, noting there was a geographical shift in where the migrants are coming from. Historically, most of the migrants which illegally enter the U.S. come from Mexico. Now, Hastings described the migrants are traveling through Mexico but originate from the “northern triangle” of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. This complicates the process of quickly sending the migrants back to their home countries.
“Historically the U.S. Border Patrol has arrested 70 to 90% Mexican nationals; we could apply a consequence to that demographic; we could return them quickly to Mexico,” Hastings said, as the Daily Wire reports. “Today 70% of all those we are arresting are from the northern triangle: Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. October 2018 marked the first time in our history that family units exceeded single adult apprehensions, and in February of 2019 family units and unaccompanied children accounted for 65% of all Border Patrol apprehensions.”
Hastings said action from lawmakers or the president needs to happen without hesitation because “without a consequence, without being able to deliver a consequence to these individuals for illegally crossing our borders, the Border Patrol has no reason to expect that this trend will decrease; in fact, we believe it will increase.”
“It’s well known at this time that adults with children will not be detained during the immigration proceedings for illegal entry; the word of mouth in social media quickly gets back to those in the northern triangle countries that if you bring a child, you will be successful,” the border patrol chief continued, per the report. “From April 2018 through February 2019, we’ve had almost 2,400 fraudulent claims of families. Of those fraudulent claims, some are folks who have claimed they are under 18 and they’re not; others have actually been fraudulent familial claims.”
The Daily Wire also reports Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Kevin McAleenan attended the press briefing and similarly cautioned about “alarming trends” in the immigration levels.
He also definitively said the situation at the border is a “security and humanitarian crisis.”
“It should be very clear from these numbers that we are facing alarming trends in the rising volume of people illegally crossing our southwest border or arriving at our ports of entry without documents,” he said. “This increased flow presents, currently at our highest level in over a decade, both a border security and humanitarian crisis.”
“The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,” McAleenan cautioned.
“Every single day, smugglers and traffickers profit from human misery, exploiting people who are seeking a better life. Through human smuggling, transnational criminal organizations have established a new multi-billion dollar line of business. The situation is not safe for migrants; it challenges our ability to provide humanitarian care; it contributes to dangerous conditions on our border, and enables smuggling while enriching criminals. Regardless of anyone’s preferred policy outcome, the status quo is unacceptable. It presents an urgent and increasing crisis that needs to be addressed,” he concluded.
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