Asked at a recent press conference whether he believed the situation at the southern border now constituted a crisis, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas had this to say. “I think that the — the answer is no. I think there is a challenge at the border that we are managing, and we have our resources dedicated to managing it.”
Maybe Secretary Mayorkas needs a copy of Webster’s.
Definition of crisis:
An unstable or crucial time or state of affairs in which a decisive change is impending especially : one with the distinct possibility of a highly undesirable outcome.Merriam-Webster DIctionary
In the last week in one portion of South Texas alone, 10,000 migrants have been apprehended crossing the border illegally. Keep in mind those are the folks that got caught. Along the entire border apprehensions are rising by the month, and compared to last year, the numbers are off the charts.
In January of this year 78,323 people were caught crossing the border without papers. In January of last year that number was 36, 585. Records show the number of illegals coming across the border exploded late last year on the cusp of the Presidential election.
Joe Biden made clear before he ever won the Presidency that he would strike a very different tone than Donald Trump on illegal immigration. He effectively invited migrants to come north and walk across the border. The people of Central American in particular heard him. They are coming.
Mayorkas may say what he wants. Reality has a way of intruding. The situation is already out of control. Shelters are overflowing. Border Patrol facilities are overwhelmed.
The federal government is now taking custody of 321 migrant children a day. Those numbers are rising. Officials have already advised that they anticipate needing beds for 20,000 migrant children. The Department of Homeland Security recently told the White House that at this rate they anticipate apprehending 117,000 minors this year.
“We’re seeing the highest February numbers than we’ve ever seen in the history of the [Unaccompanied Alien Child] program,” a Department of Health and Human Services official told Axios.
Migrant children are, of course, only one piece of the story. Adult crossings are out of control too, and most of the people coming are not simply finding their own way. They are being moved by smuggling networks, often the same ones that move drugs, and these cartels are making a killing.
Business is so good, in fact, that these smuggling networks are now making migrants wear color coded wristbands, so they can keep track of who has paid, and which network is moving whom. Each band is linked to a database that keeps track of the migrant’s name, phone number, destination in the U.S., and information about family members in the country of origin, in case payments are late.
Illegal immigration along the southwest border has become big business. The smugglers involved are pulling in billions. Increasingly they are also heavily armed, and they operate well inside the United States on American soil.
Often the amount of money charged by the smugglers is so high that the migrants cannot pay it all up front. They arrive in the United States and then have to work off their debt after they arrive. In effect, the illegals are owned by the cartels until they pay back this money.
Typically, Mexican nationals pay $2,500, Venezuelans, Peruvians, Ecuadorans, and Hondurans $3,000, Chinese nationals $5,000, and Russians and migrants from the Middle East $9,000.
To make all of this worse, of course, is the ongoing pandemic. No one has any idea how many of the individuals coming across the border – whether those apprehended or those slipping through – have the disease. Despite that fact the Biden administration, true to its word, has reinstituted “catch and release” and is dumping illegals into the United States once processed on the promise that they will eventually show up for court hearings many months in the future.
A recent sampling of individuals being released and loaded onto buses in Brownsville, Texas showed 108 migrants who were positive for COVID-19. They were sent on their way anyway.
Migrants are not being tested for the virus when they are apprehended, because U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials do not have the staff or equipment to test the numbers of people being processed.
Meanwhile, apparently because the Biden administration does not believe the “challenge” at the border is great enough, asylum-seekers who were told under President Trump they had to wait in Mexico for processing are now being invited to return to the United States. They will then remain inside the United States until such time as their cases are eventually heard by the U.S. immigration court. Some 25,000 individuals qualify to cross the border under this change.
It is hard to know with Joe Biden which is more offensive, his ignorance or his arrogance. The same man who has the audacity to refer to the people of Texas and Mississippi as “Neanderthals” for having the guts to end misguided lockdowns and open their states has created a crisis where none need have existed.
Illegal border crossings under Trump were dramatically reduced. Central American countries were stopping the migrant caravans from ever getting near our border. We were well on our way to finally resolving a problem that had plagued us for decades.
Now Joe has squandered all of that progress. He has, in fact, made the problem at the border worse than it has ever been. Perhaps Mayorkas is right after all. Maybe it’s not a crisis.
Maybe it’s a disaster.