Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Testimony

An article posted at The Federalist on Thursday includes the testimony of Federalist senior correspondent John Daniel Davidson, delivered before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Some highlights of his testimony:

McAllen, a city of fewer than 150,000 residents, is now facing the prospect of thousands of migrants discharged from ICE custody, wandering the streets and sleeping in doorways and on park benches—the city’s mayor has said as much. What’s more, in February the city ordered Catholic Charities to vacate the former nursing home and find a new location within 90 days, citing complaints from neighbors about constant traffic and strangers wandering nearby streets where children play. By any measure, the situation in McAllen is an emergency.

This is just one border town in Texas. Something similar is playing out all up and down the U.S.-Mexico border. In El Paso, hundreds of migrant families are turning themselves in to Border Patrol every day, overwhelming federal facilities and personnel. In a five-minute stretch one day in late March, Border Patrol apprehended two different groups totaling 400 people. On the night of President Trump’s rally in El Paso in February, a group of 300 turned themselves in to the Santa Teresa Border Patrol station, which sits on an empty stretch of New Mexico scrubland 22 miles west of El Paso. Agents had to move all the ATVs out of the garage just so a hundred or so migrants would have someplace warm to sleep that night. Since then, things have been getting worse.

The testimony states:

If you spend enough time talking to migrants themselves, a pattern begins to emerge. Most of them have similar stories about why they left their home countries in Central America, and they report similar experiences of how they made their way through Mexico to the southern U.S. border. A few common characteristics stand out:

  • A majority of the “family units” are men traveling with one or more children;
  • Many of these men say they have a wife and other children back in their home country and that they intend to secure work in the U.S. and send money back to support them;
  • They are headed for all points across the U.S. and have family members or friends in those places. Many of them also have jobs already lined up;
  • Nearly all of them say they left their homes because it is dangerous, citing gang violence, threats, extortion, etc.; they are all claiming asylum.
  • At the same time, many of them will admit that they don’t plan to remain in the U.S. permanently, and in fact have a set amount of time they plan to live and work here before returning home;
  • All of them say they paid a smuggler to secure safe passage to the border (the amount varies from $2,000 to $6,000 per person, sometimes more). Generally, they say they took cars or buses for transit through Mexico.

The testimony concludes:

Without a doubt, there is a crisis at the southern border. But it’s a deeply misunderstood crisis that’s being driven by specific factors and disproportionately affecting specific regions of the border, primarily the Rio Grande Valley and El Paso. In general, the growing numbers of migrants now crossing the border are being driven by three major factors:

  • If you’re a minor or a family, it’s even easier to enter the U.S. now than it was during the Obama administration for the simple reason that there is no capacity at federal detention facilities and families can expect to be released soon after being detained by Border Patrol.
  • Smugglers are now marketing to people —women, families—who don’t want to undertake an arduous or dangerous journey. They have created a sophisticated and efficient busing package that has proven very popular with families, and word has gotten back to communities in Central America that, if they pay, the journey will be short, safe, and they will not be detained for long once inside the U.S.
  • Conditions in Central America have not improved enough to induce people to remain in their home countries. Persistent poverty, violence, and corruption, combined with the fear that it’s not going to be this easy to get into the U.S. forever, is prompting families to come now.

There is no easy solution to this crisis. Border security is part of the solution, but so is congressional action.

As long as Central American families know they can gain entry to the U.S. by initiating asylum proceedings upon crossing the border, the crisis will continue. As long as cartels and criminal networks know they can profit from trafficking migrant families to the border, they will do so. And as long as conditions in Central America continue to fester, families who can afford it will seek a better life for their children by traveling north.

The crisis on our southern border is not the result of anything President Trump has done. It is the result of years of inaction by Congress and previous administrations. As previously stated–Democrats see illegal immigrants as future Democrat voters; Republicans see illegal immigrants as cheap labor. Neither party sees them as desperate people. President Trump is at least trying to discourage them from making a long, dangerous trip. President Trump is also trying to protect America from being overwhelmed. If you doubt what this is about, look up the Cloward-Piven strategy. It explains what is currently happening (and illustrates why it must be stopped).

Is There A Problem?

President Trump made a very generous offer to the Democrats in the House of Representatives today regarding border security on our southern border. Unfortunately it is a pretty safe bet that they will turn down the offer. So exactly what is at stake?

On January 7th Christopher Holton posted an article at The Center For Security Policy about the security threat on our southern border. It is a rather detailed article, and I suggest that you follow the link above and read the entire article.

Here are some of the highlights:

For instance in May 2001, former Mexican National security adviser and ambassador to the United Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser, reported, that ‘Islamic terrorist groups are using Mexico as a refuge.’

There is no way to estimate how many jihadists may already have crossed into the U.S. from Mexico. But the time to play politics with the border issue is long past. The shallow sloganeering and race-baiting that have dominated the national debate about border controls should be recognized as what they are: hindrances to sane and sensible national defense measures.

…Mexicans trying to enter the U.S. illegally are often simply processed at the border and sent back. But Mexico won’t allow us to send citizens from other countries back through Mexico, and under U.S. law, they’re entitled to a formal deportation hearing. The immigration service lacks beds to hold them, so the vast majority of OTMs are released from custody and asked to voluntarily return for their court date.

For instance, in 2005 alone, there were estimated to be 71,000 such OTM fugitives.

…The intrepid Todd Bensman of the excellent Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has provided the highlights of that report’s findings:

• The recent migrant caravans originating in Central America have included “several SIAs (Special Interest Aliens), and potentially” known or suspected terrorists traveling toward the U.S. border.

• The U.S. Department of Homeland Security continues to prioritize the SIA threat as one of the top threats to the homeland because of the consistently “large number” of individuals from special interest countries that travel to the Western Hemisphere using illicit pathways.

• Written ISIS materials and publications have encouraged ISIS followers to cross the U.S. Southwest Border.

• DHS Border Patrol Agents “routinely” encounter SIAs at the border using routes controlled by transnational criminal organizations.

• Statistics on the number of known or suspected terrorists on routes to the border are often classified, but the threat posed by “the existence of illicit pathways into the United States” highlights that “border security is national security” as terrorist groups seek to exploit vulnerabilities among neighboring countries to fund, support, and commit attacks against the homeland.

• The report lists five open-source, unclassified cases representing the types of individuals and threats associated with illicit routes to the homeland. (CIS recently compiled and published a list of 15.) A number of heavily redacted cases are included in which biometric enrollment information uncovered suspected terrorists in 2013, 2015, and 2018.

• The frequency of international flights from special interest regions into Latin America and the Caribbean continues to increase due to economic and governance challenges in those countries that create an attractive environment for illicit SIA travel to the U.S. border.

• ICE Homeland Security Investigations is deeply enmeshed in investigations and operations throughout Central America to counter human smuggling organizations that move SIAs in Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Brazil.

• The United States-Canada border “is also susceptible to exploitation by SIAs.”

It’s time for the politicians in Washington to stop fooling around and secure the border. The next terrorist attack in America will be on their hands.

Comments From Someone Who Knows

On Thursday The Washington Examiner posted an article that featured comments by Mark Morgan, the Obama appointee who oversaw U.S. Border Patrol in 2016.

The article reports:

Mark Morgan, stealing a line from President Trump’s presidential campaign announcement in June 2015, said his agents were “apprehending and interdicting pedophiles, rapists, murderers, gang members every single day.”

“I’m outraged that we haven’t fixed this problem. I’m outraged,” Morgan told Fox News. “Who can say that this is a manufactured crisis? Anyone? Anyone left, right? I don’t care who it is — anyone that says this is a manufactured crisis, they are absolutely lying to the American people.”

Mark Morgan left the Border Patrol shortly after President Trump was elected.

Morgan has remained out of the public spotlight over the past two years, but broke his silence this week as Democrats and the White House have fought over whether to include an additional $5.7 billion for security measures at the U.S.-Mexico border.

In fiscal 2018, more than 360,000 people were arrested for illegally entering the U.S. from Mexico and Canada. That number is comparable to figures over the past decade.

Hopefully the publicity given to the people who lost family members because of illegal immigrants will wake people up to the fact that a porous border is a crisis that needs to be dealt with.

Things Haven’t Changed, But You Wouldn’t Know It If You Watch The Mainstream Media

This article is based on two articles, one from Breitbart posted today and one from The San Diego Union-Tribune, dated November 25, 2013. If you watch the mainstream media, recently you heard how inhumane it was to use tear gas on people trying to break through the southern border of America. No one mentioned that this was not the first time this approach was used, or that tear gas was probably the most harmless approach available to the border agents that were faced with people charging the border.

Breitbart reported today:

Five years almost to the day before President Donald Trump’s border officers blocked migrants with tear gas, authorities under President Barack Obama used identical tactics along the same stretch of border near the San Ysidro Port of Entry, according to 2013 press accounts.

From The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2013:

A group of about 100 people trying to illegally cross the border Sunday near the San Ysidro port of entry threw rocks and bottles at U.S. Border Patrol agents, who responded by using pepper spray and other means to force the crowd back into Mexico, federal officials said.

The incident has raised concerns among advocates on both sides of the immigration debate, as well as Border Patrol representatives.

…As the crowd kept advancing and throwing rocks and bottles, she said, more agents came to the scene and used other “intermediate use-of-force devices” to push back the group. The agents also contacted Mexican law enforcement.

Tijuana’s top police officer, Public Safety Secretary J. Alberto Capella, said “There is no information that we can provide.” He referred questions to the U.S. Border Patrol.

The spokesman for Tijuana police, Rafael Morales, said the agency’s officers did not intervene and had no knowledge of the incident.

Caston said several agents were struck in the arms and legs with rocks, and that one agent was hit in the head with a filled water bottle.

“While attacks on Border Patrol agents are not uncommon, the agents showed great restraint when faced with the dangers of this unusually large group, and fortunately no one was serious injured,” said Paul Beeson, San Diego sector chief for the Border Patrol.

The agency did not specify the time of Sunday’s incident.

This type of rush on the border has not been seen since the late 1980s and early ’90s, when groups of border-crossers would run into the U.S. while agents tried to apprehend as many people as possible. The practice mostly disappeared after Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994 and brought with it tall fences, walls and more agents.

How did the press treat President Obama during this incident versus how the press is treating President Trump during the recent incident? Double standard anyone?

I Robbed A Bank, But That Was Okay Since It Helped Them Improve Their Security Measures

The Media Research Center posted a startling article yesterday about a media outlet in America and their attitude toward truth.

The article reports:

ABC openly admitted Sunday to having published “fake news” – their words, not mine – about the Trump administration “losing” 1,500 migrant children, a debunked story that quickly caught fire and spawned countless hashtag campaigns and anti-ICE protests across the country. (Here’s MSNBC’s Chris Hayes boo-hooing over the whole nonsensical thing about a month ago.)

Now, well after the myth has been permanently ensconced as fact in the brains of millions of rapid anti-Trumpers nationwide, ABC’s admitting the entire thing was false – but, in a stunning feat of mental gymnastics, they claim the bogus story ended up being a good thing.

In an article actually entitled, “A fake news story helps expose a real crisis,” author Lauren Pearle admits the Trump administration was unfairly accused of having “lost” 1,500 kids who’d crossed the southwest U.S. border illegally – a claim I’d disputed in a video roughly four weeks ago, only to be accused of Nazism by radical progressives.

But by ABC’s own admission (and as I’d pointed out), the administration didn’t “lose” anyone; they’d simply placed these kids with sponsors, usually a family member, who didn’t respond when the government tried to check up on the child.

Wow. So it’s okay to report news that is false as long as you believe it serves a higher purpose. Does that mean it’s okay for your child to tell you a lie if that serves a higher purpose? Is it okay for your government to lie to you if that serves a higher purpose? Whatever happened to the concept of integrity.

The article explains what actually happened at the border:

Pearle doesn’t point out, of course, that the Obama administration also had a policy of temporarily separating families at the border (a fact MSNBC finally and begrudgingly admitted after weeks of slamming Trump), albeit to a lesser extent given the administration’s policy of simply releasing illegal aliens into the country without so much as a slap on the wrist. In fact, the policy of family separation was first launched after the Obama administration was sued for holding migrant children in detention facilities with their parents for extended periods of time – a court case that ended when the Ninth Circuit ruled these kids couldn’t be held for more than 20 days.

When the Trump administration reversed the previous policy of simply letting illegal alien families go free, that Obama-era court decision resulted in temporary family separations.

Is it okay to lie because you have an agenda to push and then claim it was done for higher purposes? Evidently the mainstream media thinks so.

Sometimes You Wonder If Members Of Congress Have Ever Read The Constitution They Swore To Uphold

Yesterday The Hill posted an article about legislation proposed by Republicans to keep families together at the southern border of the United States.

The article reports:

Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) on Tuesday dismissed a legislative proposal backed by Republican leaders to keep immigrant families together at the border, arguing that President Trump could fix the problem more easily with a flick of his pen.

“There are so many obstacles to legislation and when the president can do it with his own pen, it makes no sense,” Schumer told reporters. “Legislation is not the way to go here when it’s so easy for the president to sign it.”

Asked if that meant Democrats would not support a bill backed by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to keep immigrant families together while seeking asylum on the U.S. border, Schumer said they want to keep the focus on Trump. (Italics mine)

Legislation is the job of Congress. They are responsible for making laws. Not only is Senator Schumer shirking his responsibility, his statement makes it clear that he is more interested in politics than finding a solution. Senator Schumer is illustrating the difference between a politician and a businessman, and he is also illustrating the reason Donald Trump got elected. A politician ‘never lets a crisis go to waste.’ A businessman’s focus is on solving problems and moving forward.

It’s time to stop playing politics with border enforcement, secure our borders, and discourage people from trying to come to America illegally. If Senator Schumer chooses not to do his job, he should be replaced by a Senator who has read the Constitution and is willing to abide by his Oath of Office.

Why It Is Important To Control Our Borders

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about Miguel Angel Villasenor-Saucedo, an illegal alien who fled the scene of an accident that killed two people in Louisville, Kentucky. Mr. Villasenor-Saucedo was charged in the accident and is still at large.

The article reports:

“Soon after the fatal accident, it was learned that Villasenor-Saucedo was a Mexican national illegally present in the United States,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Upon learning of Villasenor-Saucedo’s illegal immigration status in the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office began investigating Villasenor-Saucedo and found that he had previously been deported from the United States on eight occasions and did not have lawful authority to be present in the United States.”

Despite the suspect’s background, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Villasenor-Saucedo faces “a maximum potential penalty of no more than 2 years in prison” if convicted.

Obviously I am not a lawyer, but 2 years in prison seems a rather light sentence for someone charged in an accident in which two people were killed. Also, if America actually had borders, this man would not have been in the country and those two women might still be alive.

Two families are having a very difficult holiday season because someone who should not have been in the country was responsible for the death of someone they love. It is time to enforce our borders. This is not acceptable.