To those living far from America’s borders, the current situation may seem distant and disconnected. Chief Clem, now retired from the U.S. Border Patrol, assures us that the crisis at our border is closer to our backyards than we might think. It is time to share the realities, dispel misconceptions, and urge the federal government to act.
The mandate of the Border Patrol is straightforward: apprehend anyone and anything crossing the border illegally between ports of entry. That includes migrants, smugglers, potential terrorists, drugs, and weapons. But today, our system is overwhelmed. Chief Clem and the officers of the Border Patrol apprehend, process, and then are often forced to release individuals due to a lack of detention facilities and an overburdened legal system.
The current administration’s approach has only exacerbated the problem. Understaffed and underfunded, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is struggling to cope with the influx. This results in a scenario where those crossing illegally are released into our communities, provided with some form of monitoring system, and then expected to check in with ICE within 60 days. The average time before they see a judge? Two to three years.
This has created a system that not only encourages illegal entry but also produces profits for the cartels. Cartels control the border, dictating who, when, and where people cross. Migrants pay anywhere from $5,000 to $15,000 to these organizations for safe passage. This system fuels the growth of these criminal organizations and jeopardizes national security.
In the meantime, the legal immigration process has become a farce. Why would anyone endure a lengthy, bureaucratic process to enter the U.S. legally when they can simply cross the border, turn themselves in, and then live in the U.S. for years before their case is heard?
Congress must act. First, we must secure the border. A standalone border security bill should be enacted immediately. This includes investing in infrastructure, technology, and personnel. We need to finish building the border wall system – not just the physical barrier, but the comprehensive system of sensors, cameras, access roads, and additional border patrol agents.
Second, we need to overhaul our immigration laws. Congress should codify policies like the third-party asylum rule, which stipulates that asylum-seekers should apply in the first safe country they reach. They should also fully fund the detention and removal process and expedite hearings, ensuring a swift decision on each case.
Finally, we need to hold our neighbors accountable. Mexico must do its part in managing the border crisis. We should leverage our diplomatic relationships and aid programs to insist on their cooperation.
In conclusion, the border crisis is a national issue, not a regional one. It is a problem that affects every American and needs immediate attention. The crisis is a direct consequence of our broken immigration system and lax border security. It is time to fix our borders, reform our immigration laws, and uphold the rule of law that has kept this nation strong and secure.
Listen to the full Episode here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-potential/id1661043438?i=1000621801972