Ex-border patrol agent calls for more staff to combat drug flow, human trafficking

Former Border Patrol agent Jason Piccolo in an interview that aired Friday on "Rising" called for more special agents at the southern border to target drug smugglers and human traffickers.

"It's a multifold process," Piccolo, who also worked as a special agent with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on Thursday.

"You're going to need not only to help the countries down south, but you're also going to need special agents to disrupt and dismantle the narcos smuggling and human trafficking organizations," he continued.

"You can't just do with reactive enforcement at the border. You need actual special agents that are going to actually go after where it hurts these organizations in their pocketbook, their money," Piccolo said. "That's the only way you're going to stop the flow of smuggling."

Piccolo's comments come as the Trump administration aims to combat what it calls a crisis at the southern border. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHarris bashes Kavanaugh's 'sham' nomination process, calls for his impeachment after sexual misconduct allegation Celebrating 'Hispanic Heritage Month' in the Age of Trump Let's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy MORE this week retreated from his threats to shut down the border with Mexico, but he has declared a state of emergency in an effort to obtain money for his long-promised border wall. 

The president has also taken aim at migrants' countries of origin, targeting their foreign aid for what he says is a lack of effort to control the flow of people to the U.S. border. 

The State Department said on Saturday that it would halt aid to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador at the president's direction. 

— Julia Manchester