Pavlich: The border crisis is still raging

Pavlich: The border crisis is still raging
© UPI photo

It’s been nearly three weeks since President TrumpDonald John TrumpA better VA, with mental health services, is essential for America's veterans Pelosi, Nadler tangle on impeachment, contempt vote Trump arrives in Japan to kick off 4-day state visit MORE averted another government shutdown while also declaring a national emergency on the southern border with Mexico.

“We’re going to confront the national security crisis on our southern border — and we’re going to do it one way or the other,” Trump said from the White House Rose Garden. “We want to stop drugs from coming into our country. We want to stop criminals and gangs. ... We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country.”

Since the declaration, lawsuits have been filed against the administration and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have voted to condemn what they see as executive overreach.

ADVERTISEMENT

While Congress has repeatedly failed to act on real border security, changes to low-bar asylum laws and devaluing illegal immigration, the crisis has gotten exponentially worse.

In fact, the government funding bill Trump begrudgingly signed not only failed to provide proper border barrier funding, but makes the current unaccompanied minor and family unit disaster even worse. It does this by giving amnesty to adult “sponsors” of unaccompanied illegal minors. Some of  these sponsors are already in the United States illegally with criminal records of their own. Further, the bill incentivizes human trafficking and expands loopholes the Department of Homeland Security has been begging Congress to close.

“Our nation is experiencing an unprecedented crisis on our Southern Border that is the result of loopholes that prevent the detention and repatriation of illegal alien minors and family units,” the Department of Homeland Security released in a statement late last year.  “FY18 is the highest number of family unit apprehensions on record – it is more than 40% higher than any previous year on record.”

“As a result of these loopholes, when illegal alien minors or adults traveling with minors unlawfully enter the United States, rather than being detained and removed, they are released into American communities. Once released, those who have no legal right to stay are almost never removed,” the statement continued. 

While Congress repeatedly finds plenty of time to vote on resolutions of condemnation over border security, they’ve done virtually nothing to actually solve the problem. 

On Wednesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump declassification move unnerves Democrats Climate change is a GOP issue, too New Yorker cover titled 'The Shining' shows Graham, McConnell, Barr polishing Trump's shoes MORE (R-S.C.) is looking to change that. 

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan will testify, providing extensive details about what is really happening from California to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas: drug and human trafficking, rape, abuse of children, drug cartel operational control in many parts of the U.S. and more. 

Just last week, Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost explained the situation to the House Judiciary Committee. 

“Each day nearly 25 percent of my agents are diverted away from our border security mission to care for, transport and process family members and unaccompanied children,” Provost said. “As more migrants arrive with medical needs, agents are transporting and escorting an average of 55 people a day to medical facilities. We are committed to addressing this humanitarian need, but we know that when agents are occupied narcotics smugglers, criminal aliens, gang members and others use the opportunity to violate our borders and our laws.”

“I reminded the House Judiciary Committee that smugglers take advantage of outdated laws and court rulings that incentivize people to bring young children on the dangerous journey to the United States,” Provost emphasized afterward on Twitter. “I told the House Judiciary Committee that the crisis on our southwest border is BOTH a border security and humanitarian crisis, and that we know a combination of barriers, technology, and personnel will improve our operational control of the border.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The mission of Border Patrol agents to protect the United States from harm is being impeded by a crisis Congress has the ability to fix, but as usual, chooses not to. 

While the cheap political bickering on the issue continues in Washington, the crisis at the border is exploding. 

According to numbers released in November by the Department of Homeland Security, in 2018, Border Patrol agents “identified some  612,183 inadmissible aliens” — 404,142 of those aliens entered the U.S. illegally. 

“Illegal immigration is not compassionate. It’s inhumane, unjust and cruel,” President Trump told the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend. 

“Without borders, as I’ve said many times before, we don’t have a country. The lawless chaos on our southern border provides a lucrative cash flow to some of the most dangerous criminal organizations on the planet. Deadly cartels constantly — daily, hourly — violate our borders to flood our cities with drugs that kill thousand and thousands of our citizens violently.”

“Ruthless cartels terrorize innocent communities on both sides of the border and spread instability throughout our hemisphere,” he continued. 

Border security is a comprehensive issue and doesn’t boil down to a “wall” or even barriers. Trump knows and recognizes this, which is why he repeatedly talks about all of the aspects and challenges federal immigration officers face. The crisis at the border is ongoing, the question now is whether Congress will move to address it.

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.