Biden’s border problem: A perfect storm for national security and local communities

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As the saying goes, elections have consequences. Unfortunately, the country is witnessing one of the consequences of the 2020 election, as the American public is unnecessarily endangered by the Biden administration ignoring the security risks of opening the Southwest border to mass migration while leaving funding flat for Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). 

The alarming results have been evident for some time now and will get worse across the country, city by city. But the administration is turning a blind eye to the national security disaster it has created — and that will most certainly cost it during the next election, as it abandons enforcement of the law and the responsibility to protect the country and its citizens at all costs. 

The administration’s decision to remove the “Remain in Mexico” program and reinstitute “catch-and-release” before having a comprehensive strategy in place is one of the most incompetent homeland security decisions ever made. The lack of an overall strategy and inept policies, none of which were previewed with state and local partners along the border, have created inhumane conditions for illegal migrants — a talking point often used when criticizing and dismantling the Trump administration’s immigration and border policies, and a big difference from what Biden promised his policies would achieve. Unfortunately, facts are a stubborn thing.

The administration now finds itself responsible for essentially enabling a human trafficking operation run by Mexican cartels, in which migrant families are extorted for large sums of money, sexually or physically assaulted, endangered by the elements and distance of travel, and in some cases left for dead. Things are not much better when these migrants arrive in the U.S., where CBP is overwhelmed by sheer numbers of migrants and stressed facilities. As CBP is left under-resourced to handle the humanitarian crisis, relegated to administrative tasks and not allowed to enforce immigration laws, the nation is left unprotected from numerous threats, with individual states, like Texas, taking responsibility for their own safety and security.  

The cartels are making millions as a result of Biden’s policies and, in addition to human-trafficking, have exponentially increased drug trafficking operations, with authorities unable to accurately quantify the extent of the trafficking due to “get-aways.” The administration has given the perception to those willing to make the dangerous trip to the border that the country’s immigration laws will not be enforced. Its continual failure to acknowledge the scope of the crisis at the border — instead, treating white supremacy and climate change as bigger threats — is a slap in the face to all of those along the border, both sworn officers and civilians.  

In most cases, it is impossible to know the full backgrounds of migrants being released into the country and left to “self-report” at local ICE offices. While many just want to escape violence or poverty and find a better life in the U.S., there certainly is some percentage of bad actors — in some cases, originating from beyond Central America and Mexico — facilitated in coming here by naïve politicians.  

The effects of illegal migrants, drugs, weapons and continued human trafficking could well spread to major U.S. cities. And we have yet to see the added negative consequences of the departments of Homeland Security and of Health and Human Services surreptitiously relocating migrants across the country, placing them in cities whose officials and citizens are unaware of their presence. Make no mistake, a perfect storm is brewing, as these issues are inextricably linked. 

With violent crime escalating across major U.S. cities, police departments limited by shrinking budgets and operational controls forced by local politicians, there is low morale among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies working along the border. It is no surprise that agents and officers are retiring and resigning at record rates or relocating to other departments where they can enforce the law, conduct investigations and prevent crime. Now, local communities also must manage the influx of migrants spread across their communities and the issues that result from that.

This administration must recognize that until our borders and cities are secure, and until Americans have their basic need for security met, there is no chance for progress in any other area. 

Charles Marino is the CEO of Sentinel Security Solutions, a global security and crisis management firm. He previously served as a supervisory special agent with the U.S. Secret Service and as senior law enforcement adviser to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. He regularly appears as a homeland and national security analyst on cable news networks. 

Dr. Katherine Kuhlman is a board-certified police and public safety psychologist, and owner of Kuhlman Psychology & Consulting. She is a national speaker on issues related to first responder mental health, wellness and trauma. Dr. Kuhlman consults with public safety agencies across the nation and regularly appears in national media to provide commentary on mental health and law enforcement matters.

Tags Borders of the United States Homeland security Human trafficking Illegal immigration Illegal immigration to the United States Immigration to the United States U.S. Customs and Border Protection U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement United States Department of Homeland Security

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