US-Mexico border crime surge undermines Harris’s claims of ‘progress’

FILE PHOTO: Border Patrol agents patrol the San Ysidro border crossing in the San Ysidro neighborhood of San Diego, California, U.S. November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

(Washington Examiner).- Vice President Kamala Harris visited El Paso on Friday and claimed her team made “a lot of progress,” completely ignoring the wave of drugs and migrants pouring across the border.

At the end of April alone, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported multiple instances of human trafficking by smugglers. The agency also apprehended several migrants formerly convicted of sexual assault, rape, and attempted murder, among other offenses.

And the situation has gotten worse. In June, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress that the flow of the synthetic opioid fentanyl across the border could “fairly be described as an epidemic.” This year, CBP agents have seized nearly 6,500 pounds of fentanyl so far. This is more than the total seized in all of 2020. A CBP spokesman said that “criminal organizations shifted their operations” during the pandemic, citing increased seizures among U.S. citizens.

Human trafficking has continued on the Biden administration’s watch. On June 24, Yuma Sector CBP agents intercepted four smuggling attempts in a single day. Two days earlier, a joint law enforcement operation in Laredo, Texas, shut down six “stash houses” and found nearly 150 undocumented immigrants, none of whom were wearing PPE.

Border agents have continued to encounter gang members and convicted criminals on the southern border. The Del Rio Sector in Texas has reported a 3,166% increase in arrests of convicted sex offenders since the beginning of fiscal 2021. In addition to apprehending members of the transnational gang MS-13, CBP agents have allegedly arrested two Yemenis on the FBI’s Terrorism Screening Center list at the border.

Even though the Biden administration has resisted calls from liberals to “abolish ICE,” it has implemented policies that make enforcement more difficult. In interviews with the Washington Post, ICE officials have said they believe their work is being “essentially abolished” through restrictions on deportations and arrests.

Biden has also ordered an “immediate pause” on all border wall construction, despite the October 2020 DHS release revealing that new barriers significantly reduced apprehensions and illegal entries. On June 16, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that he will continue border wall construction, using an initial $250 million in funding. This is a step in the right direction.

And officials will not even visit areas most affected by the border crisis. The vice president faced criticism for choosing to visit El Paso. Rep. Henry Cuellar told the Washington Examiner, “Politically, it’s safer to go [to El Paso], but if you want to get a real idea of what’s happening at the border, you’ve got to go where the hot spot is, and that is the lower Rio Grande.”

Rep. Veronica Escobar’s description of El Paso as “the new Ellis Island” further demonstrates Democrats’ ignorance of the present border crisis. Yes, there are “huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

But unlike the immigrants of the 1900s, many yearn to be free from the human smugglers and criminal gangs who exploit them. And they are the victims of this crisis, created by the current administration’s misplaced priorities and gross negligence.

Source: Washington Examiner



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