Rio Grande Valley sector chief Border Patrol agent Rodolfo Karisch claimed that the mass influx of migrants has “absolutely” prevented agents from securing the border from illegal drugs.
As IJR previously reported, the mass migration from Central America to the United States has stretched resources thin at the border. More than 1 million migrants are expected to be apprehended at the border this fiscal year, many of whom are children. Because of this, Border Patrol agents have been pulled from their posts and stationed at facilities to help with things like changing diapers and providing medical attention for migrants.
During a press conference with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Karisch said that this “absolutely” leaves the border open to drug smugglers and other criminals.
Watch Karisch’s comments:
“I only have 40 percent of the workforce to dedicate to the border security. With that, you’ve got hard drugs, you’ve got marijuana that’s still continuing to flow. You’ve got criminal aliens. Year to date, 258 MS-13 gang members, 96 18th Street gang members. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a report for someone that we’ve taken into custody that has an active arrest warrent for murder, for sexual assault, for some other crime here in the United States. That’s the reality of what we face.”
Cruz noted that apprehensions of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and meth have all increased over the past year.
“If we don’t get serious about solving it, those problems are only going to get worse,” Cruz said.
Karisch noted that marijuana is the only drug in which apprehensions have gone down despite agents still seizing 91,000 pounds. He said the reason for the decline could be that demand has gone down as more states legalize the drug.
In just the past week, Border Patrol has apprehended 5,000 fentanyl pills and 10 pounds of cocaine from stops near the border.
A Tucson-based #AMO C-206 crew, partnered with federal and state authorities to arrest a suspect carrying 5,000 fentanyl pills, amongst other illegal narcotics and a handgun. pic.twitter.com/HIk91kpPi8
— CBP (@CBP) June 30, 2019
— CBP (@CBP) June 24, 2019
Of course, the bigger problem is the drugs that are not being apprehended due to the crowding at the border.
As IJR previously reported, Cruz placed the blame for the migrant crisis on Congress for refusing to close asylum loopholes.