Border Patrol chief Carla Provost explained how the humanitarian crisis at the southern border created a national security crisis in the United States.
As IJR previously reported, nearly 1% of the populations of both Guatemala and Honduras have migrated to the U.S. Unlike years prior, the demographics of the migrants are creating a unique problem for Border Patrol agents. A few years ago, migrants were mostly single males from Mexico. Today, the migrants are predominately family units from Central America.
Provost explained that the influx of migrants to the southern border is a humanitarian crisis caused by weak immigration laws regarding migration with children.
For the first half of FY2019, #YumaSector Border Patrol spent over $1 million on humanitarian costs for families and unaccompanied alien children in our custody, compared to $340K+ for all of FY2018. These costs include food, diapers, clothes, baby formula and other items. @CBP pic.twitter.com/Vvz6ro1QaS
— CBP Arizona (@CBPArizona) May 10, 2019
“The message is really loud and clear when it comes, particularly to the family units: if you bring a child, you’re going to be released into the country,” said Provost during an interview with Fox News on Thursday.
As IJR previously reported, several detention facilities used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have hit capacity, forcing Border Patrol agents to release migrants on their own recognizance — with 87% never returning for their immigration court date.
Provost told host Neil Cavuto that, above all, Border Patrol needs additional funding to be approved by Congress so they can continue to fund security operations while their resources are being consumed by migrant families.
Watch Provost’s interview:
“We certainly need the money. Right now, I’m having to use my operation budget to fund a humanitarian mission and at all cost, really. The humanitarian mission is having a negative impact on our national security. As I’m having to pull my men and women away — 40% of their time is being spent dealing with taking care of these families, processing these families. The border security mission, the mission we were hired for is suffering.”
Provost explained that her agency is doing all they can to address the crisis at the border, but she noted that, ultimately, it is a problem only Congress has the authority to address.
“We certainly need more personal. We need a lot more resources across the board, but we need a fix to this,” Provost explained. “Border Patrol can’t do this on their own. I need Congress to act.”