The Border Patrol chief under former President Barack Obama, Mark Morgan, went before Congress on Thursday to sound the alarm on the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border and urged lawmakers to end what he described as nearly an “open border policy.”
While giving his opening testimony before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security, Morgan — who served as the chief of Border Patrol until January 2017 — warned senators that the “unprecedented” crisis at the southern border was “at a magnitude never seen in modern times”:
“Make no mistake: Our personnel resources are overwhelmed. They are drowning. And as each day passes, the threat to our country and rule of law worsens. The loopholes in our asylum laws and nonsensical judicial precedent has driven what has devolved into, essentially, an open border policy for a certain demographic.”
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Morgan continued on in his remarks to claim that “Central American families are incentivized and rewarded” to cross into the country unlawfully “because they know [the Department of Homeland Security], by law, has to release them within 20 days into the interior of the United States,” where they can stay “indefinitely”:
“It’s simple: They know they set one foot on American soil, say the magic words, and they’re allowed into the U.S. And they know it. Through social media, smugglers, and family members who have successfully exploited our laws and remained in the U.S. legally, they are well-informed.”
The former Border Patrol chief then raised the point that the “tens of thousands” of people “we know virtually nothing about” who are entering the country illegally every day cannot be “properly vet[ted].”
He also reiterated this point to Fox News on Thursday.
"Make no doubt … the reason [illegal immigrants] are coming is for economic equality, family reunification and because of our broken system, they know they step one foot on American soil, they'll will be allowed in indefinitely, that is incentive." – Mark Morgan pic.twitter.com/QWgXraZprr
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) April 4, 2019
“What is happening is counterintuitive to the rule of law and defies basic principles of sovereignty,” Morgan added.
Morgan took a torch to the argument that immigrants attempting to cross into the country illegally were “fleeing from extreme violence and persecution,” pointing out that “only 15 percent” of the claims from asylum seekers were valid.
“As a society, we cannot turn our backs and ignore the law, especially Congress,” Morgan added. “We can’t selectively enforce the laws based on political ideology or a personal sense of morality.”
The former Border Patrol chief has sounded off about the crisis at the border before, saying last month that the Democrats were pushing “a false narrative” and that he agreed with President Donald Trump about the situation down at the border, as IJR Red previously reported.
Last month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported 3,700 apprehensions in a single day, marking the largest number of people taken in trying to illegally cross the border in one day in over a decade.