What’s next after Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador empty their populations into this country? There is no end in sight. The next country to line up at our border is Cuba, and it’s bringing an entirely new dimension of criminality with it.
On Monday, the Associated Press published a comprehensive report on the growing trend of Cubans accepting the invitation from our government to come to our border along with the Central Americans. The article discusses the particular route the Cubans have taken through Juarez. As the AP observes, “10,910 Cubans came through official crossings between October and April, versus 7,079 in the previous 12 months.” Almost half of them came in at the El Paso field office, while the other half came in at points of entry near Laredo.
What is going on in the Juarez-El Paso area? According to the Agencia EFE, the largest Spanish-language news wire agency, the phenomenon began with just 100 Cuban migrants arriving in Juarez last October. Once they saw they were allowed into the United States within 24 hours, “word began to spread about the quick and easy access to the United States via Ciudad Juarez-El Paso among the migrants’ relatives and friends.” Then, Cubans began to fly to Panama and make their way to Juarez, and now their numbers are overwhelming even the Central Americans in his key border city.
While most of the media reports on the Cuban migration focus on the veracity of asylum claims or even the cultural clashes with local Mexicans, there is another disturbing element to this that has bearings on our national security. The Cuban migration has brought with it an entirely new dimension of organized crime right at our border and likely coming through it. Juarez is infested with Mexican criminal cartels and gangs, and now, according to a top federal official, the caravans are bringing in criminal organizations from other countries.
“With the pressure placed on the system, now you have all these OTM (other than Mexicans) caravans flooding into Juarez,” warned Kyle Williamson, special agent in charge of the DEA in El Paso. “You’ve got Cubans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans flooding into Juarez. The Cubans are pretty much occupying all of the motels in town and, together with the Hondurans, are working the street-level drug trafficking.”
“Sinaloa is still the dominant cartel in the region, but Cartel Jalisco New Generacion (CJNG) is coming on strong and pushing a lot of meth.” Williamson noted that while there is still a rigid structure of the individual cartels at the senior level, “the waters have gotten very muddy” at the mid-level and the gangs contracting with them, who often move loads for multiple cartel bosses. Plus, the three major cartels in the area – Sinaloa, CJNG, and La Linea – are sharing the plazas in Juarez. Williamson observed how traditionally the three gangs operating in the area served particular cartels, but that is all changing. “Now you throw in the mix something we’ve never seen before in this area with a lot of other criminal elements coming in from these other countries, and they are getting involved in the gangs. The cartels are giving the Cubans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans the permission to run prostitution rings and street-level drug trafficking in Juarez.”
Therefore, the migration is now bringing entirely new dimensions of criminal activity and drug trafficking at the same time it is taking out Border Patrol resources to combat a more robust cartel and gang threat than ever before. Our enemies now know they can weaponize migration to kill two birds with one stone: They can flood us with migrants and criminal elements who take advantage of desperate migrants, plus the flow in itself ties down our agents so the cartels can strategically bring in their criminal organizers. And as I reported yesterday, with the secondary Border Patrol checkpoints all taken down in New Mexico, these criminal elements have a free lane into our country.
What’s particularly disturbing about the Cuban criminal elements, more than those from Central America, is that there are likely hostile anti-American intentions at the governmental level. Whereas the Guatemalan government under Jimmy Morales is friendly with the Trump administration, the Castro government remains an arch-enemy of the United States.
Colonel Dan Steiner, a retired Air Force veteran who coordinated Texas military operations at our border and also has significant experience in Latin America and the Middle East, believes it’s a no-brainer that Castro is sending much more than drug runners. “The Cubans have a relationship with the Venezuelans, Tehran, Moscow, and the Bolivarian revolution. Their instinct is to counter U.S. actions against them. Insertion of individuals or groups to conduct counter-operations is almost a given. Once we accept this premise, we can fully anticipate these groups will have motives beyond the drug business. Why would they not take advantage of something we seem not to have a handle on? Does anyone in D.C. really care about the potential ramifications of this?”
Steiner believes this is yet another reason why the cartels should be designated as terrorists and should be the focus of more robust military operations. “Again and again, this is why I argue there is a true nexus between the cartels the drug industry and the U.S. definition of a terrorist organization.”
Criminal elements or national security threats from Cuba or other countries of interest now know they can come up the highways without being stopped by the checkpoints where some of them would stand out to agents. We already know that people from nearly 50 countries have been caught at our border this year, according to Raul Ortiz, the deputy chief patrol agent of the Rio Grande Valley sector. “These are from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Yemen, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, you name it,” said Ortiz in an interview with the Epoch Times in March.
The fact that our military is not being placed at the border in places like New Mexico to counter the criminal elements and national security threats rather than simply changing tires on trucks and serving as drivers and cooks for the illegal immigrants remains a mystery.
So long as we refuse to close our border to processing of any immigration requests, there simply is no end to the number of people throughout the world who will eventually come. So long as we open our doors and our welfare system, they will come, especially if we’ve already let in so many from those countries that they are motivated by family unification along with economic considerations. A quick glance at the U.N.’s data on GDP per capita by country shows that there are 88 nations where the per capita GDP is lower than that of Guatemala, which stands at $4,471 as of 2017. That is likely well over one billion people living in similar or worse conditions than the ones coming to our border today.
What is most tragic is that as these economic migrants pour through Mexico to our border, they serve as a physical and political conduit for all the criminal elements of these countries from which America is supposed to be an asylum.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.