If heavily armed cartel smugglers escort Central Americans to our border, is that asylum or an invasion?
Yesterday afternoon, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of Arizona posted a video showing five heavily armed men escorting a Guatemalan mother and child to our border near Lukeville, Arizona. The men were dressed in tactical gear, and some were armed with what appear to be AK-47s and pistols.
#BorderPatrol cameras observed armed men escorting a mother and her 8-year-old son to the int’l boundary west of Lukeville, AZ. The armed men dropped off the pair in an area commonly used by smugglers to bring large groups of Central Americans into the country illegally. pic.twitter.com/xwJZZgvlbD
— CBP (@CBP) April 23, 2019
Freeze-frame. In a sane country, one would expect that we would A) not allow the woman into our country and B) apprehend the smugglers and prosecute them, if not send the military out to engage in operations to shut down these armed incursions at our border.
Instead, we treat even those coming in with armed men as asylees, process and release them, and will never try to apprehend the smugglers. Just one week of apprehending those smugglers would force them to think twice about breaking our laws.
When I asked a Border Patrol official in Arizona whether these men were apprehended, he made it clear that “it is not our practice to pursue anyone on foreign soil,” even if they are armed right up to the border itself, unless they need to defend themselves or prevent bodily harm to others.
This means that a group of belligerent cartel members can stand right up to the line with weapons of war and orchestrate a migration flow into our country, and we will not touch them. In fact, we will take their “load” off their hands and complete the criminal conspiracy of human smuggling, as one judge once accused the Department of Homeland Security of. Worse, in this case, one of the individuals can be seen on the video actually crossing into our territory. But again, the Border Patrol official made it clear to me that even in this circumstance, even had agents been on the ground at that moment, Border Patrol would not have the authority to apprehend the individual once he crosses back into Mexico.
If we won’t authorize Border Patrol to do so, why not authorize the military to do so? Why is it that Mexico can violate our sovereignty to the point of detaining our soldiers on our soil, yet we will never pursue their belligerents?
Moreover, how much longer are we going to force Border Patrol to treat every human being who crosses the border as an asylee, no matter the circumstances and no matter how much it violates every other area of the Immigration and Nationality Act? On Friday, agents in San Diego were assaulted with rocks by illegal aliens. What would happen if the migrants themselves were carrying AK-47s? Would we still indulge their claims as legitimate?
Earlier this week, news broke that on April 13, several Mexican soldiers crossed over our border and briefly detained and disarmed two active-duty U.S. army soldiers. It seems like they have no problem violating our sovereignty with impunity, yet our government will not cross over to their side merely to apprehend those actively facilitating an invasion of our territory.
Earlier today, the president voiced his frustration over this incident and warned that he would begin arming our soldiers in a more aggressive posture at our border.
Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2019
The president would be well advised to recognize that the Mexican government will not stop this. The president controls the policies of Border Patrol and USCIS asylum adjudicators and can direct them to immediately turn down these bogus claims, which would enable us to remove them in no more than seven days.
This video serves as a vivid illustration of the fact that the migrants do not just come organically. This is an organized and orchestrated invasion being pushed by some of the most dangerous criminal networks in the world. Nothing in our laws would ever prevent us from going after these networks. If Trump designates the cartels as terrorists, a power he holds unilaterally, it would further empower him to dismantle them. An invasion is not immigration – asylum or otherwise. They are weaponizing migrants so they can insert their criminals and drugs into our country. According to a new study by the Rand Corporation, the cartels made $2.3 billion off human smuggling in 2017, and that was when the border flow was a fraction of what it is today.
Many of these illegal aliens remain in debt to the smugglers and then begin to work off that debt by further engaging in criminality in order to pay cartel operatives who are on our soil. Just a few weeks ago, several Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents were injured in a shootout with migrant smugglers in Phoenix who were firing on them with AK-47s.
This is no longer an immigration issue; it’s a national security issue, which means it’s completely immune to judicial meddling and is subject to policies well outside of traditional immigration protocol.
Our laws grant the president unilateral authority to shut off all immigration requests when he believes it is “detrimental” to U.S. interests. Therefore, the notion that we cannot shut off an invasionary flow of migrants orchestrated by criminals is absurd.
This case in Arizona is also highly unusual and suspicious because five armed men are escorting a single Central American woman. Typically, there are one to two smugglers who bring in large quantities of illegal immigrants. It’s almost as if this woman was getting VIP treatment for some reason. Yet, she was still brought in to our country. The Tucson agent I spoke to had no further insight or comment on the identity of this woman, but noted that this exact spot is where buses have been dropping off hundreds of migrants at a time straight off Highway 2.
When I asked if CBP would be putting out a press release accompanying the video, the agent told me, “The video speaks for itself.” Indeed it does.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.