The shocking May border apprehension numbers are bad enough, but what is worse is what we are not seeing coming in, but is getting in nonetheless because of the catch-and-release of Central American families.
Sunday’s Border Patrol statistics from just one Texas county tell the story of a border crisis that is more of a national security issue than just an immigration problem.
On Tuesday, Jaeson Jones, a retired Texas Department of Public Safety captain who used to manage the daily operations of the Texas Rangers’ Border Security Operations Center (BSOC) tweeted out the following:
TRIPWIRES & TRIGGERS Sunday Roma, Tx Gulf Cartel brought waves of people & drugs into the U.S. for hours. Final BP numbers for the day from one station. 1,232 arrests, 347 known got-aways, 1,100 held, 119 “max” capacity at station. Only one of 72 stations on the southern border. pic.twitter.com/nC4Dl9v4RE
— Jaeson Jones (@jaeson_jones) June 4, 2019
I reached out to Jones for an exclusive interview to distill these numbers. He tells me what the politicians are missing and what the president is not getting briefed on is that the Gulf Cartel in the Rio Grande Valley is strategically controlling the flow of migrants so that they can get in more “criminals, cartel members, drugs, weapons, and special interest aliens than anyone can imagine.”
His sources tell him that last Sunday, 1,232 illegals were apprehended in Starr County alone. But what happens when Border Patrol is pulled off the line transporting and processing bogus asylum claims?
When the surges of Central American families are happening, all Border Patrol agents are pulled off the line to support the humanitarian effort, meaning we are borderless. From what I’m hearing, they are averaging 14 agents remaining on patrol for the entire 68 miles of Starr County. That is when the cartels send in all the drugs, criminal aliens, and SIAs. Plus, they send money and weapons south from the cartel associates who are already residing in the Rio Grande Valley. All of those flows of migrants and transfer of drugs, weapons, and criminals are coordinated activities.
For months, Customs and Border Protection’s political brass has been warning how bad people and items are getting in while Border Patrol is tied down. CBP in Tucson warned yesterday, “Transnational criminal organizations are employing dangerous and unconventional methods to smuggle humans and drugs into the United States, hindering law enforcement and first responder capabilities.”
Now, Jones is putting a number on that. Just this Sunday, Jones said, there were 347 known “got aways.” Again, that is just in one county on one day. Given how generously we are offering status to anyone who comes here, “one has to fear that many of the got aways are the worst of the worst” who really don’t want to get apprehended, according to Jones.
I asked Jones how Border Patrol collates this daily data on got aways. As a former commander of Texas’s Border Security Operations Center, he helped collate for state law enforcement all the intel from CBP as well as from local law enforcement as part of Operation Secure Texas like no other border state government. “BSOC has 30+ analysts who pull all border data from all agencies and collates them and then shares it with local, state and federal officials.”
“It’s a multi-layered approach,” explained Jones. “First, we have thousands of sensors in the ground that notifies us about foot or vehicle traffic crossing the border. Next, there are thousands upon thousands of ‘Drawbridge cameras’ that spot the actual bodies coming over in addition to tall tower cameras that scan the broader area. Unlike other state governments, in Texas, we invested millions in this technology.”
Finally, Jones explained the feds have their Aerostat blimps equipped with sensors as well as their helicopters and drones. Border Patrol begins the data collation by counting footprints in the ground and adding them to the hits they get on all the cameras and sensors. Then they compare those suspected infiltrations against the apprehension numbers. “The difference between the two is the rough estimation of how many people got away that day in the given area of operation.” Hence, this is how Border Patrol estimates there were 347 got aways on Sunday in Starr County.
I reached out to CBP’s press office for comment confirming or denying Sunday’s got away numbers but have not received a statement as of publication.
I did, however, confirm with a line agent in the Rio Grande Valley Sector that there were indeed 347 “known got aways” on Sunday in Starr County. The agent, who must remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the press, also confirmed, that “in recent days, Border Patrol has been forced to divert 70-75% of resources in parts of Texas to deal with the humanitarian care.” He told me that Starr is the second most trafficked area for both human smuggling (behind Hidalgo County, Texas) and drugs (behind Ajo Arizona station).
This veteran agent was certain that the number of got aways is likely an undercount. “Cutting sign,” which means counting the footprints of the got aways, “is often difficult.” “The guides will often brush out the sign, walk in hard-packed areas, or travel in thick brush, Caliche or on hard-paved roads.” Much of the traffic in those areas is unaccounted for.
The fact that our immigration policies are allowing cartels to tie down all but a handful of agents for 68 miles and smuggle in hundreds of dangerous people and goods should make this a national defense issue, not an immigration issue. Even if the president didn’t have immigration authority to shut down all asylum requests, which he does, his power as commander-in-chief should allow him to shut it down just on account of the national security problems it creates, as it is used as the prime strategic weapon of our enemies.
The veteran border agent has had it and said morale is very low. “So much of our Texas border is wide open many days. The cartel, just like any other insurgency, watches and records our every move… so they can gain the upper hand in ALL their OPERATIONS. They see how we responded to the traffic… They see how we are not prosecuting… They see how the government has left us behind,” Jones messaged.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.