A few days ago, the news broke that Texas was being flooded with thousands upon thousands of illegal immigrants, mostly children, from Central America. The numbers are so overwhelming for the state that they started busing the immigrants to Arizona and California.
Almost half of the California Border Patrol agents have been taken off patrol to take care of these children. Consequently, there are now very few people to patrol the borders.
The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers issued, in part, this statement: “This is not a humanitarian crisis. It is a predictable, orchestrated and contrived assault on the compassionate side of Americans by her political leaders that knowingly puts minor Illegal Alien children at risk for purely political purposes.”
The Washington Times reports, “Federal authorities have predicted that the number of children illegally crossing the border without parents this year will hit at 90,000—up from an average 6,500 over years past,” and possibly 140,000 more next year.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer called the overload a “crisis of the federal government’s creation.”
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), who has been warning for years that the Obama administration lack of enforcing our borders were creating a crisis and recently said, “President Obama is responsible for this calamity.”
So far, California Governor Jerry Brown has been silent on the issue.
Shawn Moran, a California Border Patrol agent and Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council, who has appeared several times on FOX News, most recently with Megyn Kelly of Fox News’ “The Kelly File,” spoke to me about the flood of children coming in and its effect on our Border Patrol agents.
LS: I live near a Border Patrol station in Southern California. When our community received word that 500 children a week were going to be “dumped,” processed, and then released at the Murrieta station, obviously everyone was concerned. A number of questions were being asked, one being whether or not the station was equipped to handle it, its effect on our community and the welfare of the children.
Shawn Moran: The Murrieta Border Patrol Station of the San Diego sector is not equipped to handle that type of influx of illegal aliens, both in terms of manpower and infrastructure. The station is generally utilized as a Border Patrol station, not a processing center. Once processed, the illegal aliens will be given a court date and paperwork telling them when to report back. Most never do. They will be released into a city that has no services to assist them, no shelters for them, or even a bus station.
LS: Was anyone planning on telling the Murrieta city officials about this?
Shawn Moran: According to the information we have received, no one in the Border Patrol was even going to notify the City of Murrieta about this plan or the influx of illegal aliens they will receive.
LS: I understand that the drop off has been stopped. Is it permanent or temporary and who is responsible for stopping it?
Shawn Moran: It is hard to know if it is temporary or permanent. I believe the media is responsible for stopping it. Our experience has been that CBP (California Border Patrol) and the Border Patrol only respond to negative attention.
LS: It’s easier to send adults back to their native land, but because this latest illegal migration consists of children, it appeals to the hearts of Americans. Whenever the government wants something passed, like institutionalizing gambling, it’s always sold as being for the children. (The proceeds from gambling often goes to our public schools, particularly in California.) Do we know whether or not this flood was strategically orchestrated? It makes me wonder what the federal government is planning. Why are so many arriving at one time and why is it continuing?
Shawn Moran: This started due to violence and dire economic circumstances in Central America, but now continues because those who have been released into the U.S. have told their friends and family members. The overwhelming number of detainees we have interviewed have told us they came because they heard the U.S. was issuing “permisos” and not enforcing the immigration laws.
LS: Something is afoot when Obama is asking for $2 billion of our tax dollars to house and feed these children when this past April, the agents received a huge pay cut. I can’t imagine the toll the overall stress is taking on your agents. Please tell us about that.
Shawn Moran: Agents have taken a $6-7k pay cut due to sequestration and budgetary reasons. This impacts staffing levels and leaves gaps in our border coverage. Full staffing would have only cost $120 million, but that was denied. Yet now we have billions to throw at this problem.
LS: Rev. Jarrett Maupin, President, Phoenix-Based Progressive Christian Coalition told Megyn Kelly (relating the similarities between this and Katrina’s rescue efforts, which he observed first hand), “I was on the receiving end here, even in Phoenix, Arizona, when Katrina folks got off of the plane and were taken to our Coliseum. So, it was basic things that my group tried to impress upon Border Patrol while we were there. Had the chaplains been over to see the children? The answer was no. Has your staff, Border Patrol staff hugged the children? Have you told them that they are alright and they will be safe? The answer was no.”
Shawn, I understand Rev. Maupin’s humanitarian concern, but it appears these questions were asked of the Border Patrol agents at only one location and we don’t know how many agents he asked. What is your response to the reverend’s statements? We all understand many of these children have the highly contagious MRSA virus and chickenpox among other illnesses, how do you balance being a law enforcement officer and a compassionate American citizen?
Shawn Moran: I think these questions were probably asked of managers. Our agents have shown great compassion by bringing in food, clothes, diapers, and toys for these children. Agents even made a birthday cake for one child in custody. He had never seen a birthday cake before and was very excited.
LS: Briebart.com reported on June 15 that the Associated Press acquired an e-mail sent to 3,000 Border Patrol agentsfrom Eligio “Lee” Pena, an assistant patrol agent saying agents who talk to the media could possibly face criminal charges and be subject to disciplinary action even though some media could disguise themselves allowing for agents to unknowingly speak to them. Briebart reports that telephone calls and e-mails to many agents are not being returned. We applaud you for stepping forward, Shawn, as you have recently done by appearing on Megyn Kelly’s show and Fox and Friends as well as granting PolitiChicks this interview. Are you aware of Pena’s e-mail threat?
Shawn Moran: We are aware of the email and feel it is misguided and short-sighted. CBP should allow the press and non-governmental agencies to tour these stations and detention facilities. Show them we have nothing to hide and that agents are doing their jobs extremely well under very trying circumstances.
(Author’s Note: Are gang members part of this invasion? The National Review offers this response from Chris Cabrera of the National Border Patrol Council, Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley: “Border Patrol officials struggling to keep up with the increasing number of minors illegally crossing the Mexican border are not turning away persons with known gang affiliations…Cabrera explained that a Border Patrol agent he represents helped reunite a teenage gang member with his family in the United States. Cabrera notes the young member of Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a transnational criminal gang, had no criminal record in the U.S., but asks, “If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here?”
Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”