AUSTIN, Texas – President Donald Trump’s decision to militarize the southern border with Mexico was received with pleasure by the National Border Patrol Council, which called the measure the act of a leader who cares deeply for his country and its citizens.
NBPC spokesman Art del Cueto said in an interview with EFE that more personnel are needed to monitor the border, given the volume of undocumented immigrants crossing over each day, and he added that with the arrival of the National Guard on the frontier “more people could see what’s happening here.”
Del Cueto said that deploying troops in the region is not a new strategy, given that previous administrations have ordered the National Guard to the border, although given the avalanche of reactions to Trump’s proposal, he believes that “the fashionable thing is to attack” the administration’s decisions.
“It’s nice to have a president like Trump, and I say that as an Hispanic. Many Hispanic countries would like to have someone who really loves his country and the citizens of his country,” he said.
The NBPC spokesman said that despite the fact that the number of undocumented migrants trying to cross the border has fallen off over the winter, it will begin rising again in the coming months, spurred – among other things – by the “catch and release” program whereby migrants are detained and, because there are not enough US immigration judges, they are then released pending deportation hearings.
Last month, 50,308 apprehensions of migrants were made along the border, a 203 percent increase over the 16,588 detained in the same month in 2017, when there had been a noteworthy drop in the northward flow of undocumented migrants because of their fear over Trump’s taking office.
Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera agreed with Del Cueto’s argument, telling local media that the units in the Rio Grande Valley, one of the most heavily traveled areas for migrants heading north, are overwhelmed by the situation.
Given these data, the NBPC is completely supportive of building a concrete wall along the US-Mexico border, believing that it “would help” reduce the number of illegal entries by migrants and also the inflow of narcotics from Mexico.
“Fewer thieves enter a locked house than an open one ... It doesn’t have anything to do with hating Mexico or Central America,” said Del Cueto.
He said that with the lack of sufficient law enforcement manpower along the border, building a wall in certain strategic areas would provide an obstacle for people who want to enter the US illegally, since it would increase the time they need to cross and provide US authorities with the chance to apprehend them more easily.
The administration says that since Congress is the only authority that can change the country’s immigration system, lawmakers need to approve a law to do so as soon as possible and, in fact, this week announced that it will soon send a new immigration bill to Capitol Hill, although the contents of that plan are not yet publicly known.