MCALLEN, Texas – Border Patrol union members are saying morale among their ranks is tanking under the Biden administration, blaming policies that allegedly encourage the massive southern border surge, reducing their capacity to catch criminals.
“Morale is in the toilet. I mean, I’ve been here 20 going on 21 years. I’ve never seen it this bad,” National Border Patrol Council spokesman Chris Cabrera told Fox News Digital.
“When you have all we have going on now with the administration just flat out calling our guys racists with the stuff that happened out in Eagle Pass or Del Rio, when you’re allowing people to come over and in a sense just flaunt the rules right in your face, we’re not doing what we’re hired to do,” Cabrera continued.
A group of migrants is led out of the brush and to a main road near Hidalgo, Texas by Texas National Guard. ((Tyler Olson/Fox News))
Cabrera made the comments ahead of a night tour of the border with Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., Kat Cammack, R-Fla, and Stephanie Bice, R-Okla. Fox News Digital and a group of Florida law enforcement officials joined the tour and witnessed dozens of migrants, including young children, being detained by law enforcement.
One teenage girl told the lawmakers it was not her first time crossing the border, and that she expected the government to bring her to family members in Tennessee.
“She’s originally from Honduras, actually lived in the U.S. for about five years with her aunt in Tennessee and traveled back to the border because her goal is to reunite with her aunt in Tennessee,” Bice said of her conversation with the girl. “She seemed very comfortable with the process. She knew what papers to bring and did not seem uncomfortable or scared about being taken in.”
Border Patrol apprehends a group of migrants near a section of the border wall near Hidalgo, Texas. ((Tyler Olson/Fox News))
Cabrera said that on many nights, officers are more focused on processing poor migrants who turn themselves in – like that teenage girl – than on catching criminals. That lack of focus in their duty, Cabrera said, leads to “smugglers going right past us and there’s… no manpower left to get him.”
The Border Patrol union representative said he places the blame for those issues on the Biden administration.
“Any time you have a new administration that comes in, I mean, it’s their ballgame. They get to make the rules,” Cabrera said. “But our thought is, if you’re gonna take something out of play, take a rule or policy out of play, you have to replace it with something.”
Cabrera added: “You just can’t pull it out. It’s like a bucket. If you’re gonna pull one bucket out that’s catching water, you’ve got to have another bucket in its spot. It seems here we just pulled all the buckets out just for the sake of pulling it out.”
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encounters at the southern border reached nearly 240,000 in May 2022. That is up from just over 180,000 at the same time in 2021 and 144,116 in 2019.
In the Rio Grande Valley where Fox News Digital toured the border with National Border Patrol Union members, encounters are up to 333,224 this year so far, compared to 272,300 through the same time in 2021. Encounters in the Rio Grande Valley were down in May 2022 compared to May 2021, however.
A life vest and a deflated raft are left in the brush on the U.S. side of the Rio Grande, as seen on a tour of the river with the Texas Department of Public Safety. When trafficked heavily, the grass becomes pushed down around these landing areas, creating easily distinguishable paths. ((Tyler Olson/Fox News))
McAllen BPS Chief Union Representative Dominic Violante made similar comments in a briefing with reporters, calling administration policies “devastating” to morale.
“We joined to stop all those statistics, the fentanyl, the rapists, the murderers, the molesters, and those people are still out there,” Violante said. “If I’m over here with 100 women and kids, and this guy’s disabled, and that lady’s blind and, she’s pregnant going into contractions – that’s going to take hours of my time, and my partner’s time.”
Violante emphasized that officers feel “obligated” to help the vulnerable migrants who are crossing the border in droves, and they willingly do so. However, he said handling those issues takes focus away from stopping criminals from getting into the U.S.
“That’s hours that we’re not out there even counting the gotaways,” he said. “We’re not there to see the sign, or answer the cameras, or use the binoculars to even see the groups. And so not only are they not getting apprehended, they’re not even being detected after the fact.”
A high level CBP source confirmed to Fox News last week that there are 440,000 known gotaways since the beginning of the 2022 fiscal year last October, and more than 50,000 in May alone.
Texas Department of Public Safety spokesman Chris Olivarez, meanwhile, said members of his agency patrolling the border feel “a lot of support” from state leadership. Nevertheless, he said, troopers working the border for Texas’ “Operation Lone Star” are feeling the stress of the massive migrant surge too.
“We have troopers that are away from their homes because they’re dedicated to their operation,” Olivarez said. “They’re taken away from their homes, you know, of course families, you know, all that gets, that becomes challenging for them as well… We’re trying to do as much as we can with what we have right now.”
Some hotels in southern Texas are packed with law enforcement officers. At one hotel in McAllen, Fox News witnessed droves of Texas Game Warden vehicles and officers, as well as National Guard troops. A Texas Game Warden officer said they were there at the order of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott supporting Operation Lone Star.
Olivarez joined Donalds, Cammack and Reps. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., and Jodey Arrington, R-Texas, on a boat tour of the Rio Grande Friday.
Officers showed the members the heavy Texas state and federal law enforcement presence along the river, as well as a section of privately constructed border wall between the river and farmers’ fields on the U.S. side.
The boat also stopped in several locations to tour landing spots for migrants who come across the Rio Grande in rafts. The brush along the riverbank in those spots was heavily trodden down, signaling large amounts of traffic had passed through.
Customs and Border Protection did not respond to a request for comment for this report.
Fox News’ Bill Melugin contributed to this report.
Tyler Olson covers politics for Fox News Digital. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @TylerOlson1791.
A pro-life group says that the armed man who allegedly plotted to kill Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh “apparently acted on the incendiary words of Sen. Chuck Schumer.”
The group Created Equal, said that Nicholas Roske, 26, who was charged with attempted murder, apparently acted on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s words when he said “Brett Kavanaugh will pay the price” in March 2020.
“Today, an abortion advocate apparently acted on the incendiary words of Sen. Chuck Schumer that Justice Brett Kavanaugh ‘will pay the price.’ The inflammatory rhetoric of the left is leading to violence. It’s time for the Biden administration to publicly call for abortion advocates to turn down the temperature,” the Created Equal statement reads.
Schumer said in March 2020 in a speech outside the Supreme Court that Kavanaugh has “released the whirlwind and you will pay the price.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., responds to questions from reporters during a press conference. (AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades)
Later, Schumer walked back some of those comments and said the words “didn’t come out the way I intended to,” attempting to explain that his point was that there would be political consequences if the Supreme Court “stripped away a woman’s right to choose.”
“Now, I should not have used the words I used yesterday. They didn’t come out the way I intended to. My point was that there would be political consequences–political consequences–for President Trump and Senate Republicans if the Supreme Court, with the newly confirmed Justices, stripped away a woman’s right to choose. Of course, I didn’t intend to suggest anything other than political and public opinion consequences for the Supreme Court, and it is a gross distortion to imply otherwise,” Schumer said.
Roske was charged with the attempted murder of a Supreme Court Justice after he was allegedly seen carrying a gun, knife, and pepper spray outside of Kavanaugh’s Maryland home on early Wednesday morning, according to sources.
Roske told authorities he was “upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to an abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas,” adding that he believed Kavanaugh “would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws,” according to the affidavit.
83% of Americans dissatisfied with how things are going in the US, poll says
ALEC SCHEMMEL | The National Desk
FILE – President Joe Biden arrives at the White House, in Washington, from his Asian trip, Tuesday, May 24, 2022. The Congressional Budget Office released an economic outlook Wednesday saying that high inflation will persist into next year, likely causing the federal government to pay higher interest rates on its debt. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
WASHINGTON (TND) — A whopping 83% of Americans are dissatisfied with the current path the United States is on, according to new Gallup polling.
That means the amount of those satisfied, just 16%, is 20 points lower than Americans’ satisfaction four months after President Joe Biden took office and a six-point drop since last month, Gallup’s survey data shows.
Americans’ dissatisfaction coincides with Biden’s low approval ratings.
Gallup puts Biden’s approval rating at 41%, but according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll released Tuesday Biden’s approval rating is at 36%.
Biden’s 36% approval rating from Reuters-Ipsos is his lowest to date in that particular poll.
Last month, a Quinnipiac University poll showed Biden’s approval rating at 33%, also an all-time low in that poll.
Besides Biden’s actions on the Russia-Ukraine crisis, the president has been under immense scrutiny for growing inflation and an out-of-control southern border.
A FiveThirtyEight-Ipsos poll found that 52% of Americans think inflation is the most important issue facing the country right now.
Americans primarily blame Biden and the war in Ukraine for the U.S.’s high inflation, which as of last month sits near a 41-year high of 8.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A Morning Consult-Politico poll indicated 40% of Americans think Biden’s policies are “very responsible” for the country’s high inflation. Sixty-one percent believe Biden is at least “somewhat responsible” for inflation.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a research arm of the federal government, predicts the nation’s deficit will total $1 trillion in 2022 and nearly $16 trillion over subsequent decades under the current economic policy.
The nation’s debt to GDP ratio is expected to be strong in 2023. However, the CBO says the current reprieve could be short lived, projecting the nation’s debt to GDP ratio will surge to record highs by 2032.
The combination of expiring COVID relief and massive inflation, along with the economic recovery, have helped provide a fiscal reprieve. But trillion-dollar deficits are here to stay, and $2 trillion deficits will arrive by 2031. Meanwhile, debt is slated to reach a record 110 percent of GDP within a decade and could rise even further if lawmakers extend various expiring policies,” according to the CBO’s economic analysis.
Rather than declare victory and abandon deficit-reduction efforts, policymakers should work together to truly bring our deficit and debt under control,” the analysis continues. “It’s time to put words into action and enact a fiscal plan that pays for new initiatives, lowers health care costs, raises revenue, secures our major trust funds, cuts wasteful spending, stomps out inflation, and promotes strong economic growth.
The crisis at the southern border has also been a major point of criticism for Biden and his administration.
Gallup polling from March, before Biden announced he would be terminating the Title 42 expulsion policy, showed Americans’ concerns over illegal immigration is near a two-decade high. Forty-one percent reported worrying a great deal about the issue, with another 19% saying they are worried a fair amount.
Texas communities, like Eagle Pass, are bearing the burden of Biden’s open border policies,” Texas Governor Greg Abbott said this week. “The Lone Star State will not waiver in our efforts to secure the border. We’re deploying all resources necessary to prevent the flow of drugs, smugglers, & criminals coming into Texas.
“While mothers and fathers stare at empty grocery store shelves in a panic, the Biden administration is happy to provide baby formula to illegal immigrants coming across our southern border. This is yet another one in a long line of reckless, out-of-touch priorities from the Biden administration when it comes to securing our border and protecting Americans.”
— Joint statement by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) President Brandon Judd, May 12
Cammack sparked a furor Thursday when she posted photos that compared what she said were stockpiles of baby formula for undocumented immigrants with empty grocery shelves for Americans in local stores. “You see the American government sending by the pallet thousands and thousands of containers of baby formula to the border, that would make my blood boil,” she said.
The Texas governor, along with other Republicans, quickly jumped on the bandwagon, issuing a joint statement with a president of a labor union that represents Border Patrol agents.
Cammack said she was not blaming the babies — “it is not the children’s fault at all” — but she and Abbott blasted the Biden administration for allowing this happen.
The problem is that the Biden administration is following the law — a law that President Donald Trump also followed (though he wasn’t happy about it).
At issue is something called the Flores consent decree, which began as a class-action lawsuit regarding the treatment of migrant children. The Justice Department negotiated a settlement in 1997 during President Bill Clinton’s administration.
The Flores settlement requires the federal government to release rather than detain undocumented immigrant children, first to their parents if possible, to other adult relatives if not, and to licensed programs willing to accept custody if no relatives are available. A 2015 judicial ruling then said the Flores settlement covered all children in immigration officials’ custody, regardless of whether they were apprehended crossing the border alone or with family.
Here’s the relevant section of the settlement, which refers to the now-defunct Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Note the reference to food: “Whenever the INS takes a minor into custody, it shall expeditiously process the minor and shall provide the minor with a notice of rights, including the right to a bond redetermination hearing if applicable. Following arrest, the INS shall hold minors in facilities that are safe and sanitary and that are consistent with the INS’s concern for the particular vulnerability of minors. Facilities will provide access to toilets and sinks, drinking water and food as appropriate, medical assistance if the minor is in need of emergency services, adequate temperature control and ventilation, adequate supervision to protect minors from others, and contact with family members who were arrested with the minor.”
A 2015 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) document laid out national standards for transport, escort, detention and search processes. These standards are derived from the Flores settlement and a 2008 law that codified elements of Flores, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
Among those standards: “Food must be appropriate for at-risk detainees’ age and capabilities (such as formula and baby food).”
We mentioned that Trump was no fan of Flores. He tried to get rid of it but was blocked by the courts. So he followed the law, too. “We also observed all Border Patrol stations had food, snacks, juice, and infant formula available for children,” said a 2020 Department of Homeland Security Inspector General report on how the administration struggled to manage the 2019 migrant surge.
“CBP takes seriously its legal responsibility to ensure the safety and security of individuals in our custody,” a DHS spokesman said. “Ensuring migrants, including children and infants, in our custody have their basic needs met is in line with this Administration’s commitment to ensuring safe, orderly, and humane processes at our border. CBP complies with all applicable regulations for the purchase of products used in CBP facilities.”
We sought comments from Cammack, Abbott and Judd but did not get responses.
This is a ridiculous faux outrage. The shortage of baby formula is a serious issue that the administration is seeking to address. But at the same time, the administration cannot be faulted for following the law and providing baby formula to undocumented immigrants. Anyone who suggests this is the result of specific Biden policies, i.e., his “reckless, out-of-touch priorities,” earns Four Pinocchios.
House Republicans are calling for swift action from the Biden administration to address the nationwide shortage of baby formula.
Joined by more than a dozen of her colleagues outside the Capitol on Thursday, Elise Stefanik, who serves as House GOP conference chairwoman and has a nine-month-old son, took aim at President Biden and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over their unwillingness to ensure that mothers across the country have the formula their young children need.
Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., speaks during a news conference about the shortage of baby formula outside the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“I’ve led on this issue since February and we, as House Republicans, continue to demand answers from the FDA,” Stefanik said. “Unsurprisingly, when I reached out in February from my office to the FDA we received no substantive response. Joe Biden simply has no plan. In fact, when Joe Biden’s White House was asked about the shortage, they laughed. Shameful. Make no mistake, there is nothing laughable or funny about this crisis.”
“Today, House Republicans are here to push for action from the FDA and the Biden administration who should have had a plan for this shortage months ago,” she added. “Instead, bare shelves Biden has continued to pass the buck. … This is not a Third World country. This should never happen in the United States of America. We’re unified in demanding action to address this crisis.”
Echoing Stefanik’s remarks, Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., said, “This is sadly Joe Biden’s America.”
“Working families are already struggling to put food on the table due to the skyrocketing costs of every day items, and now they are facing a crisis that is threatening the very lives of their newborn children,” Wagner said. “This baby formula shortage is hitting mothers all over the country, but especially in my home state of Missouri.”
A House member holds a can of Similac infant formula during a news conference about the shortage of baby formula outside the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Wagner said her constituents are feeling the heat from the lack of formula in Missouri and noted that the state is “one of six states in America that has its baby formula out of stock.”
“Businesses and retailers are rationing supplies … limiting the amount of formula a customer can buy,” she said. “As the proud grandmother of two and another sweet baby on the way, it is terrifying to think of the desperation parents in my district are feeling when they cannot provide the basic necessities they need for their children.”
Also in attendance for the press conference was Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., who said she is hearing from mothers, support groups, and nurses in Washington state that “this is the biggest crisis they have faced.”
“Families are turning to the internet because they are so desperate,” she said. “It is extremely dangerous when you think about moms going to the grocery store and having an empty shelf. In some cases they’re driving for hours in order to get the baby formula that they need, and they certainly don’t need to be facing empty shelves.”
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., speaks during a news conference about the shortage of baby formula outside the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“We shouldn’t be rationing formulas to keep their babies fed,” she added. “Some families rely on specific formula. I talked with one mom who has a baby with allergies and it’s extremely difficult. She feels like she’s playing Russian roulette as she goes to the store. President Biden and the FDA must do more. This is a matter of life or death.”
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., the father of three young children, recognized the fact that “parents are struggling in America” as they seek formula for their children.
“The Biden administration has made every aspect of family life more difficult,” he said. “You go to the grocery store you see the rising price on the shelves of every available thing, and yet, you also go the grocery store and you see the lack of availability of key things you need for family life. Now we see the lack of access to baby formula and we ask why. This is not just a supply chain crisis. This is a crisis for families to be able to feed their children.
Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., speaks during a news conference about the shortage of baby formula outside the US Capitol in Washington, D.C., US, on Thursday, May 12, 2022. (Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
“When it comes to baby formula, people can see this for themselves what this administration has brought in terms of regulatory policy and then the lack of competence in responding to firm desires in society, firm needs in society, and that’s why we’re here to raise this question,” he added. “This is not meant to be a partisan exercise, but we’ve come together because we don’t see Democrats raising the same issue and willing to work with us to get some answer from this administration. We’re demanding answers.”
Parents across the nation have been panicked and desperate as supply disruptions and a massive safety recall by manufacturer Abbott have created widespread shortages. For the first week of May, the nationwide out-of-stock percentage for baby formula rose to 43%, according to Datasembly, which tracks product data for retailers. That’s up from 30% at the start of April.
Both the White House and the FDA said they are working to address the shortages.
“Ensuring that infant formula is safe and available for families across the country is a top priority to the White House and this administration,” Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House principal deputy press secretary, said Wednesday.
She said April sales of formula were up about 10 percent from March and consumers should be able to find general powdered infant formula in stores as the FDA is working with the industry to maximize production capabilities and supply lines here and abroad.
White House Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House on November 5, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
“This is an urgent issue that the FDA, as you all know, and the White House is working 24/7 to address,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.
The FDA issued an update on Tuesday on its plan to address the baby formula shortages. In a statement to Fox News Digital, the agency said it is “using all available tools” to ensure access to safe products. The agency said it is closely working with Abbott to resume safe production at its Sturgis facility.
Empty formula shelves are shown in a Target store in Long Island, New York. (Nicole Pelletiere, Fox News Digital)
“Our first and foremost priority is ensuring that any recalled product remains off the market and we are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and manufacturers to ensure that parents have access to alternative, safe infant formula,” the FDA said in a statement to Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “We will and must continue focusing on taking all steps possible to protect the health of those who rely on safe powdered infant formula.”
President Biden, according to a White House official, is slated to virtually speak with retailers and infant formula manufacturers Thursday evening.
Fox News’ Marisa Schultz contributed to this article.
On Tuesday, the Center for Medical Progress (CMP) released an explosive video that appears to show Planned Parenthood executives admitting that they charged a fee to medical companies for aborted baby body parts directly, despite the taxpayer-funded organization claiming their only “fees” were for transportation and other legal services.
David Daleiden, project lead for CMP, alleged in a press release that the video (which can be viewed below) is more confirmation that Planned Parenthood lied to the public and Congress about aborted baby trafficking.
“The time has come for federal consequences for Planned Parenthood,” Daleiden said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood lied to the public and to Congress, but now there is no longer any reasonable doubt that Planned Parenthood sold fetal body parts, commodifying living children in the womb and treating pregnant women like a cash crop.”
“The U.S. Department of Justice must escalate the enforcement of laws against fetal trafficking to the highest level of priority,” he added.
The video, which is of court records and proceedings, shows emails and contracts, and features testimony from Planned Parenthood executives appearing to discuss the selling of baby body parts at certain corporation affiliates.
Pro-life organization LiveAction argues that the video “disputes the argument that money received was nothing more than reimbursement for costs sustained by Planned Parenthood. Testimony revealed that payment was only made to Planned Parenthood if StemExpress was able to obtain ‘usable’ body parts from one of its abortion centers — meaning Planned Parenthood deceived the public when it claimed it only collected reimbursements for employees’ time and costs.”
As noted by CMP, “42 U.S. Code 289g-2 broadly forbids the exchange of valuable consideration for fetal tissue.”
“While the law allows for reimbursements of specific costs when donating fetal organs, those reimbursements must meet specific guidelines;” LiveAction continued, “they must be fees associated with transportation, processing, and other such costs. Planned Parenthood did none of these things, yet they collected money when they provided StemExpress with marketable body parts.”
Additionally, while the abortion giant told The New York Times that they “rebuffed” a contract to sell aborted baby livers for $750 each and $1600 for liver/thymus pairs, emails and testimony from Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast’s Senior Director of Abortion Access Tram Nguyen appears to reveal that she was looking to “move forward” with a deal.
At just one affiliate, Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the clinic reportedly took in $25,000 in just three months from deals for aborted baby body parts, invoices showed. Founder and CEO of Planned Parenthood partner Advanced Bioscience Resources, Linda Tracy, was repeatedly told by her lawyer on video not to disclose how much the company was taking in.
Planned Parenthood is currently not charged with any violations of U.S. code and has yet to fall under an investigation over the matter of selling or exchanging fetal tissue.
“PPMM does over 17,000 abortions a year, and unsealed invoices show PPMM making $25,000 in just 3 months from StemExpress,” CMP said. “When asked how much money an abortion clinic could make per year from selling fetal body parts, the founder and CEO of Planned Parenthood partner Advanced Bioscience Resources, Linda Tracy, was forbidden by her lawyer to answer.”
JEANINE PIRRO: A radical leftist group has released the addresses of the conservative Supreme Court justices calling on their legion of liberal followers to march to the judges’ homes. Activist group Ruth Sent Us wrote on their website, “Our 6-3 extremist Supreme Court routinely issues rulings that hurt women, racial minorities, LGBTQ+, and immigrant rights. We must rise up to force accountability using a diversity of tactics.” Now we know when Democrats say peaceful protest, it doesn’t exactly mean peaceful, especially when they use words like rise up and force accountability. On their website, the group also mentions paying out stipends to help in their protest. Where are they getting their money from? Who is funding these people? We know liberal advocates have a history of organizing protests against the court, like the group Demand Justice, who protested the Brett Kavanaugh confirmations. They’re fighting to expand the court and are backed with George Soros money. But there’s less known about smaller groups like Ruth Sent Us. They appear to be doing the dirty work of posting the judges’ addresses.
Workers assemble non-scalable fences around the Supreme Court Building amid ongoing abortion-rights demonstrations on May 4, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) (Photo by Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images)
Releasing the home addresses of Supreme Court justices is extremely dangerous. Keep in mind, some of these justices have small children. And while they fenced off the Supreme Court, the homes of the justices are out in the open. Now that their addresses are public, any crazy leftist could walk right up and change the course of history. Now, Democrats should be discouraging this, but instead they are fanning the flames.
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