A group of Brazilian migrants make their way around a gap in the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Ariz., seeking asylum in the U.S. after crossing over from Mexico, June 8, 2021. ((AP Photo/Eugene Garcia, File))
Dozens of House Democrats this week introduced legislation that would grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have been in the country for more than seven years — reviving a failed attempt from last year.
The “Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act of 1929,” is sponsored by 46 lawmakers and would update a registry in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
That registry allows the Homeland Security Secretary to “register” illegal immigrants for permanent status if they have been in the country since before a certain date. That date was last updated to Jan. 1 1972 during the Reagan administration.
The latest Democratic bill would update the registry, but instead of setting a firm date would make the eligibility “rolling,” meaning that illegal immigrants who have been in the country for seven years would be eligible for legalization — and eventual citizenship.
The main sponsors of the bill are Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif.,, Norma Torres, D-Calif., Grace Meng, D-NY, Lou Correa, D-Calif., Adriano Espaillat, D-NY,, and Jesús “Chuy” García, D-Ill. It has also been backed by a slew of immigration rights organizations and other liberal groups.
“For decades, immigrants who contribute significantly to our communities and our economy, have been relegated to a legal limbo,” Lofgren said in a statement. “I’m proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to provide these immigrants with the stability and certainty they and their families deserve. Updating this historically bipartisan provision to provide lawful permanent resident status to immigrants who have been a part of our communities for years will make our immigration system fairer and our country stronger.”
Rep. Garcia, meanwhile, estimated that it would give a legal pathway to a massive eight million illegal immigrants.
“Today there is renewed hope for millions of immigrants who have lived in our country, formed families, bought homes, and have been part of their communities, sometimes for decades,” he said. “This bill provides an opportunity to give peace of mind and a legal path for approximately 8 million immigrants.
Democrats had included a provision to update the registry last year, when Democrats were proposing amnesty provisions that could potentially be included in a budget reconciliation bill. Such a bill would only need 50 votes in the Senate and therefore not require any Republican support if all Democrats were united.
However, the “Plan B,” which would have updated the registry to allow illegal immigrants in the country before 2010 to be legalized, was rejected by the parliamentarian — and the budget reconciliation proposal as a whole was torpedoed when Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said he wouldn’t support it.
Republicans, including lawmakers who are typically open to negotiation on immigration matters, have repeatedly ruled out support for amnesty provisions unless there is progress with solving the enormous migrant crisis that has overwhelmed the southern border.
There were more than 209,000 migrant encounters in June alone, 79,652 of whom were released into the United States. There have been 1,746,119 total encounters at the southern border the current fiscal year — already eclipsing last fiscal year’s historic numbers.
Top Biden administration officials have backed calls for pathways to citizenship for illegal immigrants already in the country. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas this week claimed the border is “secure” and appeared to push for lawmakers to pass legislation that would include some form of amnesty.
“I have said to a number of legislators who expressed to me that we need to address the challenge at the border before they pass legislation and I take issue with the math of holding the solution hostage until the problem is resolved,” he said.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, with a focus on immigration. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY
Florida AG Moody urges Biden to declare fentanyl a weapon of mass destruction
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EXCLUSIVE: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody is calling for illicit fentanyl to be declared a weapon of mass destruction after two mass overdoses in her state — and amid an increase in overdoses attributed to the deadly drug.
Moody is urging President Biden to either use executive authority or urge Congress to declare fentanyl a WMD — a move that would require government agencies like the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department and the Pentagon to work together.
“Given how many Americans are being murdered, the whole federal government and every tactic and capability that we have should be utilized to stop the death and destruction that fentanyl is causing,” she says in a letter to Biden.
A weapon of mass destruction is defined by the U.S. government as a “nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, or other device that is intended to harm a large number of people.” Moody’s office cited prior government assessments that fentanyl “is very likely a viable option for a chemical weapon attack.”
“Relying on non-state criminal actors and terrorist to think or act as expected is a losing proposition. The reality is that the deadliness of fentanyl combined with its sheer availability in Mexico to criminal cartels and non-state actors makes it an increasingly likely weapon for use,” Moody says in the letter.
Southern border seizures of the drug, which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine and can be fatal in tiny amounts, have soared in recent years. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 10,586 pounds of the drug in FY 2021. That is up from 4,558 pounds seized in FY 2020 and 2,633 pounds seized in FY 2019.
While it is unclear how much fentanyl is getting into the U.S., since that number refers to apprehensions of the drug only, the number of deaths related to the drug is increasing. The Drug Enforcement Administration warned earlier this year of a “nationwide spike” in fentanyl-related overdoses.
The agency cited Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics that, in a 12-month period ending in October, there were more than 105,000 drug overdoses, 66% of which were related to fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. Deaths often occur when a user does not realize they are ingesting fentanyl, which is laced in with other drugs.
Moody has been sounding the alarm about the fentanyl crisis in her state and urged President Biden to raise the issue with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. The majority of fentanyl is produced in Mexico with Chinese precursors and smuggled in via the southern land border.
She cited two recent mass overdose incidents in the states, including 19 overdoses in Gadsden County over Fourth of July weekend.
“Border Patrol has seized enough fentanyl to kill the entire American population many times over,” she said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “With that in mind and the recent mass overdose events in Hillsborough and Gadsden Counties, I am demanding President Biden classify illicit fentanyl as a Weapon of Mass Destruction.”
“The federal government already works to disrupt the supply chains of other chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons—it’s not hard to imagine that similar tactics could be used to reduce the flow of illicit fentanyl into the U.S. through cartels in Mexico—and save countless American lives,” she said.
Moody says that securing the southern border would be a positive move to stop fentanyl smuggling, but that she does not hold out much hope the Biden administration will accomplish that.
“While there are many acts and steps that your administration could take, like stopping the overwhelming influx of illegal immigrants and further fortifying the southern border, I realize that your administration will not or is incapable of taking those actions,” she says in the letter.
Rep. Lance Gooden, R-Texas, had previously called for such a declaration, calling the substance “one of the most dangerous drugs responsible for creating a public health crisis in the United States.”
“It is vital the federal government takes immediate action to address the opioid epidemic and protect the American people by designating fentanyl as a [WMD],” he said.
Other Republicans had called for Biden to make it a top priority of his meeting with Mexican President Lopez Obrador.
The White House has pushed back against the Republican claims of inaction, pointing instead to a number of initiatives it has taken to tackle the opioid and fentanyl crisis, including investments in agencies for national drug control programs and $293 million for CBP to prevent fentanyl smuggling.
The White House has also successfully pushed the U.N. to ban precursor chemicals, and Biden himself issued two executive orders on the matter.
“In his first State of the Union, President Biden called on the Nation to come together and beat the opioid epidemic as part of his Unity Agenda. His National Drug Control Strategy is focused on going after the two key drivers of the crisis: untreated addiction and drug trafficking, which includes working with all our international partners to reduce the supply of illicit drugs,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, the Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, said in a statement to Fox last month. “And his budget request calls for a historic increase in funding for our Customs and Border Protection who risk their lives doing the hard work of securing our border every day. When issuing his Executive Order on sanctions, President Biden declared that international drug trafficking, including fentanyl and other synthetic opioids coming from Mexico, constitutes an extraordinary threat to the national security of the United States. And the President is addressing this crisis head on.”
Biden eventually did cite the fentanyl crisis in his public remarks alongside Lopez Obrador, saying the U.S. is “accelerating our efforts to disrupt the trafficking of fentanyl and other drugs, that are literally killing, fentanyl kills people.”
Biden also touted recent efforts by his administration to disrupt both human and drug smuggling, which he said resulted in 20,000 operations and more than 3,000 arrests in April.
Adam Shaw is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital, with a focus on immigration. He can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY
A group of 22 House Republicans sent a letter Friday to the Biden administration, demanding answers on reports that federal agencies have transported illegal immigrants to receive abortions.
The coalition, led by Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., addressed the letter to Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, noting recent media reports suggesting that the federal government has transported, via plane and car, minors from Texas shelters to abortion clinics in other states over the past nine months.
White House officials are exploring policies that would grant abortion access to women and girls in immigration custody, Reuters reported earlier this month.
“Your departments must immediately cease transporting illegal aliens to have abortions,” the GOP lawmakers wrote to Mayorkas and Becerra. “Abortion is not health care: it kills unborn children and harms their mothers. Federal taxpayer dollars should not be used to transport illegal aliens for abortions or otherwise facilitate abortions.
“Using federal resources to transport minors across state lines for abortions or otherwise providing or facilitating abortions for illegal aliens in DHS or HHS custody is unacceptable and must be stopped,” they added.
Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., speaks during a trip to the U.S.-Mexico border in Yuma, Arizona. (Rep. Andy Biggs)
DHS officials have also prepared a memo in recent weeks informing immigration detention centers that women in their custody should be given access to abortion regardless of their location, according to internal documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal on July 12.
“The Biden administration is now savagely transporting alien minors in federal custody to receive abortions,” Biggs told Fox News Digital in a statement. “This outrageous use of federal resources to transport minors across state lines for abortions or otherwise providing or facilitating abortions in DHS or HHS custody is a heinous act and must be stopped.
“Secretary Mayorkas and Secretary Becerra must immediately cease this conduct and provide us a thorough explanation of why this callous practice began in the first place,” he continued.
Biggs’ letter Friday listed a series of questions for both Becerra and Mayorkas. He and his fellow Republicans asked how many illegal immigrants the federal government has transported to receive abortions, how much the program is costing taxpayers and whether their agencies received parental consent before transporting girls for an abortion.
On Thursday, Reps. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., and Buddy Carter, R-Ga., introduced the Defunding Abortion Transportation Act, which would prohibit federal agencies from funding abortion transportation services.
The DHS and HHS didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Thomas Catenacci is a politics writer at Fox News Digital
A coalition attorneys general from 19 states, led by Arizona’s Mark Brnovich, has filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that supports the right of Texas and Louisiana to oppose the federal government’s Permanent Guidance on immigration policy.
The policy, handed down by the Department of Homeland Security, pauses nearly all arrests and deportations, even for illegal immigrants convicted of crimes.
“The federal government’s plan would intentionally and substantially increase illegal immigration when border crossings are already at unprecedented levels,” Brnovich says. “Instead of seeking solutions, the Biden administration is attempting to further inflame the crisis.”
The coalition argues that the volume of unlawful immigration in the past 17 months has “soared to levels unseen in the United States in decades,” resulting in equally unprecedented burdens on U.S. states.
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol in its most recent report on illegal immigration on the southwest border said there were 239,416 encounters along the region’s land border in May, a 2% increase compared to April.
The agency also pointed out that 25% of the encounters involved individuals who had at least one prior encounter in the previous 12 months – “which means that total encounters somewhat overstate the number of unique individuals arriving at the border.”
Last month, Brnovich led a similar coalition in filing an amicus brief in the same case at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
He is joined in the new filing by attorneys general from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
DEL RIO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents assigned to the Carrizo Springs Station apprehended a convicted sex offender, July 6.
Carrizo Springs agents encountered Jose Antonio Cervantes-Torres, 47, a citizen of Mexico, after he illegally entered the United States by crossing the Rio Grande River along with 16 other migrants.
During processing, records checks revealed that in August 2017 Cervantes-Torres was convicted of child fondling and indecency with a child via sexual contact in Dallas. He was subsequently sentenced to four years in prison. Cervantes-Torres was ordered removed from the United States by an Immigration Judge in August 2021.
As a convicted felon with a prior removal, he faces charges of 8 USC § 1326 – Re-entry after Deportation, which carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
During fiscal year 2022, Oct. 1, 2021, through May 31, 2022, Del Rio Sector agents have encountered more than 1,519 criminal migrants.
To report suspicious activity, call the Del Rio Sector’s toll-free number at 1-866-511-8727.
An average of 441 unaccompanied children will cross the U.S.-Mexico border into border patrol custody every day this year, according to estimates from the Department of Homeland Security.
President Joe Biden’s administration is reportedly expecting between 148,000 and 161,000 unaccompanied minors to cross the border in the fiscal year 2022, according to documents obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The documents reportedly detail the response to the influx from the Department of Health and Human Services, which is responsible for placing unaccompanied minors into homes. U.S. law states that such minors cannot be sent back across the border unless their country of origin is either Canada or Mexico.
The estimates indicate a sharp increase over 2021, in which U.S. Customs and Border Protection encountered 112,433 unaccompanied minors.
TOPSHOT – Haitian migrants continue to cross the US-Mexico border on the Rio Grande, as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Coahuila state, Mexico on September 20, 2021. (Photo by PAUL RATJE / AFP) (Photo by PAUL RATJE/AFP via Getty Images)
Border crossings have continuously surged since Biden gained office in January 2021. The DHS was anticipating a rate of 18,000 border encounters per day as of late April.
The Biden administration has repeatedly attempted to dismiss border surges as a yearly pattern. While the southern border has seen a pattern of increases in migration each spring, the surges in both 2021 and 2022 have far outpaced previous years.
Border agents made it clear to DHS Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas in late January that many of them blame the Biden administration’s policies for the surge. Mayorkas visited border patrol agents in Laredo, Texas, on Jan. 29, and the meeting threatened to boil over as individual agents criticized his policies.
U.S. Border Patrol chief Raul Ortiz struggled to maintain control as agents accused Mayorkas of “releasing criminal aliens into the country.”
“That’s the problem, chief,” one agent interjected. “For evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. That’s exactly what’s happening here. Good men are doing nothing. You’re allowing illegal aliens to be dropped off in communities.”
Ortiz responded by highlighting the organization’s success in drug-busting efforts, particularly with fentanyl.
“And under this administration, in the last year, we’ve got the highest fentanyl deaths in the history of our country,” another agent countered.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre took questions in a short press conference ahead of President Biden’s Friday visit to the Central Intelligence Agency.
Jean-Pierre was asked by a reporter if the Biden administration had any plans for a legal response to Abbott’s executive order authorizing state law enforcement officials and the Texas National Guard to apprehend illegal immigrants and return them to the border.
“Immigration enforcement is a federal authority, and states should not be meddling in it,” the White House press secretary said.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre claimed Friday that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott was causing “chaos and confusion” at the southern border. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
“Especially Texas Gov. Abbott, who has a track record of causing chaos and confusion at the border,” Jean-Pierre claimed. “So I would refer you to [the Department of Justice] for any legal matter. But, again, immigration enforcement is a federal authority.”
Abbott signed an order Thursday allowing Texas law enforcement to return illegal immigrants apprehended in the state back to the U.S. border just as counties have urged him to declare the migrant crisis an “invasion.”
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a press conference about the mass shooting at Uvalde High School May 27, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas. (Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Abbott’s order allows the Texas National Guard and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to apprehend and return illegal immigrants who have crossed between ports of entry to the southern border. Under the order, illegal aliens will be taken to the U.S. but not into Mexico.
It comes at a time of historic migrant encounters at the border. There were more than 239,000 migrant encounters in May alone, and Abbott said that there were 5,000 migrant apprehensions in Texas alone over Independence Day weekend.
Mounted U.S. Border Patrol agents watch Haitian immigrants on the bank of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, Sept. 20, 2021, as seen from Ciudad Acuna, Mexico. (John Moore/Getty Images)
Abbott has taken a number of dramatic measures to cope with the flood of migrants hitting the state, including busing migrants to Washington, D.C. Last year, the state surged resources and law enforcement to the border under the still-ongoing Operation Lone Star to arrest those entering the country illegally.
Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed reporting.
Houston Keene is a politics reporter for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to Houston.Keene@Fox.com and on Twitter: @HoustonKeene
MX/TX: Mexico says it is not within the rights of a state to do what Texas is doing but rather it is a federal issue— Rejecting @GovAbbott’s executive order authorizing the return of undocumented individuals to the border.
Happening now: Approx 200 migrants (mostly single adult men from Cuba & Venezuela) arrive on a private ranch in Maverick County north of Eagle Pass. This is the same ranch 500+ migrants were on yesterday.
My source says a woman went into labor—EMS is on scene.
NEW: This is part of yet another massive group of approximately 200 migrants who just crossed illegally into Eagle Pass, TX. This group is predominantly single adult men. In the last 48 hours we’ve seen groups of 500…150…100…and 200 here. It is non-stop, even in heat. @FoxNewspic.twitter.com/QfWaQYYUFP
Texas Governor Greg Abbott has had enough of Biden’s broken border; the Lone Star State lawmaker has sign an executive order that will allow his National Guard to return illegal migrants to the border.
Abbott also references Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution.
“WHEREAS, President Biden’s failure to faithfully execute the immigration laws enacted by Congress confirms that he has abandoned the covenant, in Article IV, § 4 of the U.S. Constitution, that “[t]he United States . . . shall protect each [State in this Union] against Invasion,” and thus has forced the State of Texas to build a border wall, deploy state military forces, and enter into agreements as described in Article I, § 10 of the U.S. Constitution to secure the State of Texas and repel the illegal immigration that funds the cartels.”
“While President Biden refuses to do his job and enforce the immigration laws enacted by Congress, the State of Texas is once again stepping up and taking unprecedented action to protect Americans and secure our southern border,” said Governor Abbott. “The cartels have become emboldened and enriched by President Biden’s open border policies, smuggling in record numbers of people, weapons, and deadly drugs like fentanyl.”
“I have authorized the Texas National Guard and Texas Department of Public Safety to begin returning illegal immigrants to the border to stop this criminal enterprise endangering our communities,” continued Governor Abbott. “As the challenges on the border continue to increase, Texas will continue to take action to address those challenges caused by the Biden Administration.”
Abbott shared the announcement on Twitter:
I issued an Executive Order authorizing the Texas National Guard & Texas Dept. of Public Safety to return illegal immigrants to the border.
Cartels have become emboldened by Biden’s open border policies.
A Texas sheriff personally drove four illegal immigrants he’d apprehended back to the US-Mexico border to deport them, insisting he’s been left with no choice given the current border crisis.
Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe told the Epoch Times the migrants were discovered after a suspected smuggling vehicle his deputies were pursuing crashed on Wednesday morning.
Five illegal immigrants were found inside the vehicle, including a woman who had to be taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
The sheriff said Border Patrol agents had told him they could only apprehend the four other migrants if they’d been medically assessed at a hospital first.
“They had declined any type of medical help,” Coe said of the four uninjured migrants.
“So I can’t let them walk the streets. I can’t say, ‘Hey, go, be free.’ Because I still have to protect the Constitution and protect the people in the county.”
He added, “To let them go, undocumented, unaccounted for, just go because of a policy — I couldn’t do it.”Kinney County Sheriff Brad Coe personally drove four illegal immigrants he’d apprehended back to the US-Mexico border to deport them Wednesday. Kinney County Sheriff Brad CoeKinney County Sheriff Brad Coe said the migrants were discovered after a suspected smuggling vehicle his deputies were pursuing crashed.Kinney County Sheriff’s Office
Coe said he put them all into his sheriff’s vehicle and drove an hour to Eagle Pass, where there’s an official port of entry to Mexico.
The sheriff dropped the four migrants off in the middle of the international bridge.
The driver, a Mexican national who was wearing cartel-lined insignia, was arrested and is now facing seven felony charges.
“It’s going to be the exception rather than the rule. But at the same time, if Border Patrol won’t take a group for whatever reason, I don’t have a choice,” Coe said.
Coe said he isn’t sure if there will be legal ramifications for his actions, but argued that local law enforcement shouldn’t have to tie up so many of its resources for the ongoing border crisis.
The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the sheriff of acting illegally by trying to deport the migrants himself, noting that state and local governments don’t have the lawful authority to do so.
ACLU lawyers on Wednesday demanded information from the Kinney County Sheriff’s Office on the recent ordeal and any prior similar incidents of attempted deportation of migrants.Four of the migrants refused medical treatment in the wake of the crash, which meant Border Patrol refused to take them into custody. Kinney County Sheriff’s OfficeThe sheriff said he put the four migrants into his sheriff’s vehicle and drove an hour to Eagle Pass, where there’s an official port of entry to Mexico. Kinney County Sheriff’s Office
“I applaud all of our sheriffs for having to respond in unprecedented conditions. And that’s causing all of us to use unprecedented action,” Abbott said.
“And so whether it’s doing what that sheriff in Kinney County is doing, or what we’re doing, such as turning back more than 20,000 people, we all have our own tools and strategies that we use to either turn back or to return people across the border.”
Deputies in Kinney County have already arrested 66 human smugglers this month alone.
It comes as migrant encounters at the US border continue to soar to record highs, with a staggering 239,416 recorded last month, Customs and Border Protection data show.
The latest figures bring the total migrant encounters in fiscal year 2022 to more than 1.5 million.
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.
Biden’s handling of the border crisis has been particularly bad.
And what Joe Biden just did to these Border Patrol agents will make you furious.
The Democrats have quickly become the party of open borders.
As soon as Joe Biden took office, he reversed Donald Trump’s effective border policies.
The result has been record-high numbers of illegal border crossings.
Worse yet, Biden and the Democrats have demonized Border Patrol agents for doing their jobs.
Last year, the Democrats accused border patrol agents on horseback of whipping Haitian migrants based on still photos.
In reality, the “whips” were actually split reins for controlling the horses.
Migrants were not whipped, but the facts did not matter.
Biden and others condemned the agents in the harshest terms possible.
The entire unit was disbanded, but the border patrol agents were vindicated when the announcement came down that none would be criminally charged.
But the Biden administration is still planning disciplinary action against them.
Fox News reported that “the Department of Homeland Security is preparing to discipline ‘multiple’ horseback Border Patrol agents involved in the infamous ‘whipping’ incident of Haitian migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border back in September . . . DHS will be putting forth proposals to discipline the agents who will have a chance to respond to the charges. The charges . . . are ‘administrative violations,’ and do not amount to criminal conduct – of which the agents were previously cleared. Images emerged in September of Border Agents in Del Rio, Texas showing them on horseback, blocking migrants from entering the U.S. and, in one case, grabbing onto a migrant’s shirt.”
In other words, the Left went so overboard in their criticisms of the agents, they couldn’t walk back their rhetoric, so they found some bogus “administrative violations” to save face.
The worst take belonged to Congresswoman Maxine Waters who said, “What we witnessed takes us back hundreds of years . . . What we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery.”
That is a deeply immoral statement and shows how empty the Left have become.
Haitian migrants were attempting to get into the country, not escape it.
And in this particular incident, they picked up carryout food in Mexico and were bringing it back to Texas.
Comparing that to slavery is beyond absurd.
But because the Democrats are only driven by narrative, the Border Patrol agents must be punished for some made-up process violation nine months after the incident.
DISTURBING: Nearly 800 illegals from all over the world invaded the Yuma AZ Southern Border last night, most of them were men with few women and children. We searched some of the gear dumped by illegals and found condoms, this is so insane | @TPUSApic.twitter.com/BqpQSz48xp
By Morgan Phillips, Politics Reporter For Dailymail.Com 11:56 EDT 06 Jun 2022 , updated 14:53 EDT 06 Jun 2022
The caravan now is 11,000 strong and on Monday departed Tapachula on the Mexico-Guatemala border and the group is expected to swell up to 15,000
Many of the migrants come from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, three countries whose authoritarian rulers have been left out of this week’s summit
On Monday Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed that he would not attend the gathering in protest because leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela had not been invited
The caravan is making its way northward as the Biden administration is fighting in court to end Title 42
One of the largest migrant caravans of all time is making its way to the U.S.-Mexico border, just as President Biden heads to the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.
The caravan now is 11,000 strong and on Monday departed Tapachula on the Mexico-Guatemala border and the group is expected to swell up to 15,000.
Many of the migrants come from Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua, three countries whose authoritarian rulers have been left out of this week’s summit.
On Monday Mexican President Manuel Lopez Obrador confirmed that he would not attend the gathering in protest because leaders from Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela had not been invited. An administration official cited ‘lack of democratic space’ and human rights situations’ in the trio of nations as reasoning for leaving them out.
Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard will attend the conference in López Obrador’s place.
Other migrants in the caravan hail from Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and even India, Bangladesh and some African countries.
Title 42: Where it stands
The Biden administration had tried to end Title 42, the CDC’s pandemic-era health order that allows border agents to immediately expel migrants, on May 22.
But a group of two dozen conservative-led states filed suit, and on May 20 a Louisiana judge granted a preliminary injunction, blocking the Biden administration from lifting the policy.
The Department of Justice quickly filed an appeal in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and has said it believes lifting Title 42 is legal.
The states claimed the CDC violated the Administrative Procedures Act because they did not provide a notice-and-comment period for the plan to lift Title 42. The law also bars moves deemed ‘arbitrary and capricious.’
They also claimed that the Biden administration failed to account for the added cost to them of more migrants being allowed in.
The caravan is making its way northward as the Biden administration is fighting in court to end Title 42, the pandemic-era Centers for Disease Control (CDC) restriction that allows border agents to quickly expel migrants.
Title 42 was supposed to end on May 23 but a federal judge in Louisiana granted an injunction on Friday that prevented the government from ending the policy.
Nearly 2 million migrants have been expelled under the policy since it was first implemented.
The Biden administration has stressed that the CDC has the authority to end Title 42 because it is a public health order, not an immigration order, but both Democrats and Republicans have called on the administration to rethink its ending of the policy.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials have said they expect up to 18,000 migrants per day once Title 42 is lifted. Border resources are at capacity when 5,000 migrants attempt to cross per day.
U.S. authorities stopped migrants more than 234,000 times in April, one of the highest marks in decades as the Biden administration prepares to lift pandemic-era restrictions on claiming asylum.
The figure is a 22-year high and surpassed the previous high of Biden’s presidency of 209,906 set in March, and the highest level since March 2000, when it reached 220,063.
World leaders attending the summit with Biden are expected to discuss ‘regional solutions to regional problems,’ namely, the immigration issue that has been a drag on Biden’s popularity.
Meanwhile, Biden is preparing to finalize a first-of-its-kind deal with Spain to resettle refugees from the Western Hemisphere that continue to flood into the U.S., a Wednesday evening report revealed.
The pledge from Spain is coupled with Canada significantly expanding its refugee commitment in the region, according to an internal planning document reviewed by Axios – and could help the U.S. deal with the prevailing migrant crisis at the southern border.
Both deals appear to be linked and contingent on bringing in migrants for work in both Spain and Canada.
The commitments are expected to be announced at the summit this week.
Illegal immigrants coming into the United States feel so entitled they had no problem calling the police on a Fox News host.
Lawrence Jones, host of “Cross Country,” told Sean Hannity on Thursday that “things got a little contentious” when he was trying to do his job—reporting on how the administration is flying illegal immigrants all over the country—when migrants tried to put an end to it by calling the police.
“The Biden administration had told us that these flights were going to end, that this wasn’t going on,” he explained. “We got a tip from a source saying that they were doing these flights yet again. They had quit them for a moment. But we did something different. They get on these buses, about three buses. There [were] about 150-plus migrants [who] got onto those buses—women, children, grown men.”
Lawrence’s team followed one of the buses in New Jersey.
“All these cars that you’re seeing right there were waiting for the migrants,” he added. “I wanted to go up there and talk to them and see where exactly did they come from and where were they going. So, as I began to do that, I guess it agitated some of the migrants. They started flashing our cameraman with lights and everything and trying to conceal their identity.
Lawrence said they ended up stopping but didn’t want to exit the vehicles near his cameraman.
“Eventually the migrants – the people [who] are here illegally – called the police on me,” he said. “And things got a little contentious.”
Lawrence told the officers he wasn’t harassing the illegal immigrants, he was just trying to do his job and report on the situation.
“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.
The Biden administration said on Tuesday that it intends to comply with a Louisiana judge’s expected order to block the end of Trump-era Title 42 border policy.
The Biden administration had scheduled the policy, which allows stopping migrants at the southern border to help stop the spread of COVID-19, to end on May 23.
“If and when the court issues the TRO [temporary restraining order] the department is planning to comply with that order,” a senior administration official said on Tuesday, according to Politico.
“It really makes no sense to us that the plaintiffs would demand, and the court would order, that [Department of Homeland Security] be stopped in its use in expedited removal, which is going to prevent us from adequately preparing for the aggressive applications for immigration law when public health expires,” the official added.
In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a plan to address the expected surge of migrant crossings following the end of Title 42 on Tuesday.
“When the Title 42 public health order is lifted, we anticipate migration levels will increase, as smugglers will seek to take advantage of and profit from vulnerable migrants,” DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a memo regarding the agency’s plan.
Mayorkas also noted, however, that the increase in migrant crossing attempts is placing added stress on Border Patrol efforts.
“Despite the efforts of our dedicated DHS workforce and our partners executing this comprehensive plan, a significant increase in migrant encounters will substantially strain our system even further,” he said in the memo.
The actions come in response to concerns that up to 18,000 migrants per day could attempt to cross the border if Title 42 ends, a number that could push illegal border crossing numbers to more than a half-million people per month.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against the Biden administration over its decision to end the public health order.
“The Defendants now seek to eliminate their Title 42 border-control measures, which are the only rules holding back a devastating flood of illegal immigration,” the complaint states.
“But they failed to follow the Administrative Procedure Act in attempting this destructive rescission of Title 42. Without justification or concern for Texans, the Defendants unlawfully disregarded the APA’s notice-and-comment requirements, refused to consider numerous factors of crucial importance to their rulemaking, and laid bare the incoherence of their decision-making,” the lawsuit added.
At least 10 Democrats in Congress have joined with Republican lawmakers to oppose President Joe Biden’s plan to end Title 42. Among them is Arizona Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly.
“Right now, we have a crisis on our southern border. Right now, this administration does not have a plan. I warned them about this months ago,” Kelly said, according to Fox News.
“It’s going to be, to be honest, it’s going to be a crisis on top of a crisis,” he added.
Kelly also visited the border recently, taking to Twitter to address his concerns about ending Title 42.
“I heard directly from Border Patrol leadership about operational challenges and discussed with them my concerns about the administration’s intent to lift Title 42 without a comprehensive plan in place. My focus is on ensuring an orderly, humane, and secure border process,” he wrote.
I returned to Douglas today to visit Arizona’s southern border. The local port of entry is receiving major upgrades from our bipartisan infrastructure law, which will help Port Officers ensure more efficient trade and tourism while also stopping illegal cargo and smuggling. pic.twitter.com/h2jX3VaDLF
Del Rio, TX – Troopers from the Texas Department of Public Safety and members of the Texas National Guard completed a successful mission Sunday night after arresting five illegal immigrants from Honduras.
The men arrested — most in their 20s — were in possession of Honduran passports and identification cards from Mexico. They were walking across a private ranch when they were spotted with a DPS drone.
As Townhall witnessed while embedded with Operation Lone Star along the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday night, the men were pursued on foot by soldiers and troopers after being spotted.
After being seen on live footage from the drone, Texas DPS troopers and Texas National Guard soldiers pursued five men. They will be charged with criminal trespassing under state law. @townhallcompic.twitter.com/qgAQW3fQPy— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) April 25, 2022
They were apprehended, handcuffed and walked to the road before being thoroughly searched for weapons and illicit items. Their backpacks were full of food, additional clothing and toiletry products. One man was carrying a box cutter.
Townhall Media/Katie Pavlich
Townhall Media/Katie Pavlich
When Townhall asked in Spanish why they came to the U.S., one young man said, “To work.” When asked if they were afraid to be deported, the oldest man in the group spoke up and said he was fearful of being sent back to Honduras, parroting a line often coached by human smugglers to meet the federal government’s low bar of credible fear to make an asylum claim.
After being searched and briefly un-handcuffed, the men were walked to a transportation van. They were handcuffed again and seated inside. They will be charged with criminal trespassing, a misdemeanor, and fingerprinted at the Del Rio processing center.
While DPS cannot charge or pursue federal crimes, prosecuting Texas crimes perpetrated by illegal immigrants has been a main priority for state law enforcement.
The arrests are a result of Operation Lone Star, the partnership between Texas DPS and the National Guard to secure the border with Mexico and cut down on illegal immigration. Since Operation Lone Star was launched in July 2021, after the Biden administration made open border policies and lack of enforcement the federal standard, Texas DPS has made 3,800 arrests on private ranches. Patrols and missions are conducted nightly.
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