Southern Border Crisis a Threat to National Security: Former US Border Patrol Chief

By Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.
and Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance
Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.
January 29, 2022 Updated: January 30, 2022

The massive numbers of illegal immigrants crossing into the United States are only one part of the crisis at the southern border, says former U.S. Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott. A deadly and more immediate problem is the drug cartels that are deliberately using the illegal immigrants to overwhelm agents and create unmanned land routes to funnel lethal drugs.

“The cartels are using those large numbers of illegal aliens coming across the border, not just to make money on the illegal alien smuggling, but to create controllable gaps in border security,” Scott told NTD’s Steve Lance during an interview on the “Capitol Report” on Jan. 26.

“They simply overwhelm agents with those massive numbers, and that creates other areas where there’s no law enforcement at all. That’s where they’re bringing the narcotics, the criminal aliens, the people that want to avoid arrest, for whatever reason, and they’re just pouring across at will. This is a crisis and it is real.”

According to U.S. CBP, agents arrested 178,840 migrants in December 2021, an increase of more than 100,000 from the year before, which brought the total number of apprehensions for 2021 to a record of more than 2 million.

The co-chair of the House Border Security Caucus, Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), told Lance in an interview on Jan. 25 that the border crisis is of Biden’s own making, with policies that his caucus is trying to help change.

Epoch Times Photo
Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas), in a still from an interview on Capitol Report, discusses the U.S. border crisis on Jan. 25, 2022. (NTD/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Both Babin and Scott are concerned about the exponential increase in drugs coming into the country.

“It’s because of the empowerment of the drug cartels by this Biden administration. We’ve got the seizures … it’s up over, I think it’s a 1,066 percent increase, which has led to this,” said Babin, who has traveled to the border numerous times in the last year.

In 2021, CBP seized 624,500 pounds of drugs, which was up from 2020, and included cocaine seizures increasing by 68 percent, methamphetamine seizures increasing by 7 percent, heroin seizures decreasing by 6 percent, and fentanyl seizures increasing by 134 percent.

“Those seizures are up dramatically, at a time where actual patrol enforcement on the border is at an all-time low. Especially in Texas, the Border Patrol is completely overwhelmed with this migration issue. And there’s large sections of border that have gone completely unmanned. Texas DPS has stepped in, and Texas National Guard, to try to help out,” said Scott.

They also agreed that the problem goes beyond drugs and illegal immigration into national security threats because people from all over the world try to cross from the southern border.

“It’s not just a drug problem, either. This is a terrorist problem. This is a crime problem. Sanctuary cities, everything kind of dovetails into this entire issue. And the enormous cost to local and municipal governments, county, states, to take care, educate, Medicaid all of these people that are coming across, it is astounding,” added Babin.

“Before I retired last August, we had arrested people from 150 different countries from around the world, to include many of those that sponsor and are known to sponsor and support terrorism,” said Scott.

“It’s not just about economic migrants, it’s a real threat to the United States.”

However, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas thinks domestic terrorists are the greatest terrorist-related threat to national security, much more than the foreign terrorists potentially crossing into the United States from the southern border.

“Let me then turn to what I have described as the greatest terrorism-related threat that we face in our homeland today. And that is the threat of domestic violent extremism. And just to make sure that I define it accurately for you: we are not speaking of individuals who espouse ideologies of hate, or who propel false narratives forward,” said Mayorkas at remarks made at a Mayoral conference on Jan. 20. “But where we become involved and where the threat materializes is when those ideologies of hate, those false narratives, are linked to acts of terrorism.”

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is seen at a Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Donna, Texas, on May 7, 2021. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Scott said the crisis is solvable with the right policies put back in place. He recommends that many of the Trump era immigration policies be reinstated and the physical wall completed.

“Programs … like ‘Remain in Mexico,’ the Migrant Protection Protocols that prevent people from being released into the United States before a judge adjudicates their case, are critical. That made a huge difference in the immigration. But that border wall construction was making every single Border Patrol agent more effective on the border. They could simply cover a larger area. It was a smart wall. No one wants to talk about that, but it involved technology that was helping the agents to respond in a smarter way,” said Scott.

The Biden administration had canceled most of the Trump-era immigration policies, but Mayorkas is being forced by the court to reinstate the “Remain in Mexico” policy in certain places.

“We are implementing the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program in certain areas as we build the capacity, and remember we rely on the partnership with Mexico to reimplement that program and we’re working through it all along the border in compliance with the court’s order,” Mayorkas told KYMA Wednesday.

Masooma Haq
Masooma Haq began reporting for The Epoch Times from Pakistan in 2008. She currently covers a variety of topics including U.S. government, culture, and entertainment.
Steve Lance
Steve Lance is the host of Capitol Report, a political news show based in Washington aimed at providing a direct channel to the voices and people who shape policy in America. Capitol Report features all of the political news of the day with expert interviews and analysis.