Border Patrol overwhelmed
Sat, 21 Jun 2014 00:02:10 GMT —
The U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed and some members of Congress are calling on President Obama to send in the National Guard.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited the McAllen Border Patrol station Friday to evaluate how the agency is handling the influx in unaccompanied minors crossing the border.
It's all amongst talk that the National Guard should be sent in to help handle the situation.
House Speaker John Boehner is now demanding President Obama secure the border by deploying the National Guard to the Rio Grande Valley to help stem the surge of young illegal immigrant children.
"The administration TMs inaction has only seemed to encourage more illegal crossings, Boehner said in a press conference Friday morning.
Some lawmakers we spoke too don't believe militarizing the U.S./Mexico border is the answer but the National Border Patrol Council welcomes the help.
"The more people you have inside, the less secure the border is, so the more people we can get in the field to secure the border the better." National Border Patrol Council vice president Chris Cabrera said. More of our agents are being tasked with rounding up these people, transporting them processing them and it leaves other areas uncovered so others can exploit our vulnerabilities.
If Obama does decide to send in the National Guard, it wouldn TMt be the first time.
President George W. Bush sent the National Guard to south Texas in 2006 to aid the Border Patrol.
Although the media was not allowed inside of the McAllen station, Action 4 News obtained Johnson's agenda outlining his visit.
Johnson met with top Border Patrol leaders and was given a tour of the processing area and overcrowded holding rooms.
Cabrera says he hopes Johnson will see the agency needs more resources.
"Hopefully he saw the crisis we are in right now. Hopefully he takes it for what it TMs worth and realizes we are overwhelmed, Cabrera said.
Cabrera tells Action 4 News the McAllen station is holding three times the number of people it is designed for.
"It TMs not good for the agents or the detainees; it TMs definitely not good for the little ones they are locked in a room all day long, Cabrera said.
That's why DHS announced Friday they will be opening new detention facilities along the border to house immigrant families.
"Whatever opens up is more than welcome," Cabrera said.
DHS has not said where the facilities will be located or how many they will hold.
Cabrera says they need the room now.
"The worst is yet to come. Every day we seem to be outdoing ourselves as far as numbers. Last week we had a group of 250 that turned themselves at one time and we thought that would be our high watermark. A couple days ago we had 292. Who knows what next week will bring. There is no end in sight, Cabrera said.
While 50,000 children in eight months may sound like a lot, that is only the number of those who survived the trip.
Some of them may not make it here. They are unaccompanied. They have no one to stick up for them if something happens to them along their journey. The fact that they are getting here is a win for them because some probably don TMt make the journey, Cabrera said.
After leaving the Border Patrol station in McAllen Johnson flew to San Antonio to visit immigration holding facilities at Lackland Air Force base.