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Immigration

Border Patrol Union President: ‘This Is the Worst Crisis’ in Agency’s History

Central American migrants being held by U.S. Customs and Border Protection in El Paso, Texas, March 27, 2019 (Jose Luis Gonzalez/Reuters)

Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, said Tuesday that the influx of migrants currently flooding over the southern border represents the “worst crisis” U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents have confronted since the agency was formed in 1924.

“This is the worst crisis the Border Patrol has ever faced in the history of the Border Patrol and we’re going back to 1924,” Judd told WMAL radio host Vince Coglianese.“In my 21-year career as a Border Patrol agent, I’ve never seen it like this and I’ve worked in the busiest locations. . . . In the history of the Border Patrol it’s never been like this before. This is the worst it’s ever been and if we don’t do something it’s going to continue to get worse.”

Judd’s comments come after the Department of Homeland Security announced that there were 100,000 apprehensions at the southern border in the month of March and 76,000 in February. The numbers for both months were the highest in ten years.

The problem is exacerbated by the composition of the migrant population; they are overwhelmingly family units and, as such, cannot be held in facilities designed for the single males who accounted for most illegal immigration in the 1990s and mid 2000s. As Judd notes, the lack of adequate holding facilities has forced Border Patrol agents to release thousands of migrants “on their own recognizance” with an order to return for their asylum hearing. According to Judd, many of them never show up.

Asked whether he believes President Trump should follow through on his threat to completely shut down the U.S.-Mexico border to stem the flow of illegal immigration, Judd said Trump should “absolutely” pursue that option in order to place economic pressure on the Mexican government to harden their southern border.

“Extraordinary circumstances require extraordinary measures. That’s going to be very drastic . . . but what he’s doing is looking at hitting them where it counts the most and that’s in the pocketbook,” he said. “The Mexican economy relies on those ports of entry to get their goods into the U.S.”

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