EL PASO, Texas — I was looking for a spot along the border wall system near the Paso del Norte Port of Entry to do a hit with Fox News when I walked upon the following scene: An older man with two kids, a boy and a girl, all wearing dark clothing, walking casually on the American side. A U.S. Border Patrol officer pulled up in his SUV, but they did not run away, instead walking towards him to be taken into custody.
It's a scene being played out all over the U.S.-Mexico border now that President Joe Biden has ended certain aspects of Migrant Protection Protocols, also known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy, and halting border wall construction. The migrants see an opportunity to be able to cross into the United States and stay in the country after they are processed to wait for their court date.
KVEO-TV reported within an hour last week that 253 illegal immigrants turned themselves over to Border Patrol agents in Mission, Texas after crossing the border.
Townhall Media/Julio Rosas
Out of the 268 miles that fall under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's area of operations in the El Paso Sector, 119 miles of the border wall system had been completed, with 24 miles still being under contract for construction and 6 miles in the pre-construction phase by the time Biden was inaugurated, according to CBP.
The wall system in the El Paso Sector was replacing old barriers that were either metal mesh fencing or barbed wire fencing with anti-vehicle barriers. To the east of El Paso, the contract for the new border wall system ends at a random spot, leaving a noticeable gap.
The Border Patrol officer who was situated where the wall system ended told me he did not know why construction did not continue so the gap could be filled, only that it ended where the old fencing had also stopped. To the west of El Paso, construction crews were still in the process of demobilizing their operation, as many of their vehicles, equipment, and materials were now sitting idle. A worker just simply stated to me the situation "sucks."
Townhall Media/Julio Rosas
The Biden administration reversing some of former President Trump's key immigration policies has been met with harsh criticisms from Republicans.
“From day one in office, President Biden’s priorities weren’t on the American people, but on prioritizing citizenship for over 11 million illegal immigrants. As part of this administration’s lawless approach to immigration, they have also decided to weaken our security at the border. These actions will only serve to incentivize migrants to flood our southern border, and runs the risk of increasing the flow of human trafficking and drugs to come into our country," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) said in a statement to Townhall.
"Sadly, we are already seeing the negative effects hit these communities. While President Biden can shield himself from the ramifications of his bad policies in Washington, it is our border communities who stand to suffer the consequences," he added.
The importance of border security is also not lost on Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), who spoke with Townhall after conducting a tour of the U.S.-Mexico border near Nogales, Arizona. Though he represents a state in the far north, he explained how the Biden administration's approach is harming the United States.
I'm back at the border today.— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) January 29, 2021
Behind me, there's tons of equipment that was used to build our border wall which is now sitting idly because President Biden stopped the wall.
We've already lost jobs and security. pic.twitter.com/qDH3QCBnVF
"What is just blatantly obvious are a couple of things. Number one, [Biden] is compromising our national security...number two, how it impacts our economy by the loss of jobs, whether it's there or from" contractors based in North Dakota and Montana, Rosendale said. "Thirdly, the human suffering...whether that's south of the border, whether that's right there at the border, or whether that's in the other communities located around the nation because of the human and drug trafficking that is on such an increase because of leaving these gaping holes in security along that border."
"Every town in the nation has the potential to become a border town and that's because the problems we are talking about, with human trafficking, with sex trafficking, with drug trafficking, that spreads out," Rosendale added.
Rosendale said CBP highlighted the fact that even if human migrants are not forced to carry drugs across the border, they are at the mercy of the various cartels because they largely control the northbound traffic, which often to leads to horrific conditions for the migrants to endure. He noted that if migrants are able to cross into the U.S. they oftentimes hold large amounts of debt to the cartels for the expensive trip, which leads to an informal indentured servitude.
Democrats and those in the mainstream media who say Biden is just reversing racist policies "have no idea of the human suffering that is taking place because of incentivizing crossing that border," Rosendale said.
Whether these facts are known to the Biden administration is hard to gauge. When White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked about Biden signing the executive order to continue "catch and release" along the southwest border and CBP not having the capability to test all the migrants for COVID-19 before releasing them, Psaki was unaware Biden had signed the order.