The migrant crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border remains “horrific” and demands a return to the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” policy, a border patrol agents union leader said Tuesday.
National Border Patrol Council Vice President Art Del Cueto told Fox News “there is no end in sight” to the surge of migrants at the southern border “unless you go back to the policies that worked under the last administration.”
“The ‘Remain in Mexico’ [policy] was the humane way to do things because it fast-tracked those that had real asylum claims and at the same time, it discouraged all the people that are coming across right now finding those loopholes in our immigration system,” Del Cueto said.
Del Cueto said no progress has been made since Vice President Kamala Harris visited the border in late June, three months after President Joe Biden named her to lead the efforts to restrict immigration from Mexico and Central America.
“If what they mean by progress is allowing people to enter and break our laws, then I guess, you know, in their eyes, that’s progress,” Del Cueto told Fox News. “But realistically, there’s been no progress.”
U.S. authorities apprehended about 210,000 migrants at the border in July, according to the Associated Press. That was up from 188,829 apprehended in June and the highest number of border apprehensions in more than 20 years.
More than 19,000 unaccompanied children were apprehended in July.
Del Cueto said the migrant surge was “overwhelming” border agents – something drug smugglers and cartels are exploiting.
“They purposefully send big groups across knowing that agents are going to be distracted, knowing that agents are going to be pulled from certain areas of the line so they can have to process,” Del Cueto said. “All the while they are bringing their drugs across.”
Del Cueto said the border crisis was worsened by apprehended individuals being sent elsewhere in the country and then testing positive for COVID-19.
“I don’t care if you’re on the right side or the left side of the aisle. We all deserve to be safe in our homes,” he said.
“There should be no difference when it comes to our nation’s borders, and right now, it’s beyond chaotic, it’s horrific with these individuals that are coming across.”
Despite frustrations, agents are not giving up on controlling the immigration issue, Del Cueto said.
“I can tell you, from speaking to agents on the ground, none of the agents out there are waving the white flag,” he said. “We’re Americans. We’re not going to wave the white flag. We’re not going to give up our border.”