According to reports, the number of illegal immigrant minors crossing the border has become overwhelming for Border Patrol agents who are becoming increasingly frustrated that they can’t turn away dangerous gang members.
The vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307, Chris Cabrera, said that they’ve been able to confirm that dangerous gang members are crossing illegally to reunite with their families, including those from the infamous MS-13.
“If he’s a confirmed gang member in his own country, why are we letting him in here? … I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera told National Review.
Cabrera said that unless the restrictions are tightened as to who can and can’t cross the border then the problem will persist and continue to get worse.
“Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse,” he said.
Art Del Cueto, president of the NBPC Local 2544 in Tucson, Arizona, said that agents are required to treat minors who have gang-affiliated tattoos just like they would any other minor trying to cross the border.
“It’s upsetting that a lot of them are 16 or 17 years old and a lot of them are not going to face deportation,” he said. He also told National Review that the Nogales station is currently holding 1,100 children by itself.
According to Cabrera, the Rio Grande Valley location has nine different stations, the largest of which is in McAllen, Texas and holds 275 people. Cabrera said that station alone sees between 700 and 1,500 people daily trying to get back into the U.S.
He believes that the surge in illegals crossing the border is policy-based, and that without being able to send them home it invites more to come.
“It’s just frustrating to know that we do all this paperwork just for them to walk out the door,” Cabrera says. “When these people get released they call back home and they say, ‘Hey, you know what? We got released, and if you come with your family they’re going to release you as well.’”