The Biden administration‘s decision to roll back its predecessor’s border policies with no contingency in place is a “tragedy” and the “direct cause” of the border crisis, former acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told “Your World” Friday.
WOLF: It is a crisis that is extremely impacting the men and women of the border patrol. The decision to roll back MPPs [Migrant Protection Protocols] and ACAs [Asylum Cooperative Agreements], to proactively take all of these tools off the table is probably the worst decision that happened to the Department of Homeland Security and Custom and Border Patrol agents in their 18-year history. What they’re having to go through today and every day, processing those numbers of individuals, not doing their national security job, it’s a tragedy at the end of the day. How do you solve it? You go back to some of the policies we saw worked throughout 2020. You can always improve upon them, if that’s what the Biden administration wants to do. But to remove them with nothing in place is the direct cause of what is going on today.
If you were coming over in 2020, when programs were in place, under Title 42 and COVID, we were turning around both families and UAC’s [unaccompanied minors] quickly, within hours in some cases, turning them back into Mexico or staging them close to air fields where we would load them on aircrafts and reunite them with their families in their home country, in the Northern Triangle. That has all stopped. What that signals is, you can continue to push children and families to the border. In some cases they are not even getting a court notice to appear. They are not even in the immigration system as they are let go into American communities. What they did on the border … [has] turned not only border enforcement but immigration enforcement on its head. There is no enforcement on the border. The administration continues to address this as a capacity issue. Building bigger facilities. That’s important, but until you address the illegal behavior and hold individuals accountable, it will continue and it won’t get better.
What we know is the cartels, the traffickers, and the smugglers control that border. All of the individuals coming across that border are paying these individuals. They are astute to our policies and what occurs as they come across the river and are apprehended by Border Patrol. In 2020, they were turned around and removed out of the country, so the flow stopped. From January 20 on, all individuals smuggled across the border remain in the U.S. and are released. Very few single adults are returned to Mexico. They know that and are advertising that to the Northern Triangle and others. I have been to the border dozens of times. The description they made about the cartels on the other side of the river taunting them is true. That’s what they do. I have seen the lookouts. They continue to do that because they know our policies better than us. They know that the Border Patrol won’t send these folks back. They will rescue them from the water and bring them on to land and process them in Border Patrol facilities and likely release them. That’s what they are selling to the individuals in the Northern Triangle and elsewhere. It’s a good business for them, unfortunately.