Such is the surge of “migrants” at the border that the Pentagon will send 320 more troops there to handle the illegals and their families.
Reinforcing Customs and Border Protection with troops was hardly unexpected, given the tsunami of tramping vagrants, mostly Central Americans from the Northern Triangle, surging across the border illegally. Most are arriving as families.
In March, CBP chieftain Kevin McAleenan warned that the border situation is “unsustainable.”
Through September 30
Homeland Security agents will be there to handle the illegals’ custody, and provide some protection for the troops, who are approved for border duty through September 30, the Times reported.
Duties in the $7.4 million deployment will include assisting in “driving high-capacity CBP vehicles to transport migrants; providing administrative support, including providing heating, meal distribution and monitoring the welfare of individuals in CBP custody; and attorney support to ICE,” Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said.
But law enforcement won’t be part of their duties, the Times reported. “DoD personnel will not perform any law enforcement functions,” Lt. Col. Davis told the newspaper. “In any situation that requires DoD personnel to be in proximity to migrants, DHS law enforcement personnel will be present to conduct all custodial and law enforcement functions, and provide force protection of military personnel.”
So the job mainly involves what the Times called “babysitting ”
This deployment isn’t the first. In January, Shanahan deployed 2,400 troops, which brought the total to 5,000. Those GIs were reinforcing the border barriers with concertina wire and operating surveillance cameras.
Numbers and Medical Care
In March more than 100,000 “migrants” tramped across the border either as illegals between ports of entry or inadmissibles at ports of entry, including 57,271 family units, 36,723 single adults, and 9,398 unaccompanied minors, which does not mean infants and toddlers.
The total for fiscal 2019, which began October 1, is 422,334, a record-breaking six months.
The Rio Grande sector of the border, as The New American reported last week, is particularly hard hit every day of the week. Border Patrol agents have apprehended 64,000 illegals there so far in fiscal 2019, the agency reported, more than the entire number for 2018. The daily catch is about 1,100.
One reason the troops are needed at the border is simple math.
Border Patrol officers are overwhelmed with the Camp-of-the-Saints invasion that shows no signs of stopping. The poverty-stricken hordes of Central Americans have decided they want to live here, and they’re crossing the border with no regard for U.S. immigration law. They know immigration agents will release them if they have children.
But sheer numbers aren’t the only problem, Border Patrol operations chief Brian Hastings said in March at a news conference with McAleenan. The other reason troops are needed is illness. Many of the “migrants” are sick or diseased. Border agents spend an inordinate amount of time transporting illegals to and from health facilities for medical care.
Hastings said CBP sends about 55 illegals a day for medical care. But that was March 9. The number has likely increased given the horde that crossed the border in March. By year’s end, Hastings expects to have sent 31,000 illegals for medical care. Last year, the figure was 12,000.
Since December 22, Hastings said, agents have more than 57,000 hours at hospitals or medical facilities at a cost of $2.2 million in CBP salaries. From 2014 to 2018, he said, CBP — meaning American taxpayers — has spent $98 million on illegal-alien healthcare.
“Each and every day,” he said, 25 to 40 percent of CBP manpower goes to the care and maintenance of illegal aliens. “They’re pulled from the national security missions to do these things.”
Public health authorities in Houston confirmed in February that seven illegals had mumps. Last week, CBP reported that it apprehended a girl with the measles, but a test revealed strep throat. On Christmas Eve, an illegal-alien boy died with the flu after his father refused treatment. And when the 6,000 migrants stopped at the border camped in Tijuana, 2,500 were sick, some with AIDs, chickenpox, tuberculosis, and skin infections.
Another problem for agents, Hastings said, is the number of large groups that cross, which not only creates a logistical problem but also act as a decoy for drug smugglers. Large groups are those of more than 100 illegals.
On April 16, border agents apprehended 360 illegals at one time.
Photo: U.S. Army