Border Patrol exclusive: No two miles the same in fight to secure the Homeland
SAN DIEGO: Despite what is going on in Washington politics, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guards the land, the law, and liberty. No one talks much about the job they do in protecting 6,000 miles of international land border with Mexico and Canada and much more along our coastlines.
However, each mile of border presents a different crucible to work through. The border can be difficult to access, barely discernible in remote mountains and canyons and uninhabited deserts. It runs through the stream and river beds, along strong currents of oceans, and even meanders through America’s toxic wasteland, the Tijuana River Channel. (Sewage Pollution within the Tijuana River Watershed)
Any nation and its leaders concerned about their citizens, economy, health, and safety should take border security seriously. For the CBP, they never know who or what they will encounter, much less when, which elevates the risk of every part of their law-enforcement day.
Through all kinds of terrain and weather, CBP allows you to sleep at night, kids all tucked in. Whether on foot, boats, aircraft, motorcycles, bicycles, snowmobiles, or horses, CBP reduces the likelihood that dangerous people or contraband enters the U.S.
It’s a myth that CBP or a border wall keeps foreigners from a better life In America.
That avenue comes through official U.S. ports of entry and immigration laws. Yet, we read “crisis” and “surge” of illegals in the news. We see migrant caravans marching towards our border. That’s nothing to ignore. What we don’t hear is that CBP is America’s very capable first line of defense to protect the homeland interior.
With more than 60,000 employees, CBP is one of the world’s largest law enforcement organizations. Over 19,000 highly trained officers and agents enforce all applicable U.S. laws between ports of entry. This includes illegal immigration, narcotics smuggling, and illegal importation. Over 1,000 individuals are apprehended each day for suspected violations of U.S. laws.
No freeway for illegals in San Diego.
Touring the border with Justin Castrejon, Border Patrol San Diego Sector is fascinating. Agent Castrejon leading our tour of the new Border Wall System, which is greatly expanded since I was there in 2019. (The Wall a CDN Exclusive: A visit to U.S. Border Patrol, San Diego (photos-video).
Standing tall and forbidding are two new walls. Solidly made of concrete and iron in a bollard style. One wall is an 18-foot primary wall and the other is a secondary 30 footwall. These iron giants testify to 30 years of improving border infrastructure and President Trump accelerating that process while in office.
Keep in mind the new walls are not the end-all for border security. But a better-than-ever defense tool used by Border Patrol.
“It [the system] was designed to slow the traffic down greatly. I don’t think anything can really be put in place to stop 100% of illegal crossings if people have that desire. What this does is allow agents to first be alerted to an incursion…and allows agents time to react to those illegal entries,” says Castrejon.
September 11th, 2001 changed the direction of CBP.
There are many examples before, during, and after 9/11 of terrorists finding every which way to enter our country. As far as border security goes, “CBP’s top priority is to keep terrorists and their weapons from entering the U.S. while welcoming all legitimate travelers and commerce” states CBP.
The threat of terror to the U.S. comes primarily from foreign-born individuals, says Center for Immigration Studies. On February 4th Border Patrol arrested 11 Iranians in Arizona who illegally entered the United States. Iran is a special-interest country.
Nonetheless, anyone who refuses the official port of entry must be checked for motive and background, especially if they came from Iran, the world’s most prolific sponsor of terror.
CBP controls the illegal tide at our border, while politicians open the floodgates.
San Diego border agents apprehended a human smuggler’s flight Feb 25. The 24 yr. old male U.S. citizen struck civilian and Border Patrol vehicles in an erratic flight. The vehicle was carrying 10 Mexican Nationals illegally present in the country. Seven people, including four Border agents, received treatment at an area hospital for injuries.
Yesterday a deadly crash involving 25 persons in one SUV killed 13 persons. The SUV is designed to hold 8 persons. Reports are that the seats were taken out to allow the individuals to lay on top of each other. The extra weight may have contributed to the crash. Officials are investigating the crash as a “human smuggling” incident.
Gangs like MS-13 have long operated in the U.S. but under Obama’s open border policies MS-13 was able to recruit ‘insiders’ provided by a steady flow of illegal immigrant minors, Judicial Watch reported in October 2020.
“The Dept. of Justice reveals around 74% of MS-13 defendants prosecuted by the agency in the last four years are in the U.S. illegally,” Judicial Watch says.
Border Patrol does not allow illegals into the country but a lax immigration policy does.
Feb 25 USBP located and arrested a violent murder suspect sitting in his car at Moonlight State Beach, a popular hangout for San Diego beachgoers and families. On the next day on Feb 26, USBP agents arrested an illegal alien trying to get through State Route (SR) 94 checkpoint with a loaded revolver.
Mar 1 Agents seized Methamphetamine and Fentanyl during a traffic stop while patrolling near Imperial Beach, Calif. They discovered “11 cellophane-wrapped packages in the vehicle’s rocker panels.” Inside was 5.25 pounds of fentanyl and 20.37 pounds of methamphetamines. The combined street value of the narcotics is $124,201.
During the search agents also found $4,534 in U.S. currency and an empty 10-round, 9-mm pistol magazine,” according to their press release.
The man and the narcotics given over to the Drug Enforcement Administration the smuggler now faces federal prosecution.
CBP combats human trafficking and smuggling.
In the early days, CBP encountered people smuggling cattle and alcohol into the United States. Smuggler’s Gulch is one of our border’s infamous points of illegal entry. In modern times, it is the dominant terrain that cartels and drug organizations operate in for drug and human smuggling. It’s not only people trying to navigate the Gulch for a better life. Evil monsters that prey on the innocent and move them around lurk here as well.
“Human trafficking and human smuggling are sometimes linked,” says CBP. “At any given time in 2016, an estimated 40.3 m people were in modern slavery [forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking]. One in four victims are children.”
It used to take four to five agents to manage Smuggler’s Gulch walled in by steep cliffs. Now, with improved wall infrastructure and mobility with new access roads one to two agents can manage. Without the access roads Border Patrol cannot respond, so thinking the wall alleviates other aspects of their job is not true. They now control the water running through the Gulch canyon via a new grated system that does not impede the natural flow from Mexico when it rains, which creates a hazard to crossers.
In many border sectors, CBP finds itself in diverse rescue operations,
A lot of CBP rescues happen in the waterways right along the border. People find themselves in need of help. Rescues have ticked up already with over 100 rescues so far this fiscal year (starting in Oct 2020).
“We always keep in the back of our minds once we start our shift that we could very well be saving someone towards the end of our shift,” reports Castrejon.
Many times, CBP hands over their lunch or water to illegals encountered, administering intravenous fluids, applying icepacks, treating injuries or exposure.
Children without parents safer with CBP on a post.
Castrejon informs if the southern border experiences a lot of unaccompanied children “then your operation adapts to care of these kids.” He remembers several years ago when a four-year-old girl was found in the desert near El Centro.
“The only thing she had with her [was] a birth certificate from Guatemala and the contact for her parents. They were in Florida and she was in California.”
Border Patrol agents were able to find her, make that rescue, and take her into their custody to quickly move her on to health and human services.
What does the Border Wall System result in?
Plenty to CBP:
Frankly, the Border Wall system is an engineering marvel traversing in a snake-like manner over a roller coaster of rocky inaccessible terrain. It’s a jaw-dropping sight. We laud the Great Wall of China as a wonder of the world. Yet unlike China, many U.S. open border proponents see no value in border security or this magnitude infrastructure accomplishment to help Border Patrol protect the homeland.
In October 2020, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and CBP celebrated 400 miles of new walls.
“Deploying the wall system in high priority areas allows U.S. Border Patrol to decide where border crossings take place, not smugglers,” says CBP.
This is the result of the “will and vision of President Trump and the dedication and hard work of the men and women of DHS, the Army Corps of Engineers and our colleagues from across the Administration,” Acting DHS Secretary Wolf said.
To All Americans:
“Every single bit of concrete and steel that goes into the ground stops dangerous people and deadly drugs from coming into this country,” promises CBP Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan.
Conversely Biden promised “there will not be another foot of wall constructed on my administration.” reported Fox News Jan 9. Morgan told Fox that “canceling projects at this point would…cost taxpayers billions of dollars, billions of dollars in settlement fees,” he said.
In addition to the 450 miles of the wall already in the ground, 350 miles of wall system are ready to go into the ground. The contracts have been awarded, says Morgan.
Stopping border wall construction alerts transnational criminal organizations that are not dumb people, according to Castrejon.
“These are very highly intelligent individuals. They’re motived by money and have unlimited resources. To underestimate these organizations as law enforcement would be a disservice to ourselves,” he says.
Cartels dig tunnels under the walls wherever they can. In 2020 Border Patrol Tunnel Task Force identified six. Since 1994, CBP discovered over 75 drug tunnels making it a persistent threat.
The Tijuana River nightmare is a huge risk for CBP. Where are Calif. environmentalists here?
As the Tijuana River makes its way into the U.S., it is an environmental catastrophe woefully being ignored. For decades, the stinky and litter-full bog is a watch requirement for agents. The Tijuana becomes a fast-flowing trash dump when it rains says Castrejon who frequently patrols there. The waters are so toxic with contaminants, heavy metals, and human waste that they can eat through the material of an agent’s boot.
Hence, leaders instruct agents to stay away from the water unless it’s a life-threatening situation.
Agents will often complain of headaches and burning eyes after breathing in the air for 10-hour shifts. Local property owners are at risk and drone smuggling is on the uptick in this no-mans’ land. For visitors and mall shoppers near the Tijuana River Channel Castrejon warns,
“It could very well be that a drug smuggling scheme is taking place right above your head.”
It takes the efforts of both the U.S. and Mexico to develop effective treatment plants and so far nothing has been done. Someone needs to answer to the people living on both sides of the border.
“The 21st century promises to provide enormous leaps in technology that can be applied to border enforcement. The modernization of the Patrol advances at a dizzying rate as new generations of agents develop innovative ways to integrate the contemporary technology into field operations,” says CBP. This increases the potential to assist agents in fulfilling the CBP mission.