Boston Herald

Border Patrol asks for $$ while climate plans rake it in


U.S. Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz had a simple message for House Republican­s Wednesday: we need help.

Testifying at the House Homeland Security Committee’s field hearing in south Texas — which committee Democrats boycotted — Ortiz said that the current flow of migrants to the U.S-Mexico border “represents challenges, and in some areas, a crisis situation,” as The Hill reported.

“Now, unlike in previous surges, we are seeing traffic including large groups, spread across multiple locations, instead of just one or two specific sectors,” Ortiz said. “This places tremendous strain on Border Patrol resources and our operationa­l posture.”

As has been reported, a large group of people in Mexico approached a US border entry point in El Paso, Texas, Sunday in an attempt at mass entry into the U.S., causing disruption­s along the border and authoritie­s to erect barricades, US Customs and Border Protection said.

The group made a formation and approached the internatio­nal boundary at El Paso, “posing a potential threat to make a mass entry,” CBP said in a statement.

“CBP is working to maintain the legal and orderly flow of entry to the U.S. while protecting the safety and security of legitimate trade and travel, CBP facilities and the CBP workforce,” the agency said.

Ortiz specifical­ly requested more funds to hire employees who focus on processing migrants into the country.

Coming up with cash hasn’t been a problem for the Biden Administra­tion — it’s spent trillions. But who gets and who doesn’t depends on the agenda.

The infamous Inflation Reduction Act included $80 billion in increased IRS funding over ten years. Money for climate change initiative­s? No problem.

But protecting our southern border? Make do with what you have.

And what the Border Patrol has is a problem.

“Back in 2012, I had 21,370 Border Patrol agents. Right now, I have 19,016. My requiremen­t is 22,000 Border Patrol agents. Until I can get there, I’m going to require assistance from other agencies,” Ortiz told the House Committee. “But right now, for me, my priority is doing everything I can to add more personnel to my ranks, so we can make sure that Border Patrol agents are out there doing that job.”

This shortfall exists with Title 42 still in place. Imagine once the Trump-era immigratio­n policy ends, likely in May.

President Biden did make a highly controlled, no-migrantsin-sight visit to the border back in January. It was done to appease critics who slammed him for not setting foot there since taking office. Photo op over, he headed back to Washington while border communitie­s continue to be overwhelme­d.

If border security officials could somehow make the case that the timely processing of migrants and efforts to stem the flow of fentanyl and other drugs into the country were somehow linked to climate change, funding worries would be over.

But that’s not going to happen. All they can do is hope that at least some in Congress grasp the need, understand the crisis, and do all they can to shore up our border. Money can’t be an object.

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