Like a bad football coach, every time Trump needs to distract from the many negative headlines he earns, he pulls out the old "Border Chaos Play." I suppose we cannot blame him. Mainstream media does bite that hook every single time. It's well choregraphed by now: the media puts out bad news, Trump throws his bait out there and the media dive to the left while Trump runs to the right. It never seems to occur to them that none of what he and his minions say makes any sense. And because they are always trying to get the headline, the media doesn't seem to be able to question the bs until the play is over.
If it ain't broke....
When one reporter asked Secretary of State Pompeo what proof existed to say that there was a crisis at the border, he responded that the apprehension numbers proved it. This left reporters stumped. Any reporter that routinely covers immigration should know that the basic statistics on immigration would instead disprove Trump's assertions that the border is out of control. When I joined the Patrol in 1995, there were 4,945 agents and 1.3 million apprehensions. In 2018 there were 19,555 agents and 404,142 apprehensions. That's four times as many agents. Ideally today's Border Patrol should be able to handle around 5 million apprehensions a year with that large of a force. According to Secretary Nielsen, she expects apprehensions to top 100,000 per month soon and claims the Patrol will not be able to handle border security. Really? With nearly 20,000 agents, it shouldn't be a problem.
The administration's insistence that they will have to take agents from the ports of entry to cover the areas in between is just as absurd. The United States Border Patrol is responsible for those areas in between the ports of entry, while Immigration Inspectors and Customs are responsible for the ports. Border Patrol does not routinely work at the ports and Inspectors do not work the in between areas. It's an entirely different type of skills that is needed to work each area, and they do not transfer well with each other. So, closing the southern ports and moving Inspectors to help the Patrol will accomplish nothing other than leaving our ports unmanned and creating a real crisis.
Now that would be a national emergency of Trump's own making.
The only chaos or crisis occurring at the southwest border right now is the humanitarian one they have engineered. He's had over two years to deal with the changing face of immigration. Migrants crossing the southern border are no longer mostly single, Mexican males. Instead, the majority are families from Central America. These families aim to claim their rights to asylum. It is their right according to the laws of the United States and international law to do so. Border Patrol Agents do not process claims of asylum...Asylum Officers do. Without more Asylum Officers, the backlog of claims and migrants will continue.
But don't expect Trump to do anything about it. This failure is purposeful and is all a part of the choregraphed dance of the Trump Administration, and that suits him just fine...