The chief of the U.S. Border Patrol said in a Senate hearing Wednesday that illegal immigrants “know” that “if you get to the United States border we’re gonna let you in” due to existing policies.
Mark Morgan, who became Border Patrol chief in June, was referencing the policy of issuing Notices to Appear to illegal immigrants apprehended at the border. These notices let illegal immigrants go and notify them that they have to show up to court at a certain date.
Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, has previously testified, “These orders are called Notices to Appear (NTA). The only problem, however, is that these official orders are usually ignored; so much so that Border Patrol Agents have dubbed them Notices to Disappear.”
Morgan was asked by Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs chairman Ron Johnson at a hearing about the flow of unaccompanied minors and family units from Central American countries. “They know that if they make it to the border they will be released into the interior of the United States,” Morgan said. “It sends a strong message to those folks in the country that if you get to the United States border, we’re gonna to let you in. It’s a huge pull factor,” he added.
Morgan’s testimony said that there have been 10,549 unaccompanied alien children apprehended by CBP in Fiscal Year 2017 as of November 16. That is a 38 percent increase compared to the same period in FY 2016.
Sen. Johnson asked if a policy of expedited removal was enacted for these unaccompanied alien children if the numbers would go down. Morgan replied, “Yes sir.” He pointed to the fact that expedited removal is in effect for Mexican nationals and the numbers of them apprehended at the border has gone down.
“In 2006, 90 percent of those we apprehended were Mexican nationals and now we’re at 36 percent,” Morgan said. The Border Patrol chief added, “We reduced that pull factor by instituting a system of consequences.”
Johnson then asked Deputy Chief Carla Provost about expedited removal being enacted in 2005 to respond to a surge of Brazilian immigrants. “When we deliver the consequence of the expedited removal and the physical removal to Brazil the numbers did decrease,” the Border Patrol deputy chief replied.