The second-highest ranking member of the National Border Patrol Council on Wednesday offered some unique perspectives on how to help solve the worsening migrant crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border, including adjudicating claims of asylum at the point of entry.
NBPC Vice President Art Del Cueto told Newsmax TV’s Greg Kelly that it doesn’t matter which president came up with policies that discourage mass migration so long as they are kept in place by successive administrations, indicating that the issue is of bipartisan interest to all Americans.
In terms of dealing with the current crisis, however, Del Cueto suggested that Congress authorize the hiring of additional immigration judges and place them in detention centers so they can quickly deal with migrant claims of asylum rather than catch and release illegal aliens into the country and expect them to return for a hearing two-to-three years later.
“When you get a new administration, you’re gonna expect different policies and you’re gonna expect policy changes,” Del Cueto said. “You would hope they would stop, take a look at what policies have worked regardless of who the president was at the time, and move forward with other ideas, perhaps, and, you know, keep some of the policies that have been working.”
Del Cueto went on to say that following changes in policy made by President Joe Biden, which to many observers has led to the current influx crisis, has been a “bonanza” for the Mexican cartels in terms of human smuggling.
Kelly responded by noting that Department of Homeland Security officials have caught at least four people listed on the FBI’s terror watch list trying to cross into the U.S. via the southern border since October. He then played a clip of Biden during a debate in the fall of 2019 in which he said he would encourage “a surge…of people seeking asylum” if he became president.
Asked to respond, Del Cueto emphasized that he is “pro-immigration,” but not “pro-illegal immigration.”
“There has to be a system that’s going to work. There has to be a way that we can vet individuals that are coming into our country,” the NBPC vice president continued, adding that the Biden administration should “think outside the box.”
“It’s really not that difficult. If you hire more immigration judges, if you hire more asylum officers and actually put them on the line or put them in the facilities directly on the border where we’re seeing these surges, that way they’re able to see the cases and they can make the determination which of these cases are actual real cases of asylum and which are false claims,” said Del Cueto.
“But what you cannot be doing is looking at the cases, referring them to ICE facilities, then releasing them hoping they’ll show up to court,” he continued.
Taking it “a step further,” Del Cueto said that people who have waited years for their immigration court hearing and who do show up and are summarily told their claims are invalid are given a couple of weeks to sell any property they own before being deported.
“Those people never show up to court,” he added, noting further that “illegal immigration, cartels, [and] drugs” are bad for the county overall regardless of political party affiliation.