Thursday, July 24, 2014 – 06:00 p.m.
Riverside City Councilman and congressional candidate Steve Adams spent yesterday morning touring the U.S.-Mexico border with Chris Harris, Vice President for Local 1613 of the National Border Patrol Council. Adams made the trip to the San Diego Sector of the border to get firsthand knowledge of the situation at the border.
“There is no easy answer to this,” Adams said. “If there is one thing that I learned during my visit, it’s that border security is a multifaceted and complex operation. The men and women who protect our border have seen cuts in their overtime hours, their field hours and in the resources that they have to protect to the border. These cuts put the American people in danger and negatively impact the Border Patrol’s ability to do their job.”
During Steve’s tour he saw multiple areas of the border, including those where the only thing separating the United States and Mexico is a painted yellow line on the ground. There are places on the border where there is no fence and the only means of security is a vigilant Border Patrol agent.
“This is not about the origin of who crosses the border, but about the threat to our citizens and our nation’s security,” Adams said. “This is about securing our borders from drug smugglers, dangerous criminal organizations and potential terrorist organizations. The agents that I talked to told me that two-thirds of the people they see are not people seeking the American Dream.”
Here is what Steve learned:
• According to the Border Patrol, two-thirds of those who cross the border illegally in the San Diego Sector are criminal aliens. Criminal aliens are those who have been convicted of crimes in the U.S. before being sent back into Mexico. These individuals are often convicted of statutory rape, domestic violence and gang related crimes.
• California has not seen a dramatic increase in the number of children coming to the border.
• One of the newest groups crossing the border is the Roma Gypsies. They come from Eastern Europe, cross the border illegally, set their suitcases down and wait for a Border Patrol agent to apprehend them. After they are processed, they are given an immigration hearing and are allowed to temporarily stay in the United States. Ninety percent of these people will show up for their first hearing, because they know nothing will happen. They fail to show up at subsequent hearings.
• Border Patrol agents are frustrated with the administration’s lack of prosecution regarding criminal aliens. “Our agents get shot at, and for what? We catch these criminal aliens, and then they are released without prosecution,” said an agent who asked to remain anonymous.
• Border Patrol agents are shot at, “rocked” (an assault in which individuals on the Mexican side of the border hurl rocks at the agents to cause significant harm) and exposed to infectious disease on a regular basis.
• An extensive fence is not the answer to border security. According to the Border Patrol, illegal immigration is a symptom of a larger problem. That problem, they say, is the practice of American business knowingly hiring illegal aliens. In order to secure the border, this incentive must be removed.
• The Obama Administration claims that their deportation rates are the highest of any administration. However, ICE has begun a practice of including voluntary returns in their deportation numbers. That boosts the number of “deportations” that they can claim, while official deportations are down.
Steve has made trips to the border before, touring different locations from Texas to California.
He posted a video highlighting what he learned at: www.vimeo.com/adams4congress