Americans not living near our southern border may not be aware that the U.S. Border Patrol maintains highway checkpoints in the interior, often miles north of the border. These checkpoints, comparable to the “secondary coverage” of football team’s defense, operate to intercept illegal motor traffic that has successfully made it past the border.
Interestingly, Google Maps displays a map of some of these checkpoints, conveniently titled “Routes to Avoid – Border Patrol Checkpoints.” (We’re not sure who Google is warning here.)
What’s newsworthy about this is that the El Paso port of entry has now been forced to close a number of highway checkpoints due to a lack of Border Patrol manpower. The surge of migrants and “asylum seekers” at the border itself, composed of family-type groups, many of whom are suffering from a variety of illnesses, has pushed the Patrol to the breaking point. In recent days, they have had to close five highway checkpoints, thus giving up their “secondary defense,” in order to redeploy agents to the border. There, all available agents are kept busy arresting and processing the hundreds of migrants who present themselves each day.
One day last week agents arrested 400 migrants in the space of five minutes.
The changed demographics of the migrants–who were once almost exclusively young men and are now adults accompanied by minor children–has also placed an added medical burden on agents. They estimate that along the southwestern border the Border Patrol makes at least 50 hospital runs every day. Sick migrants are suffering from a variety of ailments– such as “flu, mumps, chicken pox, impetigo . . . and even one case of flesh-eating bacteria.”
Closing highway checkpoints would provide free passage not only for illegal aliens but also for illegal drugs coming into our country. The Border Patrol reports that immigration checkpoints nationwide since January 1, had been responsible for the seizure of “more than 6,000 pounds of marijuana, 52 pound of heroin, 456 pounds of cocaine, 1,188 pounds of methamphetamine and 36 pounds of fentanyl. ” And yet closing all the interior checkpoints and redeploying all agents to the border would not likely solve the manpower shortage of the seriously understaffed Border Patrol. As a consequence, the Department of Homeland Security has requested help from the Pentagon, which is expected to provide active-duty troops to assist in processing and caring for the constant stream of migrants headed north.
One immigration advocate when interviewed explained that “the United States is a beacon of hope,” and that therefore the influx she and her group encourage will continue. Without major changes legally and logistically, that country will instead eventually become lost in hopelessness.