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Border Patrol Chief Attributes Border Surge to Perception of ‘Easier Entry’ and Job Opportunities

via HSDF
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Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens gave two primary reasons for record high apprehensions at the US-Mexico border:

1) Social media and word of mouth have created a perception that it’s easier to cross into the US now to await asylum claims and potentially work, enticing more people to make the journey.

2) Migrant flows have changed from seasonal economic workers who would return home, to entire families relocating permanently with all their belongings due to encouragement from human smugglers profiting greatly from the influx.

Owens noted cartels are exploiting the high volume of crossings to make millions from human smuggling and trafficking in addition to drug trafficking.

CBS News’ Montoya-Galvez asked, “[T]he number of apprehensions recorded by Border Patrol has never been this high. Why is that happening?”

Owens said, “Well, I think you have a lot of folks that — we always have, folks that want to come to this country to make a better way of life for themselves, and that’s something that, it’s important to our country, it’s important in our history. You see people that perceive an easier time of coming across that, by social media, by word of mouth, that’s going to entice them to come across and take advantage of the volume that we’re seeing to be able to get into the country and await their asylum claim and maybe work while they’re waiting.”

“I also think that the cartels and the smugglers are encouraging them more and more. Why? Because they’re making millions and millions of dollars every week, not just on narcotics smuggling, but now, in the human trafficking and human smuggling arenas. … In times past, what we would we see, a lot of times, are folks from Mexico, economic migration, coming across, they would work for the season, they would send remittances home to their families, and then, at the end of the season, they’d return home, and then they would come back again. Now, what we’re seeing is everybody’s picking up lock, stock, and barrel with their entire families and making this journey,” he said.

This permanent relocation of families rather than temporary economic migration, combined with perceptions of an easier entry process, are driving unprecedented apprehension levels according to the Border Patrol chief.

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