“What is shocking to me is that (…) I alone was able to count hundreds of migrants daily”. That’s how our field correspondent Anthony Cabassa started our Twitter Space yesterday about the southern border crisis during the first months of the Biden Administration.
Anthony went in person to the border to cover the visit of VP Kamla Harris last month and explained in the space how border patrol told him that for every person that gets properly apprehended “they believe another two or three can get in without being detected.”
For Cabassa, the main problem is that law enforcement is not being able to detect where drugs are coming from, as they are occupied tending for the thousands of migrants that border patrol can detain and apprehend.
Anthony also brought up an interesting point, as he said that “there’s no way” law enforcement to verify the international IDs that most migrants have, as those IDs do not have the same requirements and security features as American IDs. Our field correspondent highlighted how difficult is for officials to actually know who they are.
Edgar Beltran, our deputy editor, also shared a similar point of view to Anthony’s. As he said that the thing that worries him the most is that a majority of migrants are not detected so authorities don’t know if people are actually fleeing from “violence or if they are the people actually causing the violence”.
Edgar said that while it is undeniable that people who are fleeing the violent situation in Central America have “a legal right to apply for political asylum” and that a majority of those who cross the border are not criminals, even a small minority of those who cross undetected could cause a lot of trouble in cities near the border.
For Beltran, is “not that the farmers that are running away from the violence are causing issues” but that the criminals who are “entering undetected” are the ones who are causing difficulties, as some criminals might take this opportunity to sneak into the United States in the guise of fleeing the violence.
The panel, also composed by our analyst Daniel Chang, talked for over an hour about the causes and consequences of this issue. Including how it affects the political environment in the heavily Latino south of Texas.