By BETHANY BLANKLEY
THE CENTER SQUARE CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) – Border patrol agents are preparing for “a possible increase in migrant activity due to an increase in large group activity” as a result of Biden administration immigration policies, an internal Department of Homeland Security document released by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody says.
It specifically cites suspending the Migrant Protection Protocols, otherwise known as the Remain in Mexico Policy, and terminating the public health authority, Title 42, as contributing to an influx of people coming to the U.S. southern border from Central and South America through Mexico.
“This is a shocking discovery,” Ms. Moody said. “It contradicts what the Biden administration has been telling the American people and shows that the Mexican drug cartels are profiting off the mass migration of unvetted immigrants to fund an increase in violence at the border.”
Attorneys general from multiple states have sued the administration over terminating both policies, including Texas AG Ken Paxton and Missouri AG Eric Schmitt, who recently argued before the Supreme Court asking it to require the administration to follow the law and reinstate the MPP.
“We are in the midst of a national opioid crisis and the deadliest drugs are being smuggled into our country from Mexico,” Ms. Moody said in a statement. “President Biden knows this, yet he continues to double down on his terrible immigration policies knowing full well these policies are emboldening and enriching the very drug cartels who are profiting off the deaths of thousands of Americans.”
Entitled “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Overview of the Southwest Border,” the 8-page redacted document describes the role of Mexican cartels and transnational, organized-criminal networks in smuggling people to the U.S.
It states, “…we assess that smuggling networks are very active in promoting the flow of migrants through Mexico as drug trafficking organizations maintain control of the primary trafficking corridors into the United States. The drug trafficking organizations’ control of these corridors allows them to regulate the flow of migrants as well as charge migrants a ‘tax’ … for the right to pass through the corridors.
“Transnational criminal organizations will exploit migration flows and entrench themselves in the smuggling cycle. TCOs endanger vulnerable individuals, amass illicit profits that feed cartel violence in Mexico and along the border, and create a volatile border environment.”
The document also “proves that the Biden administration knows that its disastrous border policies are responsible for the influx of illegal migrants,” Ms. Moody says. She points to a section that states that “irregular migration,” which is new terminology DHS is using to refer to illegal immigration, “will likely increase in fiscal year 2021 as economic opportunities emerge and migrant perceptions of U.S. immigration policies shift.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection and DHS officials are preparing for an influx of people, having “initiated contingency planning in anticipation of a potential surge of illegal migration,” the document states, with preparation to move them into the U.S.
It points to Biden administration policies, including, “the pause in the use of removal pathways such as the Migrant Protection Protocols, Asylum Cooperation Agreements, and Prompt Asylum Claim Review,” as factors contributing to increased migration, which have restricted CBP and Border Patrol agents’ ability over the last year to process and remove those in the U.S. illegally.
Total CBP encounters with illegal immigrants at the southwest border totaled nearly 2.5 million since February 2021, Ms. Moody notes, with deportations down by 70% last year.