The former acting commissioner for Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fears the latest caravan of thousands of migrants currently trekking through Southern Mexico could spell security problems throughout the United States’ southern border.
Mark Morgan told The National Desk on Tuesday that he expects the caravan, which consists of some 3,000 Africans, Central Americans, Haitians and South Americans, will arrive at the U.S.-Mexico border in several weeks.
‘When you have numbers like 1.7 million [encounters reported by CBP in fiscal year 2021], the majority of those in the last nine months, the United States Border Patrol is overwhelmed,’ he said.
‘That’s why we have large areas of the border wide open. This should concern all of us.’
Morgan’s comments come as the migrants have spent four days together traveling by foot and chanting ‘yes we can’ in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas in an effort to reach Mexico City and petition the administration of President Andréa Manuel López Obrador to grant them the necessary permits in order to freely move in the country.
The group, called by organizers the ‘Madre Caravana’ or ‘Mother Caravan,’ has one objective: to reach the U.S. border and ask President Joe Biden’s administration for asylum.
Migrants heading to Mexico City to request asylum and refugee status rested in Huixtla, Chiapas, on Tuesday. At least 3,000 people have formed part of a caravan that hopes to reach the US and seek asylum
Former CBP acting commissioner Mark Morgan (pictured in October 2019) told The National Desk on Tuesday that he expects the caravan, which consists of some 3,000 Africans, Central Americans, Haitians and South Americans, will arrive at the border in several weeks
According to Morgan – who served as Border Patrol chief under then-President Barack Obama and quit after Donald Trump took office before serving as acting CBP director from July 2019 to January 2021 – the migrants have declined an offer from the Mexican government to remain in their nation, which he he labeled ‘a safe third country’ despite its problems with poverty and violence driven by cartels.
‘Those images, these migrants clearly have no regard for the rule of law, our nation’s sovereignty, and also should tell us that these migrants are clearly economic migrants, they’re not seeking asylum, valid asylum,’ he said.
‘They’re outside the country right now, they’ve arrived in Mexico, a safe third country where Mexico has said, hey we will give you asylum, but that wasn’t their end goal.
The migrants defied the U.S. government by saying ‘tell Biden we are coming’ as left the Chiapas town of Tapachula, which borders Guatemala, on Saturday and spent parts of the last two days in Huehuetán.
Morgan’s comments come as the migrants have spent four days together traveling by foot and chanting ‘yes we can’
in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas in an effort to reach Mexico City and petition the administration of President Andréa Manuel López Obrador to grant them the necessary permits in order to freely move in the country.
Morgan was critical of Biden for not visiting the border.
‘I’ve been there before … I know it well … I guess I should go down,’ the president said last week during a CNN town hall.
The former acting CBP chief also said he didn’t agree with Border Patrol Chief Raul Ortiz for saying that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott should leave surveillance of the border to ‘border security experts.’
Their end goal is to get to the United States, violate our laws.’
Migrants took a break from their march toward Mexico City and the US-Mexico border and rested in Huixtla, a city in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, on Tuesday
A migrant family slept in the middle of a street in Huixtla, Mexico, as the caravan they joined stopped to rest following four days of traveling by foot
The caravan, pictured resting Tuesday, set off from Tapachula on October 23
Morgan credited Abbot’s deployment of about 1,000 state troopers and Texas Rangers to stand guard at the border.
Their presence, he said, has resulted in about 150,000 migrants being detained for unlawful border crossing.
‘At least there’s some form of consequence that’s being applied by Operation Lone Star, unlike now where there are no consequences being applied,’ he said.
Texas Republican Rep. Tony Gonzalez echoed Morgan’s sentiments in an interview with Fox News on Monday, declaring that the state was fending for itself.
‘For the first time, though, you see Texans get behind Texans and we are ready to secure the border on our own,’ Gonzalez said.
‘Sadly, that’s what it’s come to. You got Texas National Gard there, you got of course Texas DPS [Department of Public Safety] agents, as well.
‘The bottom line is: every day people do not feel safe because of the chaos that this administration has caused along the border.’
Migrants, mostly from Central America, walked north along a coastal highway just outside of Huixtla, Chiapas, on Monday
They carried a cross and the American flag as they were on their way to Huixtla, Chiapas
Dozens of migrants sought shelter from the heavy rains on Monday, causing them to momentarily stop their journey toward Mexico City where they intend to seek a permit that will allow them to freely move through the country in their attempt to reach the US border
Tired children and adults rested in Huixtla Monday following three days of traveling by foot in a caravan of about 3,000 people from Africa, Central America, Haiti and South America
Organizers of caravan initially drew its members by distributing a QR code that was shared on social media in mid-October.
Most of those who joined the migrant caravan were camping out in the Chiapas city of Huixtla on Wednesday, where they had begun to arrive the previous night and sought shelter from the heavy rains.
‘It is a joy for us, because it is one more step, for us to fulfill our dreams,’ a migrant identified as Mario López told Mexican news station Milenio.
‘We simply want free passage [through Mexico], we do not want to offend anyone, not even immigration [agents].
‘We just want to go through Mexico to fulfill our American dream.’