Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council, testified Wednesday that we’d be lucky if 40% of the border is secure and, of the illegal aliens they have captured, one out of five is a felon.
Mr. Judd, who has been an agent for 18 years, testified on behalf of the National Border Patrol Council before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
During his testimony, he reviewed recent crimes resulting from the escalating violence on the border and warned of the growth of the drug cartels. Twenty years ago, the Zeta, Sinaloa, Gulf, and Knights Templar cartels did not exist or were not widely known, he said, adding that cartels now are “well organized, heavily armed, and pathologically violent.” The death toll from drug cartels in Mexico is officially 60,000, unofficiallly 120,000 with 27,000 missing and presumed dead.
Mr. Judd said one in five arrests last year – 20% – was of a criminal alien. Half of these criminals were convicted of “murder, rape, sexual assault of a child, and drug and weapons trafficking.” Most had been previously deported.
“I want to be very clear on this especially given the recent incendiary comments about who is crossing the border and the assertions that the border is safer than it has ever been. In 2014 ICE deported 177,000 convicted criminals. Of this number, 91,000 were arrested by the Border Patrol trying to illegally re-enter this country. To put this figure in perspective, in 2014 the Border Patrol apprehended and arrested just under 500,000 illegal immigrants – meaning that one in every five arrests last year by the Border Patrol was a criminal alien.”
“Almost 50 percent of the criminal aliens deported in 2014 were convicted of aggravated felonies – these charges include murder, rape, sexual assault of a child, and drug and weapons trafficking. These are not petty criminals, and approximately 60 percent of those deported last year had already been deported at least once before.”
Chairman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, asked how much of the border is under “operational control.” That refers to border that the government is able to deter or apprehend illegal entries. Robert L. Harris, director of Customs and Border Protection’s joint task force in charge of combating border violence, said he couldn’t answer. Mr. Judd was then given an opportunity to answer. He said based on what he hears from his union’s line agents across the border, “I would say we would be lucky if we’re 40 percent.”