A very successful border control program is being shut down by the Obama administration and to make it worse, the administration is lying about it. The program has been highly effective in capturing drugs coming across our borders.
The Obama administration shut down Operation Phalanx, an aerial surveillance program that intercepts drugs and illegal crossings along the Mexican border.Watchdog.org reported. It is fully funded through 2018.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Cuellar challenged Johnson last February when DHS reduced Phalanx’s flight operations and they plan to challenge this.
There has been no explanation as to why it is being shut down.
U.S. Border Patrol reports show that apprehensions in the Rio Grande Valley rose 27 percent in fiscal 2016 versus fiscal 2015 and DHS is claiming apprehensions are down.
The program was very effective. In the smaller Laredo sector, Operation Phalanx accounted for 10,559 apprehensions and 4,007 “turnbacks” from March 2012 to December 2015. Phalanx was credited with seizing 12,851 pounds of narcotics during the period.
Obama is doing everything he can to open the border. January 20th can’t come soon enough. National Guard remains. https://t.co/N3qF8LhWTy
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 18, 2016
It gets worse. The Obama administration and DHS are angry that this has gotten out because they say it isn’t true, only, that’s not what others are saying.
Earlier this month, Hector Garza, the local president of the National Border Patrol Council division in Laredo, Texas, said one of his agents came to him and said a border security operation “that can mean the difference between life and death” had been shut down.
Garza later told Buzzfeed News that multiple agents corroborated the account and that “I spoke to one of the agents that said it’s already been a week since the last flight.”
Buzzfeed reported that DHS would not say, despite repeated questions, whether there will be any more Operation Phalanx flights in 2016.
Why won’t they?
On Nov. 15, a representative for the Texas National Guard — whose pilots fly the helicopters in Operation Phalanx — walked into Congressman Henry Cuellar’s office and told his staff that the Department of Homeland Security told the guardsmen that “this program is going away” for good.
“The National Guard came to my office and said DHS was not going to request any flight hours for 2017,” Cuellar, a Democrat who represents Laredo, told BuzzFeed News. “The mission as of that day ceased.”
No flights means no program!