President Donald Trump has reformed screening policies for cargo trucks entering the United States from Mexico. Prior to Trump, procedures were relaxed, just as they were relaxed when it came to permitting thousands of people to openly defy US law to cross the border illegally.
While not every person who crosses illegally is involved in crime, it stands to reason that many who come to the US without obeying federal law do have criminal intent.
Who benefits from the millions of dollars involved in cross border smuggling of people and drugs?
Cartels, for one. Select banks for another. And others who are unknown.
Judicial Watch published a release about the truck screenings. Excerpts indicate prior to the Trump administration, cartels enjoyed a pass:
“In a major shift from lax Obama-era regulations, the Trump administration is finally allowing customs officers to screen all cargo trucks entering the U.S. from Mexico and sources on both sides of the border tell Judicial Watch Mexican drug cartels are fuming. U.S. Customs and Border Protection is using X-ray technology and other non-intrusive tools to screen 100% of cargo trucks crossing the southern border after eight years of sporadic or random screening permitted under the Obama administration.” [and]
“We felt like we were the welcoming committee and not like we were guarding our borders,” said veteran U.S. Customs agent Patricia Cramer, who also serves as president of the Arizona chapter of the agency’s employee union. “The order was to facilitate traffic, not to stop any illegal drugs from entering the country,” Cramer added. “We want to enforce the law. That’s what we signed up for.” Cramer, a canine handler stationed at the Nogales port of entry in Arizona, said illicit drugs are pouring in through the southern border, especially massive quantities of fentanyl, an opioid painkiller that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says is more potent than morphine.” [and]
“[A] veteran Homeland Security official told Judicial Watch that cattle trucks passed without inspection during the Obama administration because Mexican farmers complained that the security screenings frightened their cows.”
Judicial Watch said a “preferred method of moving drugs” rested on “driving through a port of entry in a cargo truck.”
Both Democrats and some Republicans embrace the open border concept without coming right out and saying it. Who benefits? We should be asking those questions of the people we elect to represent us, not citizens of foreign countries or drug cartels.
Even left of center media acknowledge the profits and the role of banks. In 2014 NPR featured a story about cartels laundering their money through large transnational banks. While NPR used State Dept. estimates on the staggering amount of earnings, it’s likely the real amount is far higher:
“The State Department reports that Mexican trafficking organizations earn between $19 and $29 billion every year from selling marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines on the streets of American cities.”
“ICE says in 2007 and 2008, the Sinaloa Cartel and a Colombian cartel wire-transferred $881 million in illegal drug proceeds into U.S. accounts.”
To assume none of this money makes its way to public officials and bureaucrats is to ignore the reality of human nature. Trump should continue to reform the casual policies implemented by previous presidents, and members of Congress should do their jobs to support that effort to uphold existing federal laws.
Other than cartels, gangs have also benefited from previous federal policies, with violent groups like MS 13 continuing to grow membership in US cities, one reason critics of border policy sounded the alarm when thousands and thousands of young adults were permitted to enter illegally and openly, with the blessing of the former regime.
Judicial Watch published the full story here.
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Aug. 2, 2017)