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Former Border Patrol Chief Reveals Top Threat Facing U.S. Right Now: ‘It’s Going To Get So Much Worse’

   DailyWire.com
US President Donald Trump speaks with US Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott (R) as they participates in a ceremony commemorating the 200th mile of border wall at the international border with Mexico in San Luis, Arizona, June 23, 2020.
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Former Border Patrol Chief Rodney Scott, who was forced out of his position by the Biden administration earlier this year, issued a stark warning during an interview that aired on Wednesday evening, saying that the greatest threat that the U.S. is facing is the current administration withholding information from the American public.

Scott told Fox News anchor Bret Baier that the Border Patrol has made significant progress over the last couple of decades to shore up border security and that the Biden administration has effectively thrown all of that progress out of the window and completely opened the border.

“It was getting significantly better than ever before and it allowed us to make calculated risk decisions on behalf of Americans,” Scott said. “We knew who the organizations were bringing them, and we had a higher confidence level of what type of a risk would they be if they crossed in this area where they’re trying to evade arrest, higher probability that they’re actually criminal aliens or their narcotics smugglers. We were investing in technology systems that use artificial intelligence to help us with that as well.”

“All that has been shut down,” Scott continued. And all effort has been refocused on expediting the processing speed of the massive amounts of illegal aliens that are coming into the country today. That should matter because if I can’t tell you who crosses through a Nogales, or a McAllen or a San Diego, they are going to end up in your community.”

When asked by Baier if the border was “fairly open,” Scott responded, “No, the border is wide open right now.”

“The border is wide open right now,” Scott said. “Border Patrol is well beyond what I would call task saturation. They are so overwhelmed. There are huge sections a U.S. border and you pick the state, we know we have thousands of people waiting to come across and where we know we have like, like high-level cartel violence going on on a daily basis between the government of Mexico and the cartels and they’re bringing narcotics in, there are hundreds of miles of border, there’s not a single border patrol agent right now. Why? Because they’re in a soft-sided facility that we set up at another $5 or $6 million a month, to babysit, to process, and to expedite the processing of these people.”

“I’ve fought for it my whole career. You can be pro- border security, pro-law order, and pro-immigration, it just has to be legal, you can’t have unabated illegal entry into this country, and have any real belief that you have border security. And if you have no border security, you have no homeland security, no national security,” Scott continued. “The ‘remain in Mexico’ program, what that did is it ensured due process so that anybody could get a chance to basically claim asylum. But it took away the prize before the judge made the decision. So it really weeded out the fraud. What people miss in that is by weeding out those thousands and thousands of fraud cases, people that actually literally, legitimately, need asylum can get it quicker and easier, because it’s the same number of people processing in all these cases.”

When asked later during the interview what his biggest fear was when looking at the border, Scott responded that it was more than just the border, it was the fact that the administration is “hiding information from the American public so they can’t even make a good decision, they can’t make an educated decision because they don’t have the information.”

“Just society in general, that how it’s harder and harder to, even people listening to me right now, you don’t have to believe anything I say,” Scott continued. “Anybody that thinks that an uneducated smuggler bringing cocaine and marijuana across the border that successfully gets past Border Patrol agents is the only threat, is kind of naïve. There’s a lot of other threats. And again, we’d have to sit in a different, different venue for that. But I spent five years after 9/11 working on anti-terrorism issues specifically for Border Patrol and CBP and bringing us into that arena to see what the other threats are that are out there.”

Scott later added that the situation at the border, based on intelligence that he’s seen, is going to get significantly worse in the near future, saying, “it’s going to get so much worse if we don’t fix this.”

WATCH:

TRANSCRIPT:

BRET BAIER, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So after all your years, I mean, how would you describe the importance of border security?

RODNEY SCOTT, FORMER BORDER PATROL CHIEF: It’s just like your home. If you do not know who’s coming into your home, you have no security. If we can’t control and know who’s coming into this country, we don’t have any homeland security. And the most frustrating part was that for my career, for the vast majority of my career, we were making significant progress. We’re making smart investments, we’re getting better and better control of the border, our confidence level, and being able to say we knew who and what crossed, it was not 100%. But it was getting significantly better than ever before. And it allowed us to make calculated risk decisions on behalf of Americans. We knew who the organizations were bringing them, and we had a higher confidence level of what type of a risk would they be if they crossed in this area where they’re trying to evade arrest, higher probability that they’re actually criminal aliens or their narcotics smugglers. We were investing in technology systems that use artificial intelligence to help us with that as well. All that has been shut down. And all effort has been refocused on expediting the processing speed of the massive amounts of illegal aliens that are coming into the country today. That should matter because if I can’t tell you who crosses through an Nogales, or a McAllen or a San Diego, they are going to end up in your community.

BAIER: So in that case, it is fairly open?

SCOTT: No, the border is wide open right now.

BAIER: Wide open?

SCOTT: The border is wide open right now. Border Patrol is well beyond what I would call task saturation. They are so overwhelmed. There are huge sections a U.S. border and you pick the state, we know we have thousands of people waiting to come across and where we know we have like, like high-level cartel violence going on on a daily basis between the government of Mexico and the cartels and they’re bringing narcotics in, there are hundreds of miles of border, there’s not a single border patrol agent right now. Why? Because they’re in a soft sided facility that we set up at another $5 or $6 million a month, to babysit, to process, and to expedite the processing of these people. I’ve fought for it my whole career. You can be pro- border security, pro-law order, and pro-immigration, it just has to be legal, you can’t have unabated illegal entry into this country, and have any real belief that you have border security. And if you have no border security, you have no homeland security, no national security. The remain in Mexico program, what that did is it ensured due process, so that anybody could get a chance to basically claim asylum. But it took away the prize before the judge made the decision. So it really weeded out the fraud. What people miss in that is by weeding out those thousands and thousands of fraud cases, people that actually literally, legitimately, need asylum can get it quicker and easier, because it’s the same number of people processing in all these cases.

BAIER: So again, why change that? Wasn’t that something that was working?

SCOTT: I can’t get into the why and speculate, but I can tell you that it was working, it dramatically changed the border dynamics for us. And it eliminated the asylum fraud. As soon as people knew they weren’t going to get released into the U.S. and have six to seven years to hide before their their court date, they stopped applying because the case wasn’t valid to begin with.

BAIER: And you feel it’s important to speak out now?

SCOTT: I think it’s very important to speak out now. There’s, there’s a lot of people within DHS that want to tell the story within Border Patrol, within ICE, within ERO, but they’re within the confines of the structure. And I don’t think it’s a surprise to anybody that on January 20, basically, a gag order came down where none of those officials are allowed to say anything to anybody, unless it’s all pre approved. So that’s why I push for the congressional hearings. That’s why I didn’t come out day one say anything, because I think that’s the proper way to do it. If they’re called before Congress, they just tell the truth, under under oath, as opposed to right now, they just can’t. Whatever you think about border security, you need factual information, which means the whole story. How many really are being released into the U.S.? How many really are being tested for COVID? Out of that, how many are really positive? There’s information that DHS has that they’re making the decision to not share with the public, that historically we would shared.

BAIER: Were you surprised at some of the decisions when you heard them as you were still border chief? As they were coming down, were you surprised that these are the things that they were choosing to do or not do?

SCOTT: And I wouldn’t say surprised, but I will tell you I kind of had a false hope. Because I’ve heard that before. You’ve seen transitions of administration’s before and you say one thing and then when they get all the facts, and they really look at things, you’ll hesitate and, and you’ll reconsider. There’s no dialogue. There’s no like team, there’s no, the government officials just aren’t being listened to. Proven systems, proven programs are being ignored. And I avoid the why. I’ll just tell you that’s what’s happening.

BAIER: If you had carte blanche, if you had the magic wand, and you could do what you wanted on the border to solve the problem or try to, how would you do it?

SCOTT: I would re implement the strategy that the United States Border Patrol had been working on and perfecting for 25, almost 30 years. And that is just a smart mix, and Customs and Border Protection at the ports of entry, we do that in lockstep by the way because you’ll hear people say no, that threats only at the port. That’s not true. It goes back and forth. So we have to work together in lockstep. But we have been systematically improving border security for years through a smart deployment of personnel, technology, and infrastructure. What would I do? Is that. Simply continue to build out the border wall, that those requirements were developed by seasoned Border Patrol agents, based on where that infrastructure could make the biggest difference, and the return on investment long term. I would continue to invest in the people but there’s got to be a consequence for illegal entry. You cannot let people just come up, wave a flag, and then release them into the U.S. to get their case heard five, six years later, they’ve already got the prize. They’re already here. There’s no reason for that.

BAIER: So you’re saying that that while it was a Trump administration policy, is not, people shouldn’t be anti-political, anti-Trump, it’s policy that the Border Patrol came up with over years?

SCOTT: DHS personnel. So this is how it worked up until January 20th, and I was actually very proud to be part of this. I didn’t create it. But I was proud to be part of it. People got brought in a room from ICE, from CIS, from the Department of Justice, from U.S. Border Patrol. And they were told, hey, what can we do with with what we have? We’re still going to work with Congress and try to get some of these laws fixed. But in the meantime, what can we work with? What can we do to secure the border so that we can go out and tell America we know what, who and what, is crossing that border to the best ability we possibly can.

BAIER: So what’s your biggest fear when you look at the border?

SCOTT: Beyond the border now, what I’m seeing kind of, at the national level, is hiding information from the American public so they can’t even make a good decision, they can’t make an educated decision because they don’t have the information, that worries me. Just society in general, that how it’s harder and harder to, even people listening to me right now, you don’t have to believe anything I say. Anybody that thinks that an uneducated smuggler bringing cocaine and marijuana across the border that successfully gets past Border Patrol agents is the only threat, is kind of naïve. There’s a lot of other threats. And again, we’d have to sit in a different, different venue for that. But I spent five years after 9/11 working on anti-terrorism issues specifically for Border Patrol and CBP and bringing us into that arena to see what the other threats are that are out there. And they’re real, but we’re getting better every day to shut all that off and to put people’s lives at risk in Kansas or Chicago or everywhere else–

BAIER: Because people on the border they feel it, whether they’re Democrats or Republicans, they are passionate about this issue.

SCOTT: Correct.

BAIER: But you’re saying it should affect every state?

SCOTT: And yeah, people watching this right now. I think so many of them look at it and see that’s a border problem. They’re not staying there, and those 400,000 people that avoided arrest, they clearly didn’t stay at the border, they might be living down the street from you. Who are they? What’s the threat? I just can’t tell you that because we didn’t interact with them. But I can tell you, we’ve, the Border Patrol arrested over 10,000 criminal aliens last year out of the people that they came in contact with. The other thing that gets missed sometimes, that means they’ve been in the U.S. before and committed a crime. There’s no global database that says what crimes these people committed in Syria or Nicaragua or Honduras at all. Those 10,000 or only people that have been here before and committed a crime. So what else, just statistically, if you build that out, there’s some real threats to this country that are getting bias right now, that literally all it takes is to re-implement some of the programs we had in place that got rid of the fraud, that slowed down the flow, you’re always gonna have some people trying to sneak in illegally, that’s why we have the Border Patrol. But they can make decisions of where they deploy much more smarter when you’re dealing with manageable numbers then the chaos that we have today, which from the intel I’ve seen and heard about, is nothing like what’s going to come tomorrow, it’s going to get so much worse if we don’t fix this.

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