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New U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens said during an interview that aired on Sunday that the Mexican drug cartels are flooding the U.S. border with illegal immigrants in part as a distraction so they can smuggle drugs, criminals, and weapons into the U.S.
Owens made the remarks during an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” while talking about the historic surge in illegal immigration unfolding on the southern border that has occurred under President Joe Biden.
“In terms of flow and the threats that we’re seeing with Fentanyl and with the criminal organizations that are our adversary, it’s about as bad as I’ve ever seen it,” Owens said. “This isn’t sustainable. This is up-and-down the system, everybody is overwhelmed. Even the government of Mexico, which have been great partners for us, the U.S. Border Patrol, a lot of times our facilities are already over capacity.”
ABC News asked why so many thousands of illegal immigrants were entering the U.S. through the small town of Eagle Pass, Texas.
“I believe it’s a money-making opportunity for those smugglers and I believe it’s a distraction from them to cross other things into the country,” he said, adding that what the cartels are smuggling into the U.S. are “narcotics, Fentanyl, bulk cash, weapons, people of interest, whether it be hardened criminals and gang members, convicted — convicted sexual predators.”
Owens said that Border Patrol was supposed to be focused on stopping the smuggling of those things but instead is focused on processing tens of thousands of illegal immigrants instead.
Owens said that Border Patrol does not have the legal authority to simply push back those illegally trying to enter the U.S. and instead can only “enforce the laws that are on the books.”
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) September 24, 2023