Former President Donald Trump's visit to the Rio Grande Valley will bring attention to the issues there that have been happening after he left the White House in January, Ron Vitiello, the former acting director of U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, said on Newsmax Wednesday.
"I think him going to the valley and reuniting with some of the officials and the leadership down there is going to inspire the workforce," Vitiello said on Newsmax's "National Report."
The Trump administration had its remain in Mexico policy and an accord with the Northern Triangle countries of Central America, said Vitello, and that stemmed the immigration numbers.
"That allowed for asylum reform and it didn't let people abuse the system and come to the United States and get released pending an asylum claim," said Vitiello. "In January, all those tools were taken off the table, and we saw a crush of humanity at the border. Thousands and thousands of people coming and lots of children, lots of families, and so we've produced a condition at the border where there's an incentive to come now."
However, it's not only those policies that would have kept the immigrants at bay, said Vitello.
"There's also a level of rhetoric around this administration that says they're going to give amnesty and a pathway to citizenship to every other illegal alien that's in the country, and so people are being encouraged to come to the border," he said.
Meanwhile, the situation will get "a lot more dangerous" as the summer continues, said Vitiello.
"Those people are in the pipeline where they get mistreated by governments and corrupt officials," he added. "They get mistreated by smugglers in these cartels, put a tax on them coming through the pipeline. In the summer months, there's more risk for everyone because of the terrain and the extreme conditions in the heat so people are locked up in stash houses or the back of a tractor-trailer rig, and the dangers and the risks increase during the summer months."
Further, having a distracted Border Patrol is allowing smugglers to bring in record amounts of fentanyl, marijuana, methamphetamine, and other drugs, said Vitiello.
"If 40% of the workforce is doing something else besides patrolling the border making drug seizures, rescuing people from human trafficking, rescuing people from the heat and the conditions, that means that there's 40% less protection at that border, which means the cartels are not only taking advantage of the situation by taxing the smugglers and the people in the pipeline ... this chaos is not good for anyone."
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Sandy Fitzgerald ✉
Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics.
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