Border Patrol Defies Trump: Allows Nonessential Travel From Mexico

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Today we have a very disturbing report from the Washington Examiner, where reporters spoke to anonymous Customs and Border Protection officials who say the agency is not following instructions from the White House. The orders came down from President Trump last week: The border is closed to anything and anyone who isn’t absolutely essential. No more foreign travel into the United States unless there is simply no alternative.

The executive order, which is crucial in helping the U.S. stem the flood of the coronavirus pandemic, is reportedly being ignored by agency officials who are continuing to allow noncitizens to come across the border for “shopping trips”!

“CBP employees in Arizona told the Washington Examiner Saturday they were instructed Friday night at the start of the executive order and again this morning not to turn around noncitizens who said they were coming in to shop, visit family, or for medical appointments. By Saturday morning, ‘hundreds’ of vehicles that should have been blocked at the port of entry had been allowed through, two officials said,” reports the paper.

One official told the Examiner: “We’re letting them through. And that’s pretty much the gist of it. Nobody’s enforcing it. It was put up – the president put it out. The chief patrol put it out. And we’re just not doing it.”

As of Friday night, border officials are supposed to turn away everyone who doesn’t have a work permit, isn’t a legal permanent resident, or who isn’t a student in the United States. Period. No room for further interpretation. So it makes little sense to see that supervisors at the border are going against the administration’s policy and telling officers to keep pursuing business as usual.

“In plan English, it was a giant shit show,” one official told the Examiner. “Nobody followed the directive, a plain and simple directive. You’re trying to keep the coronavirus from going north … yet you just let it bleed through anyway, so you’re not doing the job you’re directed to. That’s what’s aggravating.”

Get this: “Border Patrol agents familiar with operations at highway checkpoints located north of the ports of entry said employees at checkpoints were caught off guard late Friday when cars with Mexican license plates continued arriving since they should have been blocked at the border. Agents continued to see vehicles with plates from the Mexican state of Sonora, which runs up along the entirety of Arizona.”

This report is confusing and dismaying for a number of reasons. We assume that these “hundreds” of cars coming into the country belong to Mexicans with visitor visas, but are they really just going to Walmart? Are they really just heading to their doctor’s appointments? Or are they trying to ride out the coronavirus in the United States?

It seems that Trump and the Department of Homeland Security need to take a close look at the border and make sure their directives are being carried out.