Feds to cut aerial surveillance on the border by 50%
Texas governor Greg Abbott and Democratic congressman Henry Cuellar have sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security demanding an explanation why the agency is planning to cut back aerial monitoring of the southern border by 50%.
In a letter to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, the lawmakers said the cut to a requested 3,850 hours of aerial detection and monitoring in 2016 amounts to 50 percent less coverage than recent years.
“Given the recent surge of migrants from Central America and Cuba along the southern border, we believe DHS should request more surveillance and security resources, not fewer,” Abbott and Cuellar wrote in a letter.
The pair also reminded Johnson that in September, Abbott’s office asked the DHS for more aerial resources and U.S. Border Patrol agents but that the request was never acknowledged.
A DHS spokesperson said the agency would respond "directly" to the governor and the congressman.
The governor of the second largest state in the union requests additional resources to help with border control, and DHS doesn't even have the common courtesy to acknowledge the request? Our border security is in the very best of hands.
Monday’s request comes as CBP is reporting a new surge in the number of undocumented immigrants crossing the Rio Grande. From October to December of 2015, about 10,560 unaccompanied minors entered Texas illegally through the Rio Grande Valley sector of the U.S. Border Patrol. That marks a 115 percent increase over the same time frame in 2014. The amount of family units, defined as at least one child and adult guardian or parent, has increased by 170 percent to 14,336 in the Rio Grande Valley.
The El Paso sector also saw 1,030 unaccompanied minors, an increase of almost 300 percent.
In Monday’s letter, the pair also requested a detailed breakdown of how the DHS determined the reduction in aerial surveillance was warranted and information on how staffing and operation levels would be affected.
While Abbott has spoken extensively about illegal immigration from Mexico and Central America, the letter marked the first time Abbott has referenced a recent surge of Cubans coming into Texas.
Let me get this straight. We have a new surge of illegal aliens from Central America crossing the border with the addition of Cubans trying to enter the country illegally. And rather than increasing surveillance, DHS wants to cut it by 50%?
With a little less than a year left in office, it appears that President Obama wants to allow as many "refugees" as possible to present themselves for entry into the U.S., with all the associated costs and turmoil in towns across America who will be forced to take care of them.
The president is very generous with taxpayer funds when it comes to resettling illegal immigrants his policies have encouraged. And even when the policy is reversed, it will take years to repair the damage done to our immigration enforcement efforts.