One in every five Border Patrol apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border last year was of a criminal alien, the head of the union representing border patrol agents testified Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.
“In 2014 ICE deported 177,000 convicted criminals. Of this number, 91,000 were arrested by the Border Patrol trying to illegally re-enter this country. To put this figure in perspective, in 2014 the Border Patrol apprehended and arrested just under 500,000 illegal immigrants – meaning that one in every five arrests last year by the Border Patrol was a criminal alien,” Brandon Judd, the president of the National Border Patrol Council said Wednesday at a committee hearing examining safety at the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to Judd, almost half of the criminal immigrants deported last year were convicted of aggravated felonies including murder, rape, sexual assail of a child, as well as drug and weapons trafficking. Further 60 percent of the immigrants deported in 2014 had been previously deported.
“This is the challenge we are facing at the border today,” Judd said. “There are those who will point to lower apprehension rates and tell you the border is secure. Border Patrol Agents, however, throughout this nation will tell you the border not secure and the Southwest Border certainly is not safe.”
When later asked about the level of operational control at the U.S.-Mexico border, Judd noted they are “lucky” if they have 40 percent.
Judd further detailed the rise of cartels during his nearly 20 year career, pointing out that in the early 2000s violent drug cartels took hold.
“These cartels are well organized, heavily armed, and pathologically violent. To give you sense of the violence the official death, as quoted earlier, toll from the cartel violence in Mexico is 60,000. This is more than the United States military lost in in Vietnam. However, the unofficial death toll in Mexico is over 120,000 killed and another 27,000 missing and presumed dead,” Judd said.
“In Mexico, the cartels kill without hesitation or fear of prosecution. In May of this year, cartel members shot down a Mexican Army helicopter in the State of Jalisco. Why would we expect them to behave any differently on the U.S./Mexico border?”he asked.