Mexican military officers crossed illegally into the United States Tuesday for at least the second time in recent months, though the reason why remains a mystery, the National Border Patrol Council president said.
Brandon Judd, head of the union representing Customs and Border Protection officers, explained what happened on Fox Business Network Tuesday night.
“About 45 minutes ago we just had another Mexican incursion into the United States, Mexican military incursion into the United States,” Judd told Lou Dobbs Tonight. “We had several military personnel from Mexico cross the Rio Grande River, come up to our fence, which is about 200 yards north into the United States.
“They were looking around. An agent responded and when the agent responded the vast majority of them went back,” he said. “One of them didn’t make it back and the agent tried to take that individual into custody. … A minor scuffle ensued and the Mexican military official was able to get away and make it back into Mexico.”
“This potentially could have been just an incursion where they’re just looking around. That’s possible,” Judd said. “But it could have been for nefarious purposes. It could have been the drug cartels using the Mexican military to scope out the area in order to cross drugs, but we just don’t know.”
The situation is similar to an April confrontation between U.S. Army soldiers deployed to the border and several Mexican military personnel in Texas.
“On April 13, 2019, at approximately 2 p.m. CDT, five to six Mexican military personnel questioned two U.S. Army soldiers who were conducting border support operations in an unmarked (Customs and Border Protection) vehicle near the southwest border in the vicinity of Clint, Texas,” U.S. Northern Command said in a statement.
“An inquiry by (Customs and Border Patrol) and (the Department of Defense) revealed that the Mexican military members believed that the U.S. Army soldiers were south of the border.”
The incident occurred in the buffer zone between the actual U.S.-Mexico border and the border fence. The two soldiers were quickly approached by Mexican troops toting FX-05 Xiuhcoatl military rifles. The Mexican officers disarmed the soldiers, searched their vehicle, and interviewed the two before leaving the area in a Ford pickup with no “identifiable seals or symbols, American Military News reports.
“It outlines the difficulty we are having on our border. This potentially could have been just an incursion where they’re just looking around, that’s possible. They weren’t carrying weapons as far as I know, unlike a couple of months ago when we had the Mexican military come into the United States and disarm some of our National Guardsmen,” Judd said of the most recent incident. “This very well could have been them just looking around, but it could have been for nefarious purposes, as well.
“It could have been the drug cartels using the Mexican military to scope out the area in order to cross drugs, so we just don’t know,” he said.
Judd also discussed a recent attempt by a few hundred illegal immigrants to storm through the Del Rio port of entry, an effort thwarted by Border Patrol agents who shut down the facility and fortified against the attack.
“This is a good case of where the Mexican military stepped up and did a great job to help us control the situation,” he said. “This is what our Border Patrol agents are facing on the daily basis. We don’t know the good from the bad. We have to be able to separate those individuals.”
Judd argued that lawmakers calling for the decriminalization of crossing the border illegally are threatening national security.
“We have to be able to take those people into custody and we have to be able to verify who they are,” he said. “You decriminalize it and you just open the borders up carte blanche and we just don’t know who going to be crossing the border.
“This is where President Trump has done such a great job on his own, because Congress refuses to help him. He continues to look for ways he can go about it on his own. You have the ACLU who is going to fight him on it, but when he wins he’s going to make Congress look silly because he single-handedly is going to be able to control this issue,” Judd said.
Judd credited Trump with making significant progress with Mexico on stemming the flow of illegal immigration that eluded his predecessors, and building on that success with safe third country rules announced this week that will require asylum seekers to apply at the first country they enter. He argued the changes will be “very effective” at reducing the numbers of illegal immigrants flooding in from Mexico, if the changes survive court challenges from liberals.
“You can see he’s doing this systematically,” Judd said of Trump. “He is single-handedly causing that drop to happen on the border. We applaud him for that. Our Border Patrol agents applaud him for that, because we have to have the help in order to abate this crisis and we’re just not getting it anywhere else.”