Columns

John Walsh: ‘The Border Is as Porous as the Ocean’

WASHINGTON — John Walsh, creator of America’s Most Wanted, said the U.S.-Mexico border is “as porous as the ocean” and argued that illegal immigrants who commit crimes in the U.S. should be kept in jail and not sent back over the border.

Walsh argued that deportation gives criminal aliens a chance to come back to the U.S. and commit more crimes.

Walsh also praised presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s act of drawing attention to the lack of adequate security at the border and promoting the conversation around public safety issues in the nation – but said building a wall and mass deportations are not feasible solutions for border security.

Family members of victims killed by individuals living in the U.S. illegally have testified recently on Capitol Hill. Some of the illegal immigrants with criminal records mentioned at the hearings were repeat offenders.

Walsh was asked if federal immigration authorities should be allowed to release illegal immigrants with criminal records back into U.S. communities.

“No. I have been so involved in this and hunted down many illegals that committed crimes. One of them I will always remember — Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, the hobo serial killer — had been arrested and released by local county police, state police and federal police 17 times. He went on to murder at least eight women throughout the United States,” Walsh said at the Hope Awards, an event sponsored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

“They just put him across the border and he snuck in each time. I think we need to do a better job of keeping illegal immigrants who commit horrible crimes in jail here in America and make them pay for their crimes, not just dump them back across the border when they can come in, and so that has always been a problem.”

In addition, Walsh said the U.S. has to do a better job of stopping young women from sneaking into the U.S. because of the particular danger they face.

“They get grabbed by the drug cartels and sold into sexual slavery. America is the largest offender, the largest buyer of sex exploitation of women and children in the sex trafficking business,” said Walsh, national spokesperson for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. “Everybody thinks it’s in Vietnam and Cambodia and India — yes, it is there, but America is the No. 1 offender of sex trafficking of young children. So we have to realize what happens with these people when they come and try to sneak into the United States.”

Walsh was asked for his reaction to some lawmakers and Obama administration officials who argue that the U.S.-Mexico border is secure.

“I have been to the border more times and been involved in more operations on the border than any member of Congress ever had. I’ve ridden horses on the border, been in Blackhawk helicopters and all types of vehicles. The border is as porous as the ocean. We’ll never be able to build a wall on 2,000 miles and make it secure. We need to do a better job, and it’s not just drugs that come across the border,” he said.

“It’s human slaves. It’s sex-trafficked young girls. It’s people who sell guns and armaments illegally. I mean, it is a serious problem and we really need to do a better job of making our border secure – and that doesn’t entail taking 11 million illegals that are here with families and children and pushing them back across the border,” he added.

Walsh recommended fingerprinting every illegal immigrant currently in the U.S. with a family and taking a DNA sample as an alternate solution to deportation.

“We have an FBI database that’s full of women and little girls that have been raped in America and their perpetrators have never been caught, so have them fingerprinted and swabbed and say we are going to give you a work permit,” he said.

“If you stay legal and you don’t do anything illegal and you are not wanted, you pay your taxes for the next 5 or 6 years and you will become an American citizen. You can’t displace 11 million people,” he added.

Walsh said Trump is a friend of his who has raised money for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. He shared his opinion of Trump’s border security proposals, which includes building a wall.

“I think he thinks he can do it but I have been along the borders in Arizona, New Mexico and California. I’ve gone through the drug tunnels…it’s an impossible task,” he said. “And who will we get to man it? We have to do something different with the Mexican government.”

Walsh said the Border Patrol Union endorsed Trump because he is “the first guy” to draw attention to the problems at the border.

“Lots of congresspeople have gone to the border for a 15-minute photo op. They don’t know the problems. They don’t know the resources we really need down there. They don’t know how thin the ranks are. We need more personnel. We need to train them better,” he said.

“We need to give them the tools to stop the potential ISIS guys that are going to come in. Those type of Muslim extremists that want to come into America and replicate what they did in Paris and what they did in Brussels — that’s what we need more Border Patrol for.”

Walsh also said he has to give Trump “one real credit.”

“He promotes the conversation. He says, ‘Let’s talk about crime. Let’s talk about the incredible spike in homicides in the U.S.,’” Walsh said.