Former Obama Border Patrol Chief Slams Dem Plan to Reduce Bed Space for Criminal Aliens
The head of U.S. Border Patrol under former President Barack Obama blasted the Democrats' proposal for a border security compromise Monday night, saying it would lead to the creation of a "sanctuary country" with the ultimate goal of "open borders."
Former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan appeared on Fox News' "Tucker Carlson Tonight" to discuss the controversial proposal.
"Democrats are demanding that ICE cap bed space in the interior of the country -- not the borders -- to 16,500 a year," Carlson noted. "If that were to happen, what would it mean?"
"That's a significant step towards really abolishing ICE via the checkbook," Morgan explained. "And there's actually two elements to their plan. They want to actually reduce overall bed space for ICE and then cap interior enforcement."
He made clear that the policy wouldn't affect children or families because they are already allowed into the country.
"That's 'catch and release' 1.0.," he explained. "This will virtually mean 'catch and release' 2.0."
He pointed out that as immigration goes up, "Border Patrol turns everybody we apprehend over to ICE," but if the bed space goes down, "that means they're going to have to release more individuals into the interior of the United States."
"People that are here illegally and have committed an additional crime and/or are charged with an additional crime, ICE will be forced to release them," he said.
Carlson said that Democrats would argue that those illegal aliens shouldn't have been arrested in the first place because the majority of people arrested by ICE have done nothing wrong.
Morgan said that was a "completely false narrative."
He explained that of the 45,000 illegal immigrants currently being detained by ICE, 70-85 percent have been convicted and/or charged with another crime besides entering illegally.
Carlson thought the number was closer to 88 percent. "If you capped bed space at the threshold they're calling for, by definition you'd be releasing criminals into the population," he said.
"That's correct," Morgan agreed, adding that ICE would have to release about 8,000 illegal alien criminals into the population if the compromise bill were passed today.
Unfortunately, according to Morgan, only a "minuscule" number of criminal aliens released into the public actually show up for their hearings.
"Basically, you're suspending the rule of law for a large group of people who have been charged with or convicted of crimes," Carlson noted.
Morgan agreed, saying such an arrangement would create a "sanctuary country."
When asked if any law enforcement organizations such as ICE, Border Patrol, or sheriff's agencies support the Democrats' proposal, Morgan said, "I don't know of one."
Carlson asked the former Border Patrol chief why the Democrats would be pushing for reduced bed space for criminal aliens. "What would be the goal of this?" he wondered.
Morgan said it was difficult for him to face the awful truth, but it seemed to be nothing more than "pure identity politics."
"I can draw no other conclusion from this last-minute stunt," he lamented. "It's insane, Tucker! So it's got to be driven by identity politics and I really think the ultimate goal is open borders."
If this story sounds familiar, that's because Democrats have done this before.
In 2013, Obama's DHS used the budget sequestration as a pretext to release thousands of illegal immigrants with criminal convictions into the general population, infuriating Republicans and causing great angst among ICE and Border Patrol agents.
ICE officials that year released 68,000 criminal illegal immigrants, undercutting Democratic claims that President Obama had strictly enforced immigration laws.
Sheriff Paul Babeu of Pinal County, Ariz., told the American Spectator at the time that he was receiving frantic calls from ICE and Border Patrol agents. "They said, ‘Sheriff, help us. We’re releasing all these criminals. This order just came down from Washington and now they’re all out in the streets.'''
Babeu said that among those released were cartel members, narcotics traffickers, and drug dealers who had been convicted for weapons violations, drug smuggling, child molestation, aggravated assaults against police officers, and even manslaughter.