The Inventor and the Border Patrol Commissioner

Heritage Explains

The Inventor and the Border Patrol Commissioner

Heritage Explains: The Border Crisis | Episode 3

What happened in the transition from Trump to Biden? We talk to former Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan, who gives the rundown on what it was like to be in the administration at that critical point in history.

John Popp: From The Heritage Foundation, this is Heritage Explains.

Mark Guiney: Percy Spencer was the epitome of a self-taught man. He was born in rural Maine in 1894, where after a series of tragic family losses, he began working to support the family in a spool mill from sunup to sundown at the age of 12. By the time he was 16, he learned that another local mill was taking on the use of electricity, which was rare in that region. For that time, he did all he could to learn about this new technology. He joined the US Navy at 18 years old and read every textbook he could get his hands on math, science, and technology. His particular passion was for radio science. By the time of the Second World War, Spencer was one of the world’s foremost experts in emerging radar technology. As a scientist for Raytheon, he worked with the technologies that one day helped win the second World War for the allies.

During the research process for a new device known as a magnetron, Spencer was standing nearby when he realized the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. After the war, he was able to refine the technology and Raytheon produced the very first microwave oven. As amazing as that story is, it isn’t that uncommon. Inventions produced out of necessity in wartime often becomes staples in peace. This includes things like Super Glue, which was produced to create gun sights. Duct tape, which was produced for ammunition cases and widespread use of penicillin and blood plasma, which had to be produced in mass quantities for soldiers.

Such paradigm shifts peace to war, chaos to order and back again are defining moments in history. We lived through some of our own in ways big and small. When thinks of the nine 11 terrorist attack, the COVID-19 pandemic, these changes leave their mark on the world. In the story of the United States border elections are one such defining moment, paradigms shift, alignments change and suddenly it’s a whole new ballgame. The 2020 election in which Joe Biden defeated incumbent Donald Trump was a defining moment. Today on Heritage Explains, we are talking to somebody who had a front row seat to that moment.

Mark Morgan: Mark Morgan, I was the former acting commissioner of Customs and Border protection under President Trump. I think what’s important to mention too, I was also the chief of the Border Patrol under President Obama. I’ve served as an FBI agent for two decades, as a Marine, I was a police officer for LAPD. I’ve served this country for over 40 years under six administrations, both Republican and Democratic administrations.

Guiney: How did you wind up in law enforcement?

Morgan: I first went into the Marine Corps. My father served in the Army, my uncle served in the Marine Corps. I just had that public service instilled in me as a young man. So I went into the Marine Corps and then I think it was a natural transition from serving in the Marines to serving the communities and country and law enforcement.

Guiney: And you initially started out at LAPD?

Morgan: Yeah, I did. So I graduated law school and then went to LAPD and then from LAPD I went to the FBI.

Guiney: What were you doing for the LAPD?

Morgan: Yeah, so I worked... Then they had 18 geographical divisions and I worked one of the... It’s called the 77th. It was in the south end LAPD. I did that for about a year and a half. I was just a beat cop in that district before the FBI picked me up.

Guiney: Right out of law school?

Morgan: Right out of law school.

Guiney: You were a...

Morgan: I did it backwards. Yeah.

Guiney: Beat cop with a law degree.

Morgan: Exactly. Very unusual. I did it the backwards like most of my life.

Guiney: Did it affect your policing at all? Did it give you a different perspective?

Morgan: I think it did. I think it’s a great question. I had a better understanding of just basic concepts, whether it’s a Terry stop, reasonable suspicion, what probable cause meant. These were all new concepts to kids in the academy for the first time. These are things that I’d been looking at and discussed for the past three years.

Guiney: How did you wind up going from being a beat cop to winding up on border security?

Morgan: Yeah, that was an unusual path. Part of my path as the FBI agent, I ended up as the special agent charge of the FBI’s El Paso division. I always just say that from my office in El Paso, I actually see Juarez. That was the first time... I feel bad admitting this. Actually it was the first time after then it’d been about 17, 18 years that I really became to understand CBP. It was really the first time I worked with them extensively. We did because they were actually big dogs, both OFO at the ports and border patrol. And that’s the first time that I really got to understand what CBP was, what what border patrol was. And I got to tell you, I was amazed. Border patrol, especially OFO too. But I think we worked a lot with border patrol and they remind me of being a Marine.

They gained my respect, my admiration, and I really understood the importance of their mission and the importance of border security. I really got to see that as the FBI SAC. And then fast-forward a couple of years later, the chief of border patrol position happened to open up and I got a call from the then acting... No, I think he was the deputy commissioner at the time and commissioner, and they said, @Hey Mark, would you be interested?@ And I hadn’t thought about it till that moment, but then I went back and hung up and I thought about it, I’m like, “Yeah, I’m in.” And so I put in for chief and next thing I know I was hired. And then the rest is history.

Guiney: And that was under the Obama administration?

Morgan: That was under the Obama administration. Yeah, and I really appreciate you asking that because I get stuck simply because I was commissioner for President Trump and obviously I support his policies when it comes to the border security. People think, “He’s just a Mega guy, he’s just a Trump guy.” And I’m like, no, “I’ve been a career official my entire life.” Like I said, I was a border patrol chief under Obama, served six administrations, both Republican and Democrat. This isn’t about politics for me, this is about America.

Guiney: Yeah. So a lot of people probably don’t have a whole lot of context for... Because CBP. If you wanted to get to know the border patrol, what would that look like?

Morgan: Yeah, that’s a great question too. I wish I had a dollar for every time they said Former acting commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol instead of Border Protection. I think when people think of the Southwest border, they only think of the big green machine Border Patrol. But Border Patrol is actually a part of CBP, Customs and Border Protection, which includes border patrol but also other areas. OFO, Office of Field Operations, which owns all our ports of entry, land, sea, and airports as well as we have air and marine division that’s a part of CBP and a significant director that oversees our lawful trade and travel. A lot of people don’t understand, CBP is the second-largest revenue collector for the United States. Second to the IRS, CBP has 63,000 employees. It’s the largest federal law enforcement agency in the United States with a 13 to $15 billion annual budget. It’s a beast with a huge emission set from counter-terrorism, transnational criminal organizations, border security obviously, and facilitating lawful trade and travel. It’s a beast.

Guiney: And where does it fall in the context of the federal government? Is it a homeland security justice? Where does it live?

Morgan: Yeah, DHS. So it is one of the major components within the Department of Homeland Security.

Guiney: Got it. So, obviously you saw some changes happen in the border situation between Obama and Trump, and we’ve talked to Tom Homan a lot about the development of border security over time. He’s also been in the government for a long time on this transition between Obama and Trump. What was that transition like from your perspective?

Morgan: First of all, Tom is probably the... Tom Homan great guy, another patriot. He’s probably the best one to really talk about that transition. So I’m glad you had him on. Here’s what I would summarize is President Trump, what we saw for the first time, in my opinion, is a president that understood this in very important line is that border security is synonymous with national security. President Trump got it. He got that what was happening on southwest border wasn’t about immigration. It was about protecting the sovereignty of our nation, enforcing the rule of law and ensuring that our nation’s safety and national security is protected. So, when you look at the border like that, which is the right way, it drives the right policies. He also understood that it’s not about resources. Now, don’t get me wrong, a lot of people, all the former commissioner and chief saying he doesn’t need resources.

I’m not saying that. What I’m saying is that that’s not the sole solution, just throwing more resources at. “Let’s throw more agents at it and more technology and more money and we’ll call it a date.” No, you have to have policies. You can throw all the resources at it. If you don’t have the right policies as we’re seeing right now, you’re going to have a disastrous wide open border. President Trump got it. I’ll give you an example, there’s so many out there, but the migrant protection protocol or media coined it, the Remain in Mexico program. He again, perfect quintessential example how the president got it and all his advisors got it. There was a time even under President Trump because of the current law and because of some bad lower court judicial decisions specific to the Flores Settlement Agreement is that we had instituted and developed something called catch and release.

Meaning if you were unaccompanied minor or you were a family that came to our border illegally and if you came as a family, you were processed and released in the United States, we could not detain you or remove you while you went through the immigration proceedings. That was stupid. It was dumb. Common sense tells you that as soon as people figure that out from all over the world, that’s why we saw the crisis in 2019 of families coming in. We said, “Hey, we got to change that.” So we did. So what did we do? We closed that loophole by the Remain in Mexico program, which said, “If you come to a border illegally, we’re not going to release you in the United States.” We’re going to remove you back to Mexico while... You are still able to apply for asylum, we didn’t stop anybody from applying asylum.

That’s a big lie and a big myth is that... But while you’re going through the asylum, you’re going to wait in Mexico. We’re not going to release you in the United States. And so what was a result of that? They stopped coming because they knew the overwhelming majority of migrants coming to our border are economic migrants. They do not qualify for asylum. They are not the victims of state sponsored persecution because of their involvement in a particular class. So, we saw the numbers by February of 2020, reduced by 85% and we had the most secure border in our lifetime.

Guiney: So then eventually Biden is elected, the next administration comes in At that point, you’re still in office when that happens.

Morgan: Correct.

Guiney: So what does that transition look like for you personally?

Morgan: Yeah, so that’s very important. A lot of people don’t ask about that, the transition. And it’s very important because there’s so many issues that’s getting lost in the shuffle. Here’s what I’ll say. So I was still acting commissioner. So any administration, whenever it changes from whether it’s within the same party or different parties, is that there is a transition team that is developed by the incoming White House. Then the current individuals, which would’ve been us, we provide them a series of briefings. When it came to border security, when it came to DHS, remember a good question you had. So CBP falls within DHS. So DHS provided the Biden transition team over 200 briefings. The overwhelming majority of those briefings were on border security. We went through Biden’s transition team methodically, step-by-step. We went through each policy, we went through the resources, we went through the multi-layer strategy of why at the border you need infrastructure, technology, personnel and the right policies.

We walked them through why we developed certain policies, which loophole it closed and how effective it was and how it reduced illegal immigration. Again, like I said, by 85%. How we got more agents back on the line to protect our national security. And we also told them and walk through methodically, if you do and if you enact the policies that you say you’re going to during the campaign, and if you’re going to dismantle what you say you’re going to dismantle, you will create a self-inflicted unmitigated border security crisis that will pal in comparison to anything we’ve seen. They ignored us, they dismissed us, and they did exactly what they said they were going to do the campaign anyway. And what do we have right now, the worst unmitigated border security crisis in our lifetime.

Guiney: I guess a lot of people wouldn’t really understand how a presidential transition like that works. The president has already appointed somebody new to come in and fill those positions. And then there’s a certain amount of time before which you’re going to be out and that new person’s going to be in. Is that correct?

Morgan: Correct. That’s correct. And that’s why you have this transition team because they hadn’t appointed a secretary of DHS yet. They hadn’t appointed an ICE director yet or CBP commissioner yet. Those come as it continues to transition. That’s why that transition team is so important because they’re getting all the information. So when these individuals are identified to come in, they’re like, “Here’s the playbook, here’s what’s going on.”

Guiney: And so do you think that all those folks who came in, were they true believers? Were they interested at all in what you had to say? Or do you think they were just there because they had to be?

Morgan: Another great question. I believe at least the feedback that I got, the transition team, they were listening. In fact, we felt good because the feedback I was getting is, the Biden transition folks are saying, “Hey, yeah, we got it. We understand.” But then it all broke down, right? Because then it’s the ideologues and the political appointees that Biden brought in that actually we were going to enact policy and implement that policy that was not the transition team.

Guiney: So then what happens? Does everything change at once?

Morgan: Immediately. Fast, hard, immediately. From the moment that Biden took over, he started canceling and dismantling almost every single effective tool authority and policy we had in place. To date, I think he’s enacted over 300 executive orders impacting border security. We don’t have enough time to talk about all of them, but let me talk about a couple. So I mentioned the Remain in Mexico program, single-handedly the most effective policy that closed the largest loophole, catch and release that really single-handedly reduced illegal immigration dramatically and allowed us to more effectively secure our borders. Day one, gone dismantled that. The ACAs, the Asylum Cooperative Agreements, for lack of a better term, the safe third country agreements that we had with all three northern triangle countries. Which meant this, if you’re an alien who has a legitimate claim that you’re fleeing state sponsored persecution because of your involvement in protected class, the international standard are standard.

Our want, our needs should be to get that alien, to get that migrant relief in the first safe third country they could. It makes sense. Why would they continue the journey to continue to put their lives in the hands of the cartels, their financial wellbeing, their physical wellbeing, and be treated like cattle, treated like a commodity. That’s stupid. Doesn’t make sense. Get relief in the first safe third country. That’s what the ACAs were and they were effective. And day one, Biden, gone. So MPP gone, ACAs gone. And then let’s talk the infrastructure, the wall. The bane of every Liberals existence, right? And it’s not based on reality, it’s just based on pure ideology, which makes them ignorant of the truth. If you ask any border patrol agent on the line, that’s a risk in his or her life every single day for our country, for our safety, they’re going to tell you walls work and they are needed and they’re effective as part of the multi-layer strategy of infrastructure, technology and personnel.

No border patrol agent, Mark, is going to tell you that the walls are the end all to be all the only solution. They’ll say they are an effective part of that multi-layer strategy. And what did Biden do? Boom, ended it. And here’s the wall. The wall was much more than just steel and concrete going in the ground. The wall had... Part of that wall system was access, roads was integrated, lighting was state-of-the-art technology, help border patrol agents detect threats before they actually get to our borders and the list goes on and on. So when he stopped building the wall, he stopped building access rows, he stopped building lighting, he stopped building the technology that went with it. That started immediately on day one of his administration, even Title 42. So for those who remember Title 42, that was a public health order that was designed to prevent the further introduction of an infectious disease into the country.

We instituted that in March of 2020, I believe that saved untold numbers of American lives and migrants as well. And the Biden administration on day one did a carve out for unaccompanied minors, said, “If you’re an unaccompanied minor, you get in, you get in.” We were still in the throes of the pandemic last time I checked. A 15, 17 year old could carry COVID just like an adult. Said, “Don’t care,” didn’t make sense. Then he started expanding that to families. So, if you’re coming across as an unaccompanied minor, Title 42 didn’t apply. If you’re coming across as a family, Title 42 didn’t apply. So from day one Mark, he started this systematic dismantling of every effective tool authority we had in place. And he continues to do that today. And I go a step further today, not as he had dismantled what we had in place, but now he’s actually violating the law and making up new law in their quest for open borders.

Guiney: In previous interviews we’ve talked about how the Biden administration has kept the course on what they want to do in terms of the border, the only thing that seems to prevent them or slow them down as optics, things looked them up...

Morgan: And lawsuits.

Guiney: So what has been your experience of that? Have you seen any changes in the direction of the Biden administration? What seems to be their MO going forward?

Morgan: Zero. They’re a foot pedaled to the metal. They’re unabashful, unapologetic and they’ve doubled down at any avenue they have. And even when there’s lawsuits, there’s been multiple states. Texas is probably leading the way with the most lawsuits, but Florida’s adjoined and there are times, there’s 17, 18 states that have joined in different lawsuits. That has slowed them down at times, but not like it should because this administration, they just don’t care. Even when a court says “You cannot do... You need to stop the policy X, Y, Z,” they ignore it. When I was commissioner and we had the same thing, we were in the day with lawsuits, but I can tell you when a lawsuit came down, I’d be frustrated. I’d be mad. I would say, “This is wrong. This isn’t based on the merits.” And I’d say, “Implement it though, because it’s the law.”

The courts have spoken. We have to comply with the law even if we don’t like it. We didn’t try to circumvent it. We didn’t try to skirt around it. We said it is what it is. And so until we can get injunction and it gets dismissed in our favor than it is what it is. Not this administration. Secretary Mayorkas Mark, he’s the first secretary in our lifetime that has assumed that role, very significant role as a cabinet level official secretary of DHS that looks the law and the courts as a mere advisory opinion. Not something that he must follow or shall follow. That’s why I get so frustrated with him. That’s why I’ve been calling for his impeachment that and many reasons, really probably since first month he took office.

Guiney: Can you talk a little bit more about secretary Mayorkas?

Morgan: Yeah, yeah. I tell you just to mention of his name, I get this visceral response.

Guiney: Have you ever met him?

Morgan: Oh, yeah. Yeah. That’s why I like the setup you did. So when I was chief of the border patrol, Mayorkas was Deputy secretary of DHS. So he’s like my boss I reported to. A very different man than what I saw then.

Guiney: Really?

Morgan: Absolutely. Look, I saw him as a number two. He was in the shadows. He supported then Secretary Jay Johnson. You heard very little from Deputy Secretary Mayorkas, very little at all. Didn’t really hear much about his ideology or his policies. Obviously things have changed dramatically. This is a guy, like I said, that has come in that views the law as an advisory opinion. This is a secretary that has directed the men and women under his charge to actually violate the laws that statutorily they’re supposed to enforce. This is a man who has abdicated his oath.

He’s abused of his authority, he’s lied to Congress, he’s lied to the American people that could go on. There is no doubt in my mind that this man should be impeached. Not only has he overseen and been the chief architect of the worst border of security disaster in our lifetime, but he’s just lying about it. He’s just absolutely... I’ll give you a couple examples. How many more times do we need to hear the secretary say during a congressional hearing under oath, quote, “The border is secure. We have operational control.” The greatest one was when representative Chip Roy, during a congressional hearing, he blew up the 2000 Secure Fence Act definition. And this is very important. The 2006 Secure Fence Act says in part that’s a Secretary of DHS shall, not if he feels like it, not if he agrees. Shall, must, will ensure that the prevention of all illegal aliens, contraband, terrorists and weapons of terrorism from crossing out borders, boom.

Now a lot of people, even myself will say, “That’s a pretty tough standard.” But guess what? It is aspirational. It was designed to be aspirational after 9/11 because we didn’t want a terrorist attack. We don’t want drugs coming in. We don’t want criminals coming in. We should secure our border. So it’s aspirational, yes, but that should be our goal to prevent every single illegal alien, every ounce of drug, every potential terrorist from entering our border. This secretary comes in, not is he just both slide and says, “Oh yeah, yeah, we’ve got operational control.” Let me give you one stat that just blows that out. Now, in the first 27 months, I was just doing the data this week, the first 27 months under his tutelage, there have been over 1.5 million known got aways. A chief of the border patrol and the congressional testimony said that’s easily under-reported by 20%.

So I don’t like to do public math, but let’s say that’s in the realm of 1.7 million total got aways. Illegal aliens who have come to our border and invaded apprehension and now in the United States, 1.7 million. And this secretary says, “We have operation control of our southwest border.” It’s a lunacy, it’s idiotic, it’s a lie. He knows it’s a lie. And he keeps telling the American people that. And so based on that ground alone, I think he should be impeached. But now look at what he’s doing. Now when it comes to, for example, parole, and this is very important. So, parole is supposed to be used on a case by case individual basis for a significant public benefit or humanitarian reason. So, let’s say you’re an immigrant and you have a life altering medical condition and that your country doesn’t have the medical capability to give you the surgery, but the US has, no problem.

We’ll parole you in. We’ll get that surgery, right? Or let’s say you’re going to be a witness in a long term, very high level, sophisticated investigation going after some cartel members in the United States. We’re going to parole you in to be that witness. Good to go. That’s not what’s happening. They just say, “No, you know what? We’re going to redefine the law. I know that’s the law, but I don’t care about the law, right? It doesn’t matter to me. Only my ideology cares. So what I’m going to do as a secretary, if you’re from Nicaragua, Cuba, Haiti, or Venezuela, just being born in those four country, you get to be paroled in.” Then mass parole, direct violation of the law. And now with the CBP One App, it’s not just a violation of the law, it’s a perversion of the law what he’s doing. It’s a big shell game. He’s just transferring illegal aliens from in between the ports to the ports of entry. And he’s calling it a legal pathway.

Guiney: Obviously things are not going well at the Department of Homeland Security. Do you have any insight to the boots on the ground? The people who are doing the work, the people who are working for Customs and Border Protection and for Border Patrol? How are they responding to this leadership?

Morgan: They’re pissed off. They’re angry, I would say. I would even go and say, look, they’re hurt. And here’s why I say this is very important. Think about this. So you sacrificed a lot. Your family has sacrificed a lot. You went through a lot of training and every single day you wake up, I’ve been there. You put that badge on your chest, you holster that weapon, and you go to the front lines of our nation’s borders to be willing any day to risk your life, literally lay down your life in defense of our nation’s safety and national security. And all you ask is administration give you the tools and authorities to do just that. And what they saw... And this isn’t a political thing. I’m a career guy. I call blows and strikes, but the reality is President Trump gave us a network of tools and authorities and policies we needed to have the most secure border in our lifetime.

That’s not BS, that’s not political. That’s not being some mega extremist, sicko fan of Donald Trump. That is reality. And guess who knew that? The Border Patrol, they were on the front lines. They felt it. They saw it. They see this wall being built. They see lighting going in and access roads and technology, and they see the same thing at the ports of entry. And they see policies that actually allows Border Patrol to do their job, to close loopholes, to stop illegal immigration, to get more agents on the line, to stop smugglers, stop drugs and criminals from coming in. They saw that during a time period under Donald J Trump, they were revived again. They saw why they signed up to do what they were doing and they’re able to do what they’re doing. And what they have seen in the past 27 months is all of that has been taken away, every single day.

There are in some areas, Mark, there are 80 to 90% of laboratory resources that are not on the front line. They’re back in facilities processing illegal aliens and released in the United States. So guess what? When they hear about a fentanyl death in Missouri or Vermont or Montana, Border Patrol agents, they hurt because they know that that fentanyl came across the southwest border. They know that the fentanyl is coming across at epidemic levels because they’re not on the border. They’re not there to catch it. They know there are criminals. The 1.7 million total got aways. The border patrol agents, they’re demoralized. It kills them because they know among the 1.7 million got aways, they’re not all good people. Now, I did not say they’re all bad people, but they’re not all good. In 27 months border patrol and have encountered 80,000 criminals, including murderers, rapists, pedophiles, aggravated violence and gang members. 134 convicted murderers they’ve apprehended.

Over 1500 gang members, including the majority of them, MS-13 and thousands of those that were convicted or charged with aggravated assault. That’s who they’ve apprehended. Think about the number of murders, rapists, pedophiles, aggravated felons and gang members among the 1.7 million. Guess who know that better than anybody? The border trade agents on the front line, they’re on a desk right now in a facility miles from the border processing the illegal alien to release in the United States never be heard it from again. They’re angry, they’re mad. They have no respect for their leadership, let alone the Secretary of DHS, secretary Mayorkas.

Guiney: So Mark, a lot of people when we talk about especially crime and the people coming across the border, the number of got aways, they talk about this idea that we’re fearmongering, we’re spreading fear about a potential terrorist attack, a potential criminal act, potential rapes, murders, all those sorts of things. What’s your response to that? Is that fearmongering?

Morgan: No, and Mark, this is such a great question because here’s the narrative, right? The narrative is what’s happening at border is about that poor vulnerable migrant, about the mother with two kids in to just looking for a better life. Besides, that’s not about asylum claim. That doesn’t tell the whole story. And so when you do talk about criminals coming across immediately, you’re called a racist, you’re a hyperbolic, you’re fearmonering because “Mark, everybody coming across is good.” It’s a lie. It’s not true. And I could give you so many stats. Let me give you one. Unfortunately we only have a couple of states because most states do not track crimes committed by illegal aliens in the United States. But one state does.

Guiney: Why don’t they?

Morgan: There’s two reasons I think one, Democrats because it doesn’t fit into their narrative that everybody coming across is are good people. And two, I think some Republican states, I think they’re just out of touch. I just don’t think they get it and understand the importance. I think that this really does a disservice to American people because they don’t have a full understanding. So one state from 2011 to 2022, 261,000 criminal illegal aliens committed 433,000 crimes including 800 homicides, 800 kidnappings, and 5,000 sexual assaults.

Guiney: That’s one state you said?

Morgan: One state, state of Texas, one state. If that doesn’t wake you up, right? Again, I’ll go back to the other stat. In the last 27 months, Border Patrol and OFO have encountered 80,000 criminals. That’s who they’ve apprehended 80,000 including... Anybody listening, this isn’t Mark. Go to CBP stats. Just grab your iPhone, type in CBP stats and it’ll pull it up and it’ll talk about a criminal arrest. And it’s right there in black and white, 80,000 the past 27 months, including 134 aliens that were convicted murderers. Almost 1500 gang members, the majority of MS-13. The list goes on and on. I aggravate felons. That’s who they’ve apprehended. Now let’s go back to the 1.7 million total got aways. Mark, you don’t have to be border security expert. They’re got aways for a reason because the overwhelming majority of the millions that I’ve come across, when they come across, they literally sit down.

They sit down and wait for border patrol because they know they’re going to be processed and released. So why do you have a got away if you’re going to be processed and released? Because that’s where the criminals are, that’s where the drug traffickers are. That’s where the murders, the rapists, the aggravate felons and gang members, they’re among the got aways. My question to anybody is how many are you okay with? How many murderers? How many rapists? How many MS-13 gang members are you okay evading apprehension every single day? How many more mothers, angel families do we have to hear? How many more young 22 year olds do we have to read about that was savagely beaten and raped and strangled to death by an illegal alien? We hear about them almost every single week. How many more before we say, “Enough is enough, we have to secure the border and what we’re being told is a big lie.”

Guiney: Yeah. So let’s say that a new administration somehow came in tomorrow and they called you up. What would you tell them to do?

Morgan: Here’s a couple of significant things. We could talk next hours about the details of what they need to do. But on the physical border, the first thing they need to do is close the significant loopholes and catch or release. How do you catch or release? Reinstate the Remain in Mexico program? So anybody that comes to our border, whether they come in at a port of entry or in between the port of entry, because it’s not just about those that are illegally entering. It’s about those that are coming and illegally entering and/or filing false claims. So even if you come up to a port of entry, which is why CBP One app is a perversion of the law is they’re still filing false claims. So, whether you come to a port of entry or in between, you have to reinstate the Remain in Mexico program. Make them wait in Mexico while they’re going through their asylum process.

That’ll end catch and release. You’ll see the numbers go down drastically. Number two, reinstate the safe Third country agreements, which provides a bar. If you transit through a safe third country and you come to United States, there are no exceptions, there are no excuses. You’re banned from claiming asylum, period. You have to claim in the first safe third country you come to. The next thing I do is I would start building the wall. The wall again is part of that multi-layer strategy, infrastructure, technology, and personnel. And then another issue on the policy side is credible fear. Credible fear is the first hurdle that an alien has to overcome. Basically though, they just have to say the magic words and you can actually go online and just type in credible fear and it’ll give you sentences, the magic words that you have to say. And if you say the magic words, then you’re accepted into the asylum process.

We need to actually beef up that and adjust that standard. So, they really actually have to prove that they are victims of state sponsored persecution because of involvement of protected class. Those are some policies that will affect the border and the flow and our ability to secure our border. But then on the interior, we’ve got to let ICE do their job. We’ve got to make sure that ICE is actually going after people that are here illegally and deporting them. We have to bump up the 287(g) program, that allows local law enforcement to actually work with ICE for illegal aliens that have been picked up and committed another crime and make sure that they’re required to remove them. That’s not happening right now.

Guiney: Yeah.

Morgan: So the CBP One app, here’s, look it’s a joke. It’s a perversion of the law. First of all, there’s a couple lies out there. One is do a lot of talking about the transit rule that they develop and that what they’re saying is, “if you’re illegal alien that come to US, and if you transit through a safe third country and you didn’t apply for asylum there, you’re barred for five years from claiming asylum.” So Democrats are mad. Republicans say, “Hey, this sounds great. This looks like a Trump policy.” They’re both wrong because it’s all BS. Here’s the reality is in that rule, the exception to the rule has overtaken the rule itself. Meaning you could transit through 100 safe third countries, not apply for asylum. And if you get the US Mexico border, as long as you get on the CBP One app and apply through the CBP One app, guess what?

You come to port of entry process, you’re released in the United States. It’s a joke. It’s a shell game. The other thing that’s happening is people aren’t paying attention. They’re only paying attention to the encounters in between the ports of entry. But what this administration is doing is through the unlawful use of parole on the CBP One app, it’s a shell game. They’re just convincing migrants to stop illegally in any in between the ports of entry and just come to the ports of entry where we’ll continue to look the other way as they file false claims, their process and release the United States. I really implore everybody look at total encounters. Don’t just look at what’s happening in between the ports of entry. Look at the ports of entry from 2020 to now. The inadmissible’s that are coming to the ports of entry and releasing the United States have increased by 304%, but we’re not paying attention to that. And we should.

Guiney: Here on Heritage Explains. We believe not only in problems but in solutions. We believe that with the right legislation, we can end the tide of human suffering and restore America’s integrity. In other words, the same country that can invent a microwave on accident can invent peace on the border. Next week, we’re talking to somebody who shares that belief, Congressman Chip Roy of the great state of Texas about what has been happening on Capitol Hill over the last few weeks. And the news is good, so make sure you don’t miss it. Thank you to Mark Morgan and Laura Reese for their contributions to this episode. And thank you to you for listening to Heritage Explains. If you have any thoughts about our show, we’d love to hear them. Just send us a message at Heritage [email protected]. We’ll see you next week.

Heritage Explains is brought to you by more than half a million members of The Heritage Foundation. It's written and produced by Mark GuineyLauren Evans, and John Popp, production assistance by Alexa Walker and Jeff Smith. Special thanks to Dr. Kevin Roberts.