Texas Border drama: The plot thickens as McConnell backs down, FBI old guard breaks silence

by WorldTribune Staff, January 26, 2024

The correlation of forces surrounding what polls show is the number one issue in the 2024 presidential elections are changing after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott declared an “invasion” on the U.S. southern border.

Clearly seeing which way the debate was going on the “Swamp” front, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell quickly withdrew his support for a border bill that would keep the flow of migrants through Joe Biden’s open border going while hiding the incalculable damage caused by his team’s immigration policies.

The Kentucky Republican “told a closed meeting of Senate Republicans Wednesday afternoon that the politics of the border has flipped for Republicans,” Punchbowl News reported Wednesday evening.

Sen. Mitch McConnell has retreated from supporting a border bill pushed by Joe Biden’s team.

“I think the border portion is dead,” said one Republican senator, who cited McConnell’s remarks to the GOP conference at the Wednesday meeting. The lawmaker said that McConnell told GOP senators “this has gotten to be a lot more politically difficult than he thought it would be.”

At the meeting, McConnell reportedly referred to Donald Trump as “the nominee” and noted the former president wants to run his 2024 campaign centered on immigration. And the GOP leader said, “We don’t want to do anything to undermine him.”

Related: ‘Unless actually invaded’: Trump backs Texas, encourages ‘all willing states’ to secure border, January 25, 2024

Trump had slammed the border bill that McConnell had initially supported, saying on TruthSocial:

I do not think we should do a Border Deal, at all, unless we get EVERYTHING needed to shut down the INVASION of Millions & Millions of people, many from parts unknown, into our once great, but soon to be great again, Country! Also, I have no doubt that our wonderful Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, will only make a deal that is PERFECT ON THE BORDER. Remember, without Strong Borders and Honest Elections, we don’t have a Country!!!

On Friday, Biden reportedly told a group of Democrat politicians that he supported the border deal in part because he somehow believes it would stifle GOP criticism of his immigration policy during the election.

“Next week, we’re gonna be able to work out something, at least in the Senate, and I’m hopeful it is going to be the bipartisan package the Senate is going to pass,” Biden told the attendees, adding, “Now the question is for the [House] Speaker and House Republicans: Are they ready to act as well? They have to choose whether they want to solve a problem or keep weaponizing issues to score political points against the president.”

The ship of muffled criticism of Biden’s border policies has long sailed. On Team Biden’s watch, more than six million migrants have been allowed to cross the southern border and into the United States. The huge inflow adds up to “roughly one migrant for every two American births during the last three years,” Breitbart News noted. “The inflow has dramatically shifted public attitudes against mass migration into Americans’ workplaces and communities, which is now described as an ‘invasion’ by majorities in two polls.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has also declared an invasion and he is being backed the governors of 25 states.

The states backing Abbott’s actions to secure the border in his state: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

Meanwhile, ten former FBI executives – some who oversaw the bureau’s intelligence, counterterrorism, criminal and training operations – expressed their alarm at the border crisis in a letter dated Jan. 17 to House Speaker Mike Johnson, Senate Leader Chuck Schumer and the chairmen of the House and Senate committees that preside over the U.S. intelligence and Homeland Security apparatus.

“In its modern history the U.S. has never suffered an invasion of the homeland and, yet, one is unfolding now,” the ex-FBI agents wrote. “Military aged men from across the globe, many from countries or regions not friendly to the United States, are landing in waves on our soil by the thousands – not by splashing ashore from a ship or parachuting from a plane but rather by foot across a border that has been accurately advertised around the world as largely unprotected with ready access granted.”

“It would be difficult to overstate the danger represented by the presence inside our borders of what is comparatively a multi-division army of young single adult males from hostile nations and regions whose background, intent, or allegiance is completely unknown,” they added.

(Read the full letter here.)

And then there is the northern border.

Law enforcement officials said recent data shows an unprecedented increase in the number of illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Canada border.

“We continue to urge anyone looking to enter the United States to do so legally,” said Raymond Bresnahan of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Bresnahan is the lead patrol agent at the Champlain Border Station which is part of the Swanton sector, an area that covers 295 miles along the border. He said in 2023, border patrol agents apprehended roughly 7,000 people, a nearly 500% annual increase, WCAX reported from Plattsburgh, New York.

“The vast majority of people we catch are still individuals looking for that American dream trying to get into the United States,” Bresnahan said.

However, he said the increase in illegal crossings makes it more difficult for law enforcement to find people who are actually crossing for nefarious reasons.

“There still are a lot of bad actors mixed in with them. We still see aggravated felons, we still catch a lot of bad people,” Bresnahan said.

The border patrol is trying to prevent illegal crossings with barricades, but Bresnahan said people are still undertaking an uncertain and arduous journey.

“They utilize their cellphones. They are trying to come through very thick terrain. The batteries begin to die on the phone. They panic. Luckily, we have a really great support system with all of our local partners so when we do get 911 calls, we have numerous fire departments, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, they all come out to rescue these individuals,” he said.

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