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Even with numbers falling, the rest of the border crisis is not being solved

The latest shooting involving a border agent demonstrates that even with decreased numbers crossing the border, the danger and chaos on the border are just as big a threat as before the crisis began to lessen slightly. The shooting from over the weekend demonstrates that cartel and smuggling activities still need to be countered, even as the number of Central American family units crossing the border decreases. Trump would be wise to push a funding fight for building the wall and defunding sanctuary cities before he loses this last chance of his first term.

On Saturday, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced in a press release that two agents were involved in a shooting in Brackettville, Texas. After the agents stopped a vehicle in an area “frequently used by smugglers to move narcotics and people from the border to San Antonio and other destinations,” a passenger fired at the two agents, wounding one of them. The other agent returned fire and killed the passenger of the vehicle and apprehended the driver.

Thankfully, the agent’s injuries are non-life-threatening, but this is what Border Patrol faces every day. There are so many parts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona that are confidently controlled by smuggling operations. Not even the record illegal immigration forced policymakers to finally turn their attention to the broader cartel problem.

With the number of Central Americans declining, it would be a mistake for Trump to divert his focus away from the border. Now is the time to double down. The massive numbers seeking quasi-legal or humanitarian status is only half the problem. The other problem is all those we don’t see coming in to do us harm or those with criminal records who don’t want to meet a border agent but would be deterred if we built a wall in more areas along the Rio Grande River and more aggressively deploy the military.

Every day, CR and other outlets report on the endless illegal alien murderers and sex offenders arrested for crimes in our communities. Many of them were previously deported but came in again at an unknown time. Every day, border agents catch some of these people. This year, according to Border Patrol chief Carla Provost, agents caught 4,010 criminal aliens who had prior criminal convictions and 3,842 criminal aliens with outstanding wants or warrants. Just last week, an illegal alien with multiple warrants for murder and rape was arrested in Nogales, Arizona.

But how many are not caught? Remember, the cartels could not make money off human smuggling for those who don’t want to be apprehended if they only had a five percent success rate of evading detection. The reality is that for every criminal alien agents catch, there are likely many others not caught. One estimate from Princeton Policy Advisors, which was published by Breitbart last week, projects that 600,000 illegal aliens will successfully enter the country undetected this year.

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