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NEW: SW Border Sector Chiefs Confirm Illegal Aliens Spread the Word That the Border is Open

December 19, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) issued the following statement after the Committee released additional selections from transcribed interviews conducted with Border Patrol chief patrol agents responsible for the sectors along the Southwest border. In the interviews, the agents confirm illegal aliens are communicating their experiences of being released into the United States, and the lack of consequences for illegally crossing the Southwest border, to friends and family back home, encouraging more people to make the journey to the border in the hopes of also being released.

“When there is no meaningful consequence applied to illegal activity, that activity will continue—and others will get the message that they can also engage in it with impunity. That’s exactly what has happened at our borders since Secretary Mayorkas took office. Aliens cross the border illegally, test the system, are released into the interior, and then call home to share their experiences. That’s happened millions of times in the past three years. With the advent of social media and the ability to instantly communicate with family and friends back home, this dynamic has only accelerated. Those phone calls will not stop, the videos on social media will keep being posted, and the accounts will still be told so long as Secretary Mayorkas doubles down on his refusal to enforce the immigration laws passed by Congress. He must be held accountable.”

Under the leadership of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and his reckless open-borders policies, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has recorded over 6.5 million encounters at the Southwest border in total, and monthly encounters have exceeded 100,000 every single month. Under the previous administration, monthly encounters at the Southwest border exceeded 100,000 only four times. 

The House Committee on Homeland Security and the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability conducted interviews with eight chief patrol agents and one deputy chief patrol agent from April-September 2023 to acquire more information about operations in their sectors and how the crisis has impacted the safety and security of the United States. These interviews were part of the Committees’ ongoing investigation into the causes, costs, and consequences of the unprecedented crisis at America’s borders, and the role of Secretary Mayorkas in facilitating and maintaining this crisis. 

Read previous selections of the transcripts in which these senior agents discussed how they have never seen such historic numbers of illegal crossings, the lack of consequences enforced by this administration for illegal entry, how mass releases function as a pull factor for millions of illegal aliens, how illegal aliens are now turning themselves in to Border Patrol to be released into the interior, and the expansive degree of cartel control at the Southwest border.


Read more in the Daily Signal via Virginia Allen.

Read sections of the transcripts below.
Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens, Del Rio Sector 

Q: From your observations, just generally speaking, although none of your roles and responsibilities necessarily include policy, just from your personal experience and firsthand observations, what can we attribute these increasing numbers toward?

A: So I think the traffic comes to Del Rio Sector in large part because of the message that is transmitted among the migrant population. 

When you have folks that make the trip and they come across, they’re in communication with the folks that are back in their home country or their families who may also be thinking about making that journey.  

And if they perceive it to be safer or more expedient, they give recommendations. And they do that by phone. They do that on social media outlets.
Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens, Del Rio Sector 

Q: Okay. So when these ATD numbers are greater, do you believe that those numbers or that knowledge also gets fed into that population of migrants who might want to cross illegally?  

And you had mentioned that there is a lot of communication in between migrants who then say maybe the journey is safer than it really is, or maybe it’s not as perilous, or maybe I’ll be paroled and it won’t be a big deal?  

A: So I believe that the migrants communicate the entirety of their experience to their friends and family back home, and that would include what their experience was with whatever processing pathway they were put into.


So I don’t know if they’re seeing ATD numbers. I hope they’re not privy to that information. But I can tell you that, yeah, if the general perception is that it’s easy, that would logically prompt somebody to be more inclined to make that decision.
Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin, Tucson Sector 

Q: And referring back to the interviews, what are you hearing now in post interviews? 

A: So now it’s a combination of things. There is still some of the change in administration stuff, the policy and law change, that perception that people have. And some of it is, we’re fleeing violence, we’re fleeing for economic reasons, or we’ve heard that we’ll be welcomed here or there.  

And I should say too my experience is also that the way that information is disseminated now is incredibly different. 

When I started my career, immigration flows took months to change, and now it seemingly can change overnight because people are live streaming themselves crossing the border. They’re sending it back to—their families are seeing it. People in the area they come from see it. 
Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin, Tucson Sector 

Q: You also mentioned the role of social media, of information. You mentioned that illegal border crossers FaceTime family abroad.  

Do you have any insight into what they’re communicating abroad? 

A: No. I really don’t know what it is they’re communicating. But what I do know is that there’s certainly—again, there’s not the air of mystery to the border that there used to be, because people can leave their country and then, however long it takes them, a couple weeks, to get here, and then they’re inside the United States, and then they’re in Kansas City, or they’re, wherever their destination is, they’re there, and they’re in communication with their families. 

Q: So the assumption is that they got released? 

A: The assumption is, yes, they’re somewhere in the United States.
Chief Patrol Agent Anthony “Scott” Good, El Paso Sector 

Q: And that would not be any false messaging or misinformation by the cartels if they were to spread and promulgate messages that, hey, people get released after they’re in custody and they’ll be able to remain in the United States. Is that a fair statement?  

A: Many times it’s not just the smugglers doing that, right. If—if somebody’s released, then that person that was released will get on social media and say, Hey, look at me, I’ve been released. And then that creates a draw specifically to that area. So if it happens in El Paso and they post that on social media, that will create a draw to El Paso, same for any other sector. 

Q: Okay. We’ll get to more about the statistics later. But is it fair to say that if someone were to be released from custody, especially in a short period of time or whatever their experience may have been, that they might call their friends or family back home and say, Hey, this has been my experience and it was relatively painless?  

A: Whether it’s a call or a social media post, yes, that occurs. 
Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke, San Diego Sector 

Q: Chief, if I may follow up, when you were asked—you just mentioned that when certain demographics see that they’ll be released, they notify people that they’ll be released. What demographics are you referring to?  

A: A good example is family groups. So family groups, when we see individuals that come across, and they have—it’s a family of five, for example, and they—it’s much more difficult to find detention or housing for a family group.  

So—all right. So, for an example, they’re released on their own recognizance.  Individuals come up and see that. And, if they were single adults, we do see people rent a family. So they will find somebody with children, and they will pay to take those children with them when they come to the border and say that they’re their children so that they’re more likely to be released.
Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke, San Diego Sector 

Q: If a cartel tells people—migrants—that it’s going to be really easy to get here and you’ll be released into the United States, and that person comes, and it was really hard to get here, but they were still released into the United States, in your experience, does that person call back to family or community members and let them know how it went? 

A: Yes. 

Q: So, even if the cartel is lying about how hard it is to get here, if the person is ultimately released, isn’t that only partly misinformation? 

A: I’m not sure exactly which part.  

Q: That’s okay.  

So if—if it was all a lie. If the cartels said it’s going to be really easy to get here and you’re going to be released, and a migrant came, and it was a terrible journey, and they got rejected and they got removed to go home, they would tell their family: Don’t do it—right—because it was hard, because it was all a lie; it was hard, and we took our son home. Right? 

A: Right.  

Q: But, if only part of it was untrue, so they said “it’s easy, you’ll get in, it was a really hard journey, but I got in,” people still might make that journey, right? 

A: Right.  

Q: So, if it was all misinformation, why are people still coming? 

A: It goes back to both sides. But as long as they make it into the United States, that’s their ultimate goal. And so, if they’ve been traveling for a year, they’ve risked their lives more than once, not just at the border. And so that is their ultimate goal. So it’s all worthwhile if they make it here.
Chief Patrol Agent Joel Martinez, Laredo Sector 

Q: So, regardless of what the cartel tells them about the journey or the path of gold, if these people are released, they’re still going to come, right? 

A: Yes. 

Q: How else do they find out about information? It’s not just the cartel, right? Does their family—strike that. Family that’s already come, do they call back? 

A: Yes. 

Q: And they find out from friends and other people who have crossed? 

A: Yes. 

Q: And some people and wait in Mexico to see if the people they were with are successful before they cross? 

A: Yes. 

Q: Do you think that that has a large influence on whether a person decides to cross into the United States?
A: Yes.
Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez, Rio Grande Valley Sector 

Q: What are some pull factors that would bring someone to the United States? 

A: It would be families that are already in the United States pulling their relatives, you know, encouraging their relatives to come out. It would be companies or organizations that are hiring these individuals in the United States that others have told them: Hey, you can get a job here type thing. I think it’s the feedback that people that are here already provide them to encourage them to come. 

Q: What kind of feedback do you think people provide that would encourage others to come? 

A: Job, opportunities, housing, better quality of life type conversation. 

Q: What about potential for release into the United States? 

A: Possibly. I’m not 100 percent sure, but that is possibly a conversation that takes place as well. 
Deputy Chief Patrol Agent Dustin Caudle, Yuma Sector 

Q: When you say word travels, whose word? Among who? 

A: So among the migrants themselves, among the smuggling outfits. I mean, social media is widely used.  

There was Tiktok [sic] videos being produced, you know, that was documenting journeys how to cross.

Particularly into Yuma Sector, it was showing them firsthand accounts of which trails to take, where the border wall ended, which gap to exploit, you know, where to stay, all of those things.  

So smart phones are everywhere, you know, and so word travels extremely fast among migrants. It travels fast among the transnational criminal organizations, local smugglers, and the cartel. 

Q: Have you seen that social media content that shows things like routes and where to cross? 

A: Yes.

Q: Where do you find that? 

A: Tiktok [sic]. Any of these social media accounts have those things. Again, I’m not personally involved in the exploitation of it, but our intel [sic] units frequently find those things. Again, they elevate them with the field information report up to the intelligence units up at Headquarters.