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February 6, 2024 48 mins

James talks with former senior Border Patrol agent Jenn Budd in late January to learn about how Border Patrol has been complicit in Texas’ cruel treatment of migrants.

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Speaker 1 (00:01):
Al Zone Media.

Speaker 2 (00:05):
Hi everyone, and welcome to it Could Happen Here podcast
about how things are falling apart and people trying to
put them back together. Today, more in the how things
are Falling apart category, we are talking about the border
again and I'm joined by Gen Pud who you've heard
from before, but just a reminder, Jen is a former
senior patrol agent with the Border Patrol and now an
immigrant rights activist.

Speaker 3 (00:26):
Welcome to the Showjo, Thanks for having me again.

Speaker 2 (00:30):
Yeah, you're welcome. So we're gathered here today, I guess
to talk about this ridiculous spectacle of the Texas National
Guard occupying some border adjacent land. The border, as I said,
right down the middle of the river there. So they're
not actually occupying that the physical border, right, they're occupying

(00:51):
that the nearest land spot to it is that right, correct?

Speaker 3 (00:54):
The border in that area is in the middle of
the river.

Speaker 2 (00:58):
Yeah, and preventing Border patrol from accessing the river. And
I think, like we were just talking before we recorded,
but the reporting on this has been a bit kind
of slap shot. A lot of it have just been
social media posting. So I was hoping that you could
help us understand like a This isn't like like a
standoff between Texas and the Border patrol, right, but it's

(01:23):
not like Texas kind of swept in and suddenly they
were there and they weren't there before it. Border patrol
had to allow this to happen. To agree, is that
fair to say?

Speaker 3 (01:33):
I think it's fair to say. I mean, at the moment,
I think the administration is trying to portray that, you know,
the Border Patrol tried to come out there and rescue.
I think the latest I've heard is that reportedly there
were six people in the river that were surrounding and
they went to go rescue them, and the Texas military,

(01:58):
the I guess Texas now Guard ended up blocking them
and saying they can't go. Now, this park is a
very well known park that during the Trump administration they
were trying to build a wall. They've been wanting a
wall there, but the people in that city, I believe
it's equal pass is that they, you know, they don't

(02:18):
want a wall there. That's the city park and they
just don't want a wall right there. And so Greg
Abbott has sent in Texas National Guard to put up
all the razor wire, all the you know, plotation devices
with she would call it a saw blade on the

(02:38):
middle of it that they claim saves lives. All this
stuff apparently is rescue technique stuff, and they claim it
it saves more lives than it hurts. And so the
people that put out this stuff to injure people or
claiming that they didn't allow people to drown. So I

(02:59):
find that hard to But at the same time, the
Border Patrol is the Border Patrol is always silent, you know,
they're always silent about this. They let CBP talk to
talk for them. They'll let the administration talk for them.
The Union is claiming that Greg Abbott is the best
thing in the world. They think it's great that he
stopped their own agents from rescuing a woman and two children.

(03:24):
So apparently three of the people got back to shore
on the Mexican side, and then the woman and two
children ended up drowning and their bodies were found on
the Mexican side. Texas military is claiming that when they
were notified that people were in the river, they went
and they shined lights and they looked, but they didn't
see anything. We did have the I don't know if

(03:48):
it was Texas Military, it was in the area of
the state of Texas on the same Rio or Grande,
where some either National Guard or Texas National Guard or
military or somebody just was sitting in a boat in
front of a woman with a child and she was
starting to sink into the sand because it's like quicksand

(04:08):
over there, and they wouldn't rescue her, and Border patrol
drove by really fast and put away, So it's not
surprising that they wouldn't go rescue them. This is the
first time that they publicly said that they've had a
confrontation with a border patrol. But I don't think the
Border Patrol tried very hard to rescue them. I mean
they do have boats and stuff.

Speaker 2 (04:29):
Yeah they have yeah, yeah, they're there are many way helicopters. Yeah,
they have lots of equipment to rescue people sometimes just
let's desire, shall we say?

Speaker 3 (04:43):
Yeah, And I mean it's to me the interesting thing
is watching Democratic politicians point their fingers at Greg Abbott,
and rightly so for this, for this scene. But yet
at the same time, what the Border Patrol does every day,
Their deterns policies every day, kill people every day, So
the Border Patrol is not doing anything different so to

(05:04):
act like, oh my god, we didn't get out to
save these migrants and we really wanted to is kind
of like, well, I mean, people die probably every hour
crossing that river and you haven't cured before, and we've
been doing it since nineteen ninety four. So it's kind
of it's kind of hard to get really upset at
Greg Abbott, who's doing nothing but what the National Border

(05:28):
Patrol has done for you know, thirty something years. And
at the same time, the victims are always the migrants
that you know, That's what we should be upset about,
is that our policies, whether federal or state, are killing
people who are seeking asylum and seeking safety. That's what
it is.

Speaker 2 (05:46):
Yeah, exactly. I think like this attempt to make it
like Republican governor is killing migrants thing is an attempt
to like distract us from the fact that democratic president
is killing migrants in much greater numbers by virtue of
the amount of land covered by you know, Biden's jurisdiction
compared to Abbots. But yeah, I think it's very hypocritical.

Speaker 3 (06:10):
And it's it's funny to you in that or I'm
not funny but ironic, and that the Border Patrolley Union
is putting out the numbers of when Trump's last year
as president of death on the southern border, and these
are just the ones that they find, not yeah, the
actual number, which is usually three to four times as many.
And then they're saying, oh, look, in Biden's year, this

(06:32):
has been twenty twenty three was the most deadly year.
But it's like, you know, you guys never cared about
how many people were dying before, and now sudden you're like,
you're killing more minents than anybody else. Are you jealous?
What's the deal?

Speaker 2 (06:46):
Yeah, like the idea that these people are consend that
they're like in Cumba, they keep people in open air
attention for up to a week and in the freezing cold,
you know, in San Diego Santasedro people are two people
have died. In Santa Cedro person has died. In the
number probably dozens more people have died crossing in other
routes that we haven't seen this year. It's it's been

(07:08):
not as wet as previous winters. But just in my
just in this week, I've seen people in extremely dire
medical distress, and I've seen border patrol scream at those
people and scream that people trying to help those people
and not do anything to help. So I'm finding it
hard to buy that this is all Greg greg Abbott's fault,
not that Greg Abbott is't a piece of shit. Yeah,

(07:30):
I think we're in agreement on that, but like, yeah,
the the attempt to lay all the blame at Greg
abbts feet and suggests that there isn't complete bipartisan agreement
it seems on killing migrants even like we don't see
in the Trump era, we saw you know, AOC turn
up and cry at the you know, unaccompanyed children or

(07:52):
the other separation of family separation attention, and we don't
even see that anymore, Like we don't have any ear
of that, and that's refected in the press. Right, we
don't see anywhere near as much coverage of the brutality
at the border as we used to. One thing that
you've mentioned before we started with that you had there's
some like there's pretty clear case law or Supreme Court

(08:13):
decisions at least about like what BP could have done
or what their rights are visa VI the National Guard,
could you explain some of fat well.

Speaker 3 (08:22):
As clear immigration precedent, So in eighteen seventy five. So
prior to the Civil War a little bit after the
Civil War, states had always done their own immigration. So
if you showed up in a boat on New Orleans
in New Orleans Harbor, they would have their own immigration.
You would have to pay a lot of times. In

(08:42):
the California area, California was charging, especially Chinese migrants who
were coming over for the railroad and the gold rush
and things like that. When they brought groups of Chinese
women over, then California would label the ball as prostitutes
and no good people, and then they would put them

(09:03):
in jail and then find the captain of the ship
like five hundred dollars a person, which is by today's
standards it's like over fourteen thousand dollars, such a lot
of money. Yeah, yeah. And so one of the one
of the female migrants in eighteen seventy five, so that
you had no right to hold us in jail. You
don't have this right. There's nothing that says that you

(09:26):
have this right according to US law back then. And
so the case is called Chai Cchy Lung Lung versus Freemen.
And in eighteen seventy five the Supreme Court decision was
that immigration is solely the federal government's right to enforce

(09:48):
and not the States, simply because of diplomatic relations. Also
that we have treaties with other countries, and we have
relationships with other countries, and they believe that while allowing
state to do their own immigration would then hurt the
United States in diplomacy with these other countries. And then
the other thing that they mentioned was that there have

(10:09):
been no due process given to the migrants during the time,
and that's sufforded to migrants, whether they're undocumented or not
based on the Constitution. And then recently in two thousand.
The most recent time that was brought up was in
twenty twelve when Arizona sued the United States. The Supreme
Court upheld in that case that law enforcement can question

(10:33):
citizenship during a legal stop, but denied other parts of
the Arizona law SB. Ten seventy, which allowed their peace
officers to act like immigration officers. And they said, the
reason why they can't do that, which is what greg
Abbott is doing. The reason why Supreme Court said they
can't do that in twenty twelve was because of Article

(10:54):
six Clause two, which states that the Constitution federal laws.
Treaties made under federal authority take priority over state laws.
So it's, you know, the supremacy clause. Basically, it's what
it is. And so it's kind of like what Trump
did when he was in office, where he starts separating children,

(11:17):
and he starts putting everybody he crosses the border, whether
it's for asylum or for nefarious reasons. In between the poorts,
he we'd take away their children. And I mean, that
was in violation of the nineteen eighty Refugee Act, and
yet nobody really fought it on that basis. I'm not
sure why they didn't find it on that basis. I'm
not an attorney, so I can't tell you, but at

(11:39):
least you know this this decision Chai Lung versus Freeman,
It's been around since eighteen seventy five and was brought
up in twenty twelve, and the Supreme Court awesome used
Chai Lung to make its argument of why Arizona couldn't
have certain parts of SB ten seventy out. So what
Greg Abbott is doing is the same thing Trump is doing.

(12:00):
Is like, I will break the law, and you can
take me to court and we'll see if this court
agrees with what the last court said. So they're just
breaking the law and then enduring people to take them
to court is simply what they're doing. In in the
middle of this, obviously the migrants are caught, the humanitarian
organizations and everybody's caught. It causes chaos, basically, is what
it's doing.

Speaker 2 (12:21):
Yeah, it's causing an absolute mess at the border. And
I think understandably what you hear from migrants is like
the people who are better informed, who have access to information, resources, finances,
are telling me that they don't want to go to Texas,
right because right, it's a mess, and it's a mess

(12:42):
that kills people. And that's exactly what it's supposed to be.
It's supposed to be uncertain, and it's supposed to be cruel.
And so people who have the chance to you will
come here. People who can't afford to right that they're
coming north directly and it sort of takes us is there,
you know, if they head directly north, but that that's
where they end up. Taxas has a huge amount of border,

(13:04):
of course, then they're the people who tend to be
the ones who are forced across there. And unfortunately that's
realotten a much higher, as you said, at my higher
death rate, right, Nick, it's do you have a sense
of like I suppose it will be hard to tell
because we have very little and were proper statistics, but like,
what is the most fatal kind of part of the border.

Speaker 3 (13:27):
It's difficult to tell if it's the Sonoran Desert or
if it's the Rio Grande River. And I say that
because we don't see half the bodies, or we probably
don't see ninety percent of the bodies.

Speaker 2 (13:42):
Yeah, I know a lot of port deaths are on
the t Reservation to Ho Reservation.

Speaker 3 (13:48):
In there's the bombing very goldwater bombing area that nobody's
allowed in, but when they are occasionally allowed in, they
find like groups of thirteen fifteen skeletons and stuff like that.
So I think it's a toss that between the Sonoran
Desert and the Rio Grande River. The other problem with

(14:08):
Texas's border is that primarily the majority of the property
on the border in Texas is private property, and they
tend to be very large ranches which may be no
ranch hand or anybody goes out, you know, through the
acres to see this and they might never ever find
the bodies. It's kind of like the Sonoran desert and

(14:29):
the Po nation and then the bombing range, and then
just the fact that the desert will just destroy the
bones pretty quickly, especially once the winds cover thinks up
that we have a fair amountain Campo, as you know,
in the Hakamba Campo Wilderness area and the mountains and
the Laguna Mountains. But I don't think it's near as

(14:51):
bad because you can look at those mountains and see
how bad they are, and most people don't want to
dare across those mountains, but many still do. Obviously I
worked out there, You're familiar with that area, and so
we have more than our fair share for certain. Yeah,
but I would say I would say probably it's between

(15:13):
Texas the Rio Grande and then the Sonora doesn't for.

Speaker 2 (15:16):
Sure, Okay, yeah, yeah, I think I think that makes sense.
It's probably a good time for us to break the
border is getting people. If these adverts probably aren't that,
they're still not great. So you enjoy these products and services.

(15:39):
All right, we are back, and Jen, I wanted to ask, like,
with regard to these I think there's a couple of
things that people might not be clear w on. We
tried to explain them on the podcast before the first
is like Border Patrol will always say that all the
BP agents are first responders, right, It's this line that
they have, And like do they like in terms of rescues,

(16:03):
are they sort of like technically obliged to make rescues.
I mean, I've seen people in very great stress and
I've seen Border Patrol do nothing more times than I
can count. So like I'm wondering, like is there some
kind of like technical obligation that they have that they're
just ignoring or is it sort of at the discretion
of the agent whether they think it's safe. What's there
like official policy there?

Speaker 3 (16:25):
Well, if you're an agent in the field and you
come upon a migrant drowning in the water, you know
has slipped and broken their leg, and you're trying to
decide if you should go down into this area or
jump in the water and stuff, it is up to
the individual agent to decide if they can handle that.
So what you find most often the agents who are

(16:46):
in the boats and working on either the oceans and border.
They work on the ocean in California and they work
on the ocean. Yeah, and then obviously along the Rio Grande.
All those agents have specific training obviously and swimming. All
agents have training and swimming, but not at the level
but the agents who are working on the water deck,
so you have to go through extra training when you
take that position. It's like being on a horse patrol.

(17:08):
You have to go through horse training and so forth.
But all agents are trained in just basic CPR, just
basic splinting, that kind of first aid stuff, but not
all agents are what they call it, not Vortech but
four Star, the rescue organization that they have now, and
that's didn't start until like the late nineties. And I

(17:31):
didn't even see him when I was an agent, even
though I was there until two thousand and one, I
didn't see him out in Campo whenever we had a
call about a rescue in Campo, at least the old
Campo station that was on four Skate Road before they
changed it all around. We had to go out in
teams and that's the only time we worked in teams.

(17:51):
Otherwise we hiked alone is if we were doing a rescue,
especially in the wintertime because it was even more dangerous,
and we hiked all night until we found them. So
us regular agents just on the line would just move
our positions and keep going, and we didn't necessarily have
any specific training. We didn't repel a lot of helicopters

(18:14):
back then and do all that stuff. What I think
that they started for was because we had a lot
of attrition in the nineties and it was more about
getting us regular agents that patrol the border away from
the border because we were having that's when our massive
suicide started, because of all the death that we were seeing.
And I think it was an effort to keep the

(18:38):
average agent from seeing the brutality of what they were doing,
quite honestly, and so like I as an agent had
lots of experience with dead bodies and so forth. But
agents today who are on the line, they don't. They
sit in their trucks, they watch the cameras, and then
when a dire thing comes out that somebody needs to

(18:59):
be rescued forced our handles handles it. They might go
do perimeter things and help out a little bit, but
they're not involved in the actual rescues. You know, in
my day, I didn't know. I didn't know that many
agents who had never seen who had never experienced that,
And I kind of think in a weird way that
that's what makes today's agents so non caring, so non

(19:23):
sympathetic to the migrants. We didn't call them invaders. And
it's not to say that we weren't racist and we're brutal.
It's just it's gotten even more brutal and more racist
since since I was an agent, And certainly I would
say that the brutality that may have happened, that would
have happened maybe on an individual basis or with certain

(19:45):
groups of agents. It's now policy throughout the whole agency,
and you're expected to be that brutal. And if you
can't be that brutal, then you can't hack it. So
but the idea that they're all first responders, that just
means they wear a bat and have a gun and
have a car with you know, red and blue lives
on it. But they're not all necessarily trained in like

(20:08):
the type of rescue that we're talking about in the
Hopkamba area in the mountains that takes very physically. I
could do it when I was younger, but obviously I
can't do it now.

Speaker 2 (20:18):
Yeah.

Speaker 3 (20:20):
Yeah, we would have to get our best best agents,
and especially if we went north at the checkpoint north
of I eight up into the lagunas we would have
to get our best fit agents up there to do that.

Speaker 2 (20:29):
Yeah, and it seems like that I don't see them
as much, certainly, like when there's a search and rescue now,
just like everything else at the border very often falls
on volunteers and community groups and people who are willing
to give their time and take the non legible personal
risk to rescue people.

Speaker 3 (20:49):
Because a I think we might have rescued more people
back then even with half the amount of agents, simply
because when we got the call, we went and we looked.
And sometimes we meet the friend other rallies right at
the border and they show us this is a group,
and so we looked for the sign and then we
could you know, frog it and get ahead of it.
Whereas today if you call a bors Star while all

(21:11):
the Boord store agents have to get their gear on
and then they have to get the helicopter and fly.

Speaker 2 (21:18):
Yeah, And I mean that's even if they're willing. So
like I know with the group that made a call
this weekend for a gentleman who was in distress and
had been suffering very greatly from exposure, and the agent
in the office said it would be hours maybe days
before they arrived, right, So like if you can get through,

(21:41):
if you can get them to come out, like you
know that this and that that's very common. That's something
that that that is not unusual at all. This the
disdain for coming to the disdain for people's lives right
for coming to rescue them. It is extremely obvious, really,
and like that's a good It's not someone who has
to be located. Like I can give you a GPS

(22:03):
reading down to you know, I think it's twenty figures,
you know, extremely accurate location.

Speaker 3 (22:08):
It's just oh, yeah, we didn't have that in our day.
I mean there was GPS, but we didn't have GPS capability.
I never worked with GPS, so I worked with a
compass that was pretty much.

Speaker 2 (22:18):
Yet, Yeah, it's yeah, I mean they have they have
more technology than you know.

Speaker 3 (22:25):
I know, the agents today tell me they can see
each other in the field. So they have something or
their GPS system to tracked each other and so they
can see where each other is. We never had.

Speaker 2 (22:36):
Yeah, they did to military technology, just like everything else
that trickle down to the border patrol and sometimes trickles
from the border patrol down to the military actually with
a lot of the surveillance technology. Like, I think another
thing that people might not be aware of, and this
is something that I think has happened recently but being

(22:57):
young for several years now, is the deployment of National
God to the border. I think people know that that
is happening in Texas, but I think people probably aren't
aware that there's also a federal mission to the border,
right that that encompasses much more than Texas. And what
are they National God, Well, I mean they I know
they sit outside detention camps in Ukumber shouting at me,

(23:20):
But what is their mission in theory at the border?
What are they doing there?

Speaker 3 (23:26):
Well, in theory their mission at the border is now
they have these giant processing tints you know in San
Diego and in Cheese on ane of the things. So
in general, what they're supposed to be doing is not
actively arresting or apprehending people, because that, according to the law,
would violate it. What they're supposed to be doing is

(23:48):
is maybe sitting in a stationary spot operating the scope
where they can tell border patrol at night, you know
there's a group over here, da da DA, And then
the rest of the time, they're mostly supposed to be
working in the processing centers, assistant people if they need
to go to medical or if they need this or that,
and so they're just supposed to help so that the

(24:08):
agents don't have to sit around and babysit so much,
so that they can be back in the field. That's
what they're supposed to be doing. And I mean lots
of presidents have done it. Barack Obama did it, you know,
so it's not unusual unusual. What is unusual is that
in Texas you have Texas DPS and the military Texas

(24:29):
National Guard actually pretending like they are border patrol agents
and running around and apprehending people even though they do
not have that legal authority. The US government has not
given it to them. And then the other thing I
think which is legally the most dangerous is where they
push the migrants back into the water. Number One, The

(24:53):
law is that if you set foot on US soil,
then you're entitled to an immigration hearing if you so choo,
and you cannot turn somebody back. Agent cannot legally turn
somebody back once they've crossed, So once they're across that
middle part of the river, they're in the United States
and they're your problem now. So you have to deal
with that, and you have to process them. You have

(25:15):
to figure out who they are. You have to friend
and records checks and all this other stuff. It'd be interesting.
You know, the Biden administration has it pressed abbot on this,
and I've always wondered, why are they allowing him to
do this and take over immigration as a state authority. Yeah.
I think they just don't want to fight it.

Speaker 2 (25:36):
Yeah, they don't want to be attacked on like this,
like this idea that Biden's like, there's this myth of
Biden's opens borders, which is actually ridiculous and be like,
as Erica reminded us last week, like we all as
US passport holders, have open borders to us all over
the world. It's very problematic. We think other people shouldn't.
But yeah, I think the idea of looking weak or like,

(25:58):
you know, he wants to but dressed himself against an
attack from the right.

Speaker 3 (26:02):
The same reason why he won't get rid of the
Border Patrol Union, because you know the Border Patrol Union.
Now that Donald Trump before he left diet he gave
them what's called security designation, So are they are a
security organization now, which means they're like the FBI, they're
like the DA and all this other stuff, and so

(26:25):
they can't have a bargaining unit. So the Border Patrol
Union is actually illegal under five USC. Seven one one
two lit'll b Little sixth. But Biden is week and
he doesn't want to look like he hates unions. He
always wants to look like he's strong on unions because
he's a union politician, and he refuses to get rid
of him. But the fear and the reason why that

(26:48):
law exists is exactly what we see them doing now,
where the union representatives who are border patrol agents, they
have national security information and they're actively working against this
current administration. So that's why we have it. But he's
just weak and he won't do anything about.

Speaker 2 (27:03):
It, right and it certainly I think whoever wins next time,
they're not going to do anything about it now. Yeah,
I think either way. You like also pattention to the

(27:26):
VP union and I think it's one of the worst
accounts on Twitter dot com. But I also like, I'm
in the event of a Republican victory, which at the
moment it's looking like Trump might be then nominee. Right,
certainly it seems for support for Trump. Kind of these
people seem to have his ear on immigration and they

(27:46):
seem to want the same things, right, So I'm wondering
Biden has been bad. His border policy has been objectively bad,
and it's very hard for me not to see it
as racist. Like it's very hard for me not to
see his immigrate policy is specifically favoring white people and
specifically disadvantaging black people. And I don't think I could
be persuaded that's not the case. What do you think,

(28:09):
Like it seems that immigration policy only moves one way
and it just gets worse and worse, and border policy
does the same. What are they like demanding and what
do you think is sort of at stake in the
upcoming election this year's election regarding the border.

Speaker 3 (28:25):
So I was paying attention to what Speaker Johnson was
saying before we logged on to talk, and he was
saying that there was going to be no deal for
the border unless Donald Trump was the one doing the deal.
So he doesn't want to even fund the border patrol
right now. So I mean, my impression of what the
border patrol and what the union is trying to do

(28:45):
at this moment is that they are trying to make
the border as chaotic as absolutely possible, and that is
their goal. They want bodies, black and brown bodies coming
over that fence, and they want the optics of it.
That's what I think is going on, and that's why

(29:08):
I think that they're picking specific cities to have a
lot of the migrants come through. I think that that's
the reason why they have like specific cities, because you
saw like a couple of weeks together, they're like, oh
my god, the border's being overrun, and oh my god,
what are we going to do? And this and that,
and then you realize it's just like three or four suctors,

(29:28):
and even within those sectors, it's just one or two areas.
It's not the entire border. Is it problematic? Is it chaotic?
Is it a human rights disaster for the minors? Yes?
Is it that for the Border Patrol? No? I think
the Border Patrol is adding to it. And in fact,
when I do the numbers and you compare like the

(29:48):
staff that we have back when I was an agent
and the staff that they have today, they're not even
apprehending half the amount that each agent apprehended when we
were in the patrol back in the day, and so
you know, for them to apprehend the group. Now, when
I see them apprehend a group of life, even ten people,
twelve people, they will take five agents to apprehend twelve people.

(30:12):
I have apprehended one hundred people by myself, and that's
not safe. I shouldn't suggest that people do that, but
I have apprehended. It is normal for a border patrol
agent to apprehend twenty to thirty people by themselves, including
a female agent who's at the time was super skinny
and super small. And the reason why is because the
vast majority of migrants aren't criminals and they're not trying

(30:36):
to hurt you. So that's why a single agent can
apprehend so many people. But today they use like six
or seven agents to apprehend groups, and so I'm not
sure why they're overwhelmed. Quite frankly, they should be able
to handle three hundred, four hundred thousand people a month
in the border patrol if they have to.

Speaker 2 (30:59):
Yeah, Like, even though a world without the border patrol
would be better, in a world without this bloated and
violent and overfunded and really terribly just just a mess
of quality and violence that we have now would be
a lot better, but things could get a lot worse
for those people, like even the time it takes for

(31:21):
them to be processed, and that the time it takes
for them to have their hearing. Immigration law could change
for the worse very quickly if either person wins presidency.
And indeed, like it seems that Biden has floated like
a return to a title forty two as a compromise
to get funding for Ukraine. So like, yeah, this inefficiency

(31:42):
doesn't just like even when people are apprehended, their failure to
do their jobs hurts people right like it puts them
at greater risk.

Speaker 3 (31:53):
It does. And I mean a lot of the things
that the border Patrol has done has created and made
these things worse. A lot of the areas out near Sasabe,
a lot of people never even crossed until Trump put
that wall out there because they didn't have road access
to a lot of that area. And if you did

(32:14):
have road access, you had to have a very serious
four by four to get out there. You can't do
it in a regular car, and you can't do it
in a kind of city type of four by four.
You need a serious four by four to get it
into some of those areas, and then just our policies
are deterrence policies. You know, when I was an agent
in the nineties, it costs you know, probably somebody from

(32:35):
Central America costs about eighteen hundred dollars to get here.
Now it's ten thousand or more dollars. So we've made
it profitable for people to smuggle people in and cross
them illegally. Illegally, We've created this entire situation ourselves. I mean,
I don't have any doubt that other countries that maybe

(32:58):
don't like as you know, all the migrants coming across,
the destabilization that will cause. With people who are racist
or who don't know anything about the border, they all
see that as a bonus. But the fact of the
matter is is that people who are crossing they still
need asylum, They still have serious needs. Just because you know,

(33:18):
I've seen some people floating around that people are pushing
migrants across our southern border to destabilize US. I don't
know if that's necessarily true. We don't have any proof
of that. But even if they are, isn't the better
attitude to have because asylum is legal, isn't the better
attitude to have, well, how can we better, you know,

(33:39):
help these people and not let this destabilize who we
are and make them part of our communities and so forth.
I think that's a better choice than sending them out
to the desert or to drown in the rivers. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (33:51):
Absolutely, And I think it bears. I mean, people listening
to this will probably be in agreement that, yeah, these
people should be treated to particulanty and respect regardless. And
I generally don't buy that they're being shipped on mass
to destabilize this country. But I think even if you
don't care about their rights, every single advance advance is

(34:13):
around word, right, but increase in surveillance, every single increase
in state violence, every single incursion into individual rights starts
at the border, but it doesn't stop there, right, Like,
if you've protested in twenty twenty, you were surveilled by
technology that came from the border. You were sometimes targeting
by Leslie for weapons that were first issued to border patrol,

(34:34):
Like you're the intelligence that police now gather began with
border patrol. Like so much of the even the stuff
that we see used at the border today, or the
stuff that we see using surveillance today overwhelmingly comes from
either border patrol or the Israel that as a border.
And also most of these things are the same companies, right,

(34:56):
Companies that do one also do the other. And so like,
I guess if people are talking to people who don't
seem to care about the rights of migrants, which is
a worryingly large amount of our society, like this will
come and bite someone else in it, like to include
the people who decided to storm the Capitol on January sixth,
twenty twenty one. Right, Like, lots of the efficient technology

(35:18):
that bit them in the ass came from the border
and the people they hated.

Speaker 3 (35:22):
And that's absolutely true. And I mean, you know it's
the Border Patrol says this, but they mean it in
a different way. They say, what happens at the border
doesn't stay at the border, and they mean that because
they try and portray migrants as all criminals. So they're
trying to tell people, oh, see, these criminals are going
to come to Iowa or Illinois. So that but I say,

(35:42):
in the fact that the surveillance has come in to
you because you know, I mean, you know, in San
Diego we got street lamps out here that can listen
to US and video US YEP and track wherever we're
going down the street, from lock to block. And it's ridiculous.
You can't even walk your dog without being surveilled around here.
And yet we're far from them, twenty miles from the border,

(36:03):
north of the border, and it's still surveilled around here.
And so all of that surveillance, yes, that's being used
on American citizens. And when you go to places like McAllen,
so the Rio Grande Valley sector right now, it's really slow.
They're getting about a little over one thousand, maybe two
thousand apprehensions a week, which is really slow from the

(36:24):
prize of the sector. And they're like, you know, they
have so much surveillance, Like you can see there's a tower,
there's a tower. There's a tower there, and it is
all this Israeli technology and they can listen to cell
phones and that usually needs a warrant. But apparently down
here on the border, and I've had current border patrol

(36:46):
agents tell me the Fourth Amendment doesn't exist down here.
It's like, what is that one? The teaching here in
the academy now doesn't exist down here, And apparently that's
what border patrol agents think, and they think they have
I do anybody that they see, and all this other stuff,
and it just it's it's interesting how much this is spreading,

(37:10):
how much the checkpoints are spreading. And you know, like
in Minding, we didn't do invasive searches if it wasn't obvious,
we didn't stop them. And nowadays they'll do on full
body cavvy searches at a checkpoint and I'm like, what
I heard that, And so all this stuff is just

(37:31):
gonna it's just getting further and further into the anterior
of the United States, like we saw on the trip nustrition,
Like you said, yeah, it's going to be brought back
out for sure.

Speaker 2 (37:41):
Yeah, So I wonder, like how do we I mean,
it does seem very bleak, like I which is why
I like to devote so much of my time to
like mutual aid work on the border, because it's a
meaningful way to help, But how do we move the
needle to a more humane place? Like this is one

(38:02):
of the places where like I think, like we should
do whatever we can to make this like even if
it's something that would normally be this tasteful to us,
but like yeah, what is it that we can do
to either like maybe change people's minds, Like I'm sure
you yourself have changed your mind on what we need
to do on the border and to because the conversation

(38:26):
around the border is not only toxic, but it's also
so deeply rooted in ignorance and lack of understanding, and like,
I don't think we were talking about this before we
started back. Like I encountered a three year old girl
the other day who was extremely cold. She had her
feet have been wet and cold for hours days and

(38:46):
she was the cold beyond shivering, and we were trying
to warm her up, and it was very disstressing. I
don't think many people have seen that, And I don't
think even you're like sort of hardest border biggert Facebook
uncles would want to look that in the face and
be like, yeah, that's what we should do. Damn, I'm
really proud of this country. So how do we move

(39:08):
this to a better place? Do you think?

Speaker 3 (39:10):
I think one of the biggest mistakes that the Biden
administration did was that they didn't, you know, in the beginning,
they hired a lot of really really good people, like
I think Andrea Flores was one of the administration people,
and she knows her stuff, and I think that they
had this idea from what she had said that the

(39:31):
people that support immigration and immigrant rights and this, and
that she was saying that they were viewed as soft
hearted individuals on immigration and they were too soft and
they didn't understand border security. One of the things that
Biden should have done was start educating Americans about why
the asylum system is so important and what the benefits

(39:55):
are that it brings to us. And they have never
done that PSAs about it. There's nothing and I don't
know if NGO's do it on that large environment on
cable news or whatever, because they don't really watch mainstream
news and stuff. But Americans have just astonished it. Like

(40:18):
when I started doing the TikTok videos and explaining, you know,
border patroling, the people in green cbps and blues people
didn't know just the basic things. The majority of Americans
who feel that they have a very a very specific
view on immigration, whether they hate it or they love it,
they don't know much about immigration. They don't know how

(40:40):
it works. They literally think people just get off their
couch and go, let's just go to America and they
just hop over the fence and they all have money
and they're all getting free stuff and this and that.
So this administration, the government has done nothing to explain
what is happening and why it happens. And I always
say that the system is essential to national security. What

(41:05):
we saw in the Biden administration when he first opened
up the ports of entry to allow specifically Haitians to
apply at the ports of entry, we saw the amount
of Haitians go from the crossing in between the ports
it regularly. We saw it going from you know, thousands
down to like one hundred and something. So the idea

(41:25):
is that you have to have a robust and humane
asylum system where you're processing people where they don't have
to wait so long that they're going to give up
across it regularly. Because the vast majority of people who
believe that they have a legitimate asylum claim. And I
do think that what constitutes the asylum needs to be
revisited because it's outdated, especially now that we have client

(41:46):
and change. But is that you want those people to
come and be inspected. We want people to come and
stand outside the port of entry and wait and be
inspected by CBP. If we're going to have a border
and we're going to have all this, we would want
that so that then we could say, Okay, we've checked them.
They appear to be okay. They're going to this place.

(42:07):
Now they have an immigration hearing before a judge. We're
going to make sure that they get the system and
you know, and then see it more as a system
that's a benefit to us, instead of creating enemies, which
is what we're doing now. Every time a migrant turns around,
even if they do are able to get into the
United States the quote unquote legal way at a port

(42:30):
of entry, they're still met with you can't work for
one hundred and fifty days, and then you can't do this,
and you can't do that, and you have to show up.
And so we're constant. Everything is punishment. Everything is punitive
in our immigration system, and we can't do that. We
want these people to become citizens. We want these people
to become part of our our society. We need it,

(42:52):
and so we have to We have to have somebody
bold enough to explain this to the American people. If
you close the asylum system, everybody's going to cross regularly
just like they did in title forty two, and you're
going to get tons and tons of bodies coming across
the wall. We need to be bold enough to say
we want a humane and robust asylum system where families

(43:13):
can wait together and be processed. And then, you know,
I mean the decision between should we fund detention centers
and home people who are crossing just waiting for their
immigration hearing in detention, or should we fund you know,
humane services like Let's get you into whatever city you're
going to. Let's help you find a school for your kids,

(43:34):
Let's help you learn English, let's help you find a job.
Let's help you and you can hire and pay people
to do that instead of putting people into attention. It
doesn't have to be a punitive system. We've just made
it that way because the people on the for profit
prisons before Trump was supposedly elected, they were lobbying Jeff

(43:54):
Sessions and Steven Miller when he was working for Jeff
Sessions and so G Group and all them. They're the
ones that decided this is how we're going to go.
And the fact of the matter is is, I know,
I think we're on a disagreement with open border versus
you know, or having border patrol at all. But I
always say an open border is just as dangerous as

(44:16):
a closed border. And when when you close off the
asylum system, that forces everybody to then cross in between
the ports of entry, and that is what does overwhelm
border patrol. So if you don't want to overwhelm your
border patrol, then you have to pull them back and
you have to start processing people like they're supposed to
be processed at the court of entry. The other thing

(44:38):
people forget about is we've had four years, literally four
years of the asylum system being shut down because of
MPP and Title forty two. Those are current policies. It
took by no while to get through all those. But
what do you think all those people that were sitting
around for four years are doing. They're waiting, they're turning
to get over there. So we have a backlog not
just the people in the United States waiting for the immigration,

(45:00):
we have a backlog of people in Mexico waiting to
come across. So they created this whole thing themselves. I
find it very interesting the depress never mentions that basically
what TRUP did was close the whole immigration system down.
And kicked the can down the broad Yeah.

Speaker 2 (45:18):
Yeah, I mean consciously or unconsciously. It's like shaking up
a can of beer and then someone's going to take
a little off at some point, you know, and it's
going to blow out. Oh yeah, and it's been willing
to and so it's still going to get kicked down
the road. I mean, people have come in since the
end of title forty two, but as you say, there's
a huge backlog, and people aren't, as you say, going
to stop coming, right because like it's dangerous getting here.

(45:41):
I've walked those trails. They're not easy, and they're certainly
not easy when you're carrying your kid and it's raining
and it's dark, but it's I've also been in Syria,
in Iraq and in other places where these people are
coming from, and I understand why they're doing it, and
I would do it too if I had a family
and I wanted to escape that. So I think we're

(46:02):
laughing if we think that we're going to I mean,
we've tried to make our border as unpleasant as those places,
and it's deadly as those places, right, and fortunately we failed,
And so that doesn't mean people will stop coming whatever.

Speaker 3 (46:17):
We do. We've had thirty years of walls and border patrols,
concept of deterrence policies that they claim will prevent people
from crossing irregularly or illegally, and they've all failed. And
I think it's time to try something new. I think
it's time to stop listening to the people who get
all the money and get all the guns and get

(46:39):
all the militarizations, saying it has to be this way.
It does not have to be that way. And I
think it's very important to point out that we live
in the United States of America. Even though we have
a lot of problems and we're possibly losing our democracy
in our country right now, it is still far better
than the places that these people are coming from, and
we should be thankful for that and just figure out

(47:00):
a way to protect ourselves as first as we can,
you know.

Speaker 2 (47:05):
Yeah, Yeah, I think I think that's Yeah, it's a
good place to end. Like, we should be grateful that
for now we live in a much more stable place
and that we were able to we have the resources
to welcome people, and we do the benefit to our
communities when we.

Speaker 3 (47:20):
Have from us. Yeah, we need people right now.

Speaker 2 (47:25):
So, yeah, people forever bitching about not being able to
find people to work and also at the same time
toning away people who would love. You know, every migrant
I meet in the cumber message me on WhatsApps saying, Hey,
struggling to find work because they don't get work authorization. Right,
there are a lot of jobs that you're doing, and
a lot of people who want to do them, and
but we're so wrapped up in our bigger trendenophobia that

(47:47):
we won't let them do it right.

Speaker 3 (47:50):
We've made it as difficult for them as we absolutely
positively can.

Speaker 2 (47:55):
Yeah, Jen, thank you for joining us. Is there any
way that people can like follow you online? You've done
a really good job at sort of cracking some of
the board patrols nonsense recently. So where can people find that?

Speaker 3 (48:08):
They can find it on jin the j E N
N Budd dot com.

Speaker 2 (48:13):
Great, that's here, It's a good resource. And well, thank
you so much.

Speaker 3 (48:16):
Jen.

Speaker 2 (48:16):
We really appreciate your time.

Speaker 3 (48:18):
I appreciate you to thank you.

Speaker 2 (48:19):
Jeerz Mite.

Speaker 1 (48:26):
It could happen here as a production of cool Zone Media.
For more podcasts from cool Zone Media, visit our website
cool Zonemedia dot com or check us out on the
iHeartRadio app, Apple podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts,
you can find sources for It could happen here, Updated
monthly at cool zonemedia dot com slash sources. Thanks for listening.

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