President Joe Biden’s lax enforcement of the southern U.S. border has not only resulted in historic levels of illicit cross-border migration but has also led to Mexican cartel members and smugglers becoming emboldened enough to provocatively flaunt their illegal activities.
Such was the scene at the southern border in recent days when suspected cartel gunmen stood openly on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande and taunted Texas National Guard troops manning the U.S. side of the river, Fox News reported.
Pictures of the recurring incidents showed the gunmen outfitted with tactical vests and rifles, presumably AK-47s, standing out in the open in or near the river that marks the border between Mexico and Texas.
NEW: In multiple instances over the past several days, Texas DPS tells me suspected cartel gunmen involved in human smuggling have stood in & near the Rio Grande in Starr County and taunted TX National Guard soldiers. They wear tac vests & have AK47s.
Courtesy: @TxDPS @FoxNews pic.twitter.com/68dpIOa2Nc
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) October 6, 2021
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS), incidents like this have occurred multiple times over the past several days, and that any perceived threats will be fully investigated and properly responded to, if warranted.
“The Texas Department of Public Safety is committed to securing our southern border under the direction of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott,” Texas DPS said in a statement. “We continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds in order to make real-time decisions and will adjust operations as necessary.”
“As we work closely with the Texas Military Department, any potential threats toward law enforcement and the Texas Military Department will be fully investigated, and those responsible will be arrested and charged to the fullest extent of the law,” the statement added.
Lethal force greenlit
The Washington Examiner reported that a spokesman for Texas DPS, Lt. Christopher Olivarez, explained, “What’s been happening actually this past week is we see a group of individuals that are coming across — they’re smuggling people — but what they’re doing is they come across the river into the U.S. and smuggle people, they go back into Mexico, and they get their weapons.”
“These are assault rifles, OK, AK-47s. They’ll stand in the middle of the river, and then they’re brandishing their weapons and taunting the National Guard, who’s across on the U.S. side,” he continued.
Olivarez noted that should the level of provocation increase, U.S. troops would be authorized to use lethal force “if they make a threat towards National Guard or if they raise that weapon.”
Biden’s lax enforcement
In a Fox & Friends report on the shocking photos, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd asserted that these sorts of incidents are the result of the cartels and smugglers becoming “emboldened” by the Biden administration’s weak and nearly nonexistent border security enforcement policies.
Judd also asserted that, again, thanks to Biden’s lax enforcement, the cartels were earning an estimated $400 million per month just from the human smuggling operations alone, not counting the lucrative drug trade. He also suggested that the issue could be easily addressed by once again pressuring Mexican authorities to enforce their side of the border — as former President Donald Trump did — and by detaining illegal border crossers while their claims were adjudicated instead of releasing them freely into the country.