Mike Pence Tours Border, Blames Immigration Laws for Caravan

By Alexandra Mendoza

During his speech at the Calexico Border Patrol station, Vice-President Mike Pence blamed “weak” immigration laws for the arrival of dozens of people to the border who continue waiting for their political asylum petitions to be processed.

Pence stated that the people in the so-called “migrant caravan” are being exploited, and that they only traveled from Central America to the United States. because the current immigration system encourages them to do so.

“Every American should understand these people are victims,” said Pence. “They’re being exploited by open-border political activists and an agenda-driven media.”

“And in far too many cases, on this day and every day that’s preceded it, men and women and children, like those gathered at our border today, are exploited by human smugglers and criminal and drug cartels who seize of their hardship and difficulty to undermine our laws and to profit for themselves,” added the Vice-President during his visit to Southern California.

During this second visit to the Mexican border, Vice-President Pence toured the project to replace 14 miles of border fencing between Calexico and Mexicali, which was funded in last year’s budget and began work in late February of this year.

Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost presented Pence with a piece of the old wall, which was built in the ‘90s.
In addition to his remarks about the caravan, Pence insisted on the need to reform the immigration system.

“It’s not just about building the wall. The truth is our immigration laws today are ineffective, and they invite inhumane results,” he said.

To that end, he called on Congress to, among other changes, end the “catch-and-release” program and pass a law requiring asylum seekers to settle in the first country they come to. He was also critical of “sanctuary cities” that limit collaboration between local law enforcement and immigration agencies.

He also promised – as President Trump has done – to build a wall spanning the full length of the border between the U.S. and Mexico, in spite of the fact that Congress has not allocated funding for the project.

Pence stated that the Imperial Valley Sector Border Patrol had detained over 18,000 undocumented individuals this past fiscal year, and that the number of crossings at the southern border has decreased by 40 percent in the last 12 months.

On sending the National Guard to the border at President Trump’s behest, he said that just as they have already been deployed in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, Southern California will soon have 250 troops stationed there to help safeguard the border.

The Vice-President’s visit to the border comes just under two weeks after Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen made a trip to the border town. Just as they did during Nielsen’s visit, a group of protesters came to the Mexican side of the wall to voice their objection to the project.

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