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Interview with Todd Bensman from the Center for Immigration Studies

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Burst Details

Interview with Todd Bensman from the Center for Immigration Studies

KNST AM 790 |
3 months ago
KNST AM 790

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Folks as promised and I'm so glad he answered the call right as promised I have senior national security fellow Todd Benjamin from the center for immigration studies and you don't fellow as part of his title but he's also good fellow let's see I mean right at the top how are you tired I'm doing great great thank you Hey I really appreciate you taking the time to be on the show we spoke earlier today with people might not know is I just met you this morning yeah I think so so we started this morning said tell me your story you know how you yourself you did the trek with one of the caravans and there was a lot of insight that you have on the reaction of the caravans on the different individuals from different countries and and I think its stand because we've been talking so much about the coronavirus and you know after I spoke to you I started you know my brain started kicking in and working after I had a little bit of caffeine in Pepsi form and I started thinking you know there's a lot of issues because now and I think there was a case confirmed of corona virus in Brazil now and I think with that issue comes from is you'll be getting not just the just thinking Hey people will be coming to America but at the same time the medical treatment is not great in a lot of these countries so we might even see on up number of individuals entering the United States because they want to get medical treatment for well you know this just flu variation didn't want everyone's been talking about and that alone is going to deplete you know the agents because they can be working in that area then you're gonna get more agents obviously they're going to catch the flu so now depletes the line more and it's just a it's just going to cause a big Ole tidal wave but you you made me think of all that because we talked about it and and I think those are are the major issues that I think you know are going to be concerning but I want you to tell us about yourself what you've done and explain your your role with the the center for immigration studies and specifically about you know what you did from January eighth through what was it through the eighteenth and your trek through atop a Chula through Guatemala and all that area the center for immigration studies were research institute that studies all issues related to immigration and border security and as a spirit the guy who does national security as it relates to those things yeah I write and speak and research about all of those kinds of issues but I also feel like you don't have the full story if you don't get boots on the ground sure now and again this summer the center will send me al and all go get get my boots muddy down there I've been to Panama and Costa Rica and most recently came back from topics you are you know that the border between Mexico and Guatemala which which I regard as America's other southern border because what happens to their directly impacts our guys on the ground here and all of our policies here and I wanted to see mainly what the trump administration's I guess arm twisting up the Mexican government to shore up its southern border how that was working and what what it looked like on the ground so that we could write about it with with good information and I came back a few weeks back and have been writing pieces are about what I found so I just kind of summarize some of that for you you know we edge is a special your listeners with though we were us want to I mean our border systems broke down completely border patrol guys were all turned into child care your babysitters and what not correct and dying we had people you know coming through just kind of swarming through about a hundred thousand a month from twenty eighteen through about and probably getting close to the fall of twenty nineteen when some of these policies kicked them out that the peak was was in may of twenty nineteen where we had a hundred and forty four thousand mostly central Americans so we went to Mexico we said Hey because our Congress isn't going to do anything you guys need to fix it on your end you need to do something on your border and if you don't we're going to enact progressive trade errors on your economy and ammo the president of Mexico deployed but now about six thousand National Guard troops on its southern border and I went down there to see what they were doing and how it's all working two things one is that the Mexicans have required anybody coming into their territory from Guatemala to either or be deported or apply for Mexican asylum and if they do apply for Mexican asylum they have to stay in the southern states mainly in Chiapas most of them in Chiapas well what do you think that sometime what do you think that's that stems from because it said there's an understanding that is they get if they get out of the bottle neck down there then they'll make it to the U. S. border and anger the president the result was that we are now we get we're now looks like we have about thirty five or forty thousand a month which is still high uhhuh retaining our southern border but they the Mexicans that knocked off about a hundred thousand through these policies the the migrants who were getting into coming into Mexico from Central America and all over the world actually which we can talk about finding that the roadblocks manned by I and M. Mexican immigration who are unarmed and sharp sharp in chief of the National Guard so they're on our re wrote their own aren't I N. M. is on offer yes the people in the world around that yeah people need to understand some data yeah they walk around and polo shirts with clipboards I'm not not intimidating at all but but with the National Guard who are in full battle rattle at fifty three road blocks and they're going to trucks and buses and they're pulling people off you don't have to write paper work from down to top the Chula and they're turning up right around and sitting up straight back to top at you to either be deported or to apply for Mexican asylum which is pretty terrible what's not as bad as our asylum system with its big backlog but at least if you apply for American asylum and you lose your in anyway your country well yeah that's the loophole that that we are with that we're all concerned with obviously in the listeners that they listen to the show and that's one of the things we've constantly talked about that a lot of these individuals they'll ply for asylum in the United States and alarm they don't show up they just they just they still you know no one's gonna come after me anyway I'm here I'm not leaving the system that the Mexicans are put in place deportations and Mexican asylum what has had this great a factor for us that have have brought the numbers down for your people you're still dealing with a lot of but these other policies like push back in P. P. and were made in Mexico and the third is a safe country good service sector country travel ban and those also have had a great deterrent in fact on the migrants so that instead of turning themselves into you guys looking for you to turn themselves in uhhuh there runners they become runners because now they know there's a pretty good chance you're going to end up back in Mexico rights which is last place that they want to be because the Mexicans are going to deport them and the whole thing is just sort of like a hot potato being passed back so you you're seeing runners now as a result of not wanting them not wanting to end up back in Tapachula which is just pretty god awful down there people sleeping in the streets and there's no there's very little work to be had in their budgets were for just long enough to survive to get to the U. S. border and now they're stuck down there they run out of money you know it's it's it's it's some it's a deterrent for them and they turn around a lot of damage the you saw this I was there in top it you are okay he's on and on on the river suu kyi aqui as we were coming and going I found the the well getting to the caravans uhhuh what what the issue is with without this year we've had to we've had one big caravan show up to robe and passed the Mexican will hold its ground if you remember last year when those caravans came through the protections would put up like a chain link fence right guys would all just going to climb over it and and then the Mexicans just said okay okay your goddess you know go on you know come on through right not not the case this time at all and so about two thousand Hondurans Dr gather in and attempted to break through this court on they wanted to test it and break it down and that's what they were about two thousand of them I found them and took gnomon which is right on the Mexican border I didn't actually travel with them I just found them getting ready to come over with the next two to test the Mexican system and as we know what happened is the next day the day after they conducted charge after charge after charge across the Rio see Chiaki and across the bridge and Mexican national guard waiting form and they rounded up all two thousand album put him on buses and drove them right back to Honduras they decimated this caravan completely and when they did that there was another caravan to more caravans that were forming one in El Salvador and another one in Honduras and when they saw what happened about one they all gave it up and those caravans have disappeared but I will say that it's not the end of those caravans that there will be more caravans we should expect more caravans looking for a way to operate the Mexican will to have those on National Guard leave and return to their barracks and the day that that happens you guys will be swamped again right there are you guys all need to watch closely what's happening with any new caravans that form out in Mexico just simply has to hold the line down there or you're not gonna be able to N. P. P. O. or you can become baby you're probably become babysitters again or you know at least you know be overwhelmed when runners still Todd and get it during this during this time that you did you did this and you saw this obviously you know that the Mexican government is helping now you know a gig which kind of makes you wonder what they were doing before you know but they're hoping now that that's a good thing but at the same time people need to understand the numbers are lower than they were when it was record numbers but the numbers are still high now one of the things that always concerns people and I think it's the number one question that I get asked all the time so it's kind of weird being on the other side now be asking the questions is the number one question I get asked is how many people from you know special interest countries and you know obviously people are gonna say for the Middle East but the people need to understand that you know it's it's obviously the boots on the ground in the United States side they're on high alert all the time but I've always wondered and you would know because you were there you know once again guys we're we're speaking we're speaking to somebody that was actually there someone that knows what's going on Todd Benjamin works center for immigration studies I thought you were there what was D. D. I guess the attitude of the the individuals with the Mexican government if there was any issue with any type of