Actually it is hard to know anything for certain about the crisis on our southern border. The federal government has had much better success at keeping news from getting out than at preventing invaders from getting in. And the main stream news (Fox partially excluded) has raised few objections and made little effort to get at the important parts of the story. But operational realities tell us some irrefutable facts, and lead to some important strategic conclusions.
FACT #1: Moving tens of thousands of people 900 miles is a huge logistical endeavor. It requires large numbers of trucks, busses, assembly points, drivers, fuel, food, way stations, communications, and parts and maintenance personnel. It requires planning, money and time. It requires guards and guides. Children are actually harder to manage and move than adults. As terrorist groups who have tried to hold children for long periods of time have discovered, it is harder to control and (after a while) intimidate children than adults. And even a hardened cartel member can’t ride next to a stinky diaper for 6 weeks. Moving tens of thousands of children a thousand miles requires lots of preparation.
FACT #2: The trafficking of thousands of people across this enormous distance cannot take place without the cooperation of federal, state and local law enforcement and political officials in Mexico and multiple Central American countries. You could not move 1000 children across Tennessee by bus without attracting the attention of state and local police. The same is true south of our border. Everyone moving along the “underground railroad” pays a tax (bribe) to every jurisdiction along the way.
FACT #3: We have a huge intelligence apparatus operating in Mexico and Central America, and on the airwaves and internet linkages that would be used to coordinate such a massive movement. NSA, CIA, DIA, DEA, DNI, FBI, Department of State, Department of Defense, DHS, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, etc. – the list of intel agencies watching cartel and other illegal action south of our border is long. Unless we have the dumbest intel operatives and analysts in the world (and that’s not the case – they are very good), the US federal government saw this coming in considerable detail weeks before the surge of illegal children began.
Fact #4: These agencies did not “sit” on this information. Given sensitivities about intel in Iraq, against domestic terror threats, etc., you can bet that the intel agents and agencies who saw this wave coming reported it right up to highest levels. No one wanted to be blamed for failure to anticipate this event . . . and in fact, no one has been blamed. Because it was anticipated – and reported – right up the chain of command.
FACT #5: This leads to an inescapable conclusion. Senior US federal officials knew about the pending invasion weeks and perhaps months before it began. AT BEST, they ignored the situation, waiting for it to become a crisis, so it could be used for political leverage. AT WORST, our senior officials actively colluded with the perpetrators (to include foreign governments and the cartels) to create a politically useful crisis.
FACT #6: The recent historical record supports the idea that US government leaders (both within the Administration, and in Congress on both sides of the aisle) planned a major combined effort to push through comprehensive immigration reform in early to mid-summer – precisely as the wave of illegal immigration began to crest. Aside from the famous federal job announcement in Jan 2014, seeking escorts for 65,000 immigrant children (a curiously accurate figure) to be in place by summer, news outlets carried many stories last spring on the growing consensus between democrats and republicans that early summer was the right time for such a political push. It was timed to be passed into law before the August recess – before Congress went home in August, and before campaigning began in earnest in September. Media reports also repeatedly highlighted the strong support of the American Chamber of Commerce for such action.
FACT #7: As broadly reported by media, this effort fell apart when the #2 Republican leader in the House (Eric Cantor) lost his primary fight in early June to an opponent who stressed Cantor’s openness to immigration reform. Political experts within both parties immediately declared immigration reform dead for this year – again a curiously abrupt conclusion about nationwide impact, given the mainstream story that Cantor had simply lost touch with his district. What few outside the senior leadership knew on the date of the primary was that the trip from Central America takes 6 weeks. The huge wave young illegals was already on the way. There was no way to turn it back. And it was going to arrive just as anti-immigration groups had shown national level clout.
FACT #8: And how do we know that the Administration knew about the impending wave? Because the unclassified publically available executive order for DHS, FEMA, and DOD to prepare to receive the mass of humanity was dated weeks before the huge numbers began to arrive. In fact, the President declared a “Humanitarian Disaster” well before the situation reached that stage. So he knew it was coming, and he took no action at all to forestall or diminish it. No action to correct the newspaper ads and public pronouncements in Central America that the door was open. No action to ask Mexico to intervene. No action to direct the busses be stopped at the border. No action except to hide the actual event from the press, and begin shuttling the invaders as rapidly as possible to as many locations as possible within the United States.
FACT #9: While our border defenses are completely overwhelmed changing diapers, washing children, trying to arrange humane living conditions, and shuttling them around the nation to people who may be family members (try to find a birth certificate or accurate identification card in the press of humanity), the known crossing routes for drugs, sexual trafficking, and very bad people are wide open. A lot of money is being made here. Wonder where it is going.
FACT #10: The logic train of these irrefutable facts can lead to only one conclusion. The senior political leaders of the United States in both political parties knew exactly what was about to happen along our southern border, before the children ever boarded the busses headed north. Our leaders either chose to ignore the situation, or actively encouraged it.
Political motivations are matters of conjecture, and not my area of expertise. But the operational facts and strategic logic are clear. We do not face an unpredicted disaster – a tsunami of people unexpectedly washed up on our shore. This is a well-planned, well-funded, and logically organized movement, expected by next Fall to be nearly as large as the force we launched out of Kuwait in the 2003 Invasion of Iraq.
You are free to debate the political implications of this last fact. But it is a fact, whether we like it or not.