Mexican Military Incursions On US Soil Worry Border Agents

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Mar 13, 2024 - 11:40 PM

Authored by Brad Jones via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

As daylight begins to fade at an abandoned illegal immigrant camp at the border wall near Jacumba, in California’s San Diego County, a couple of Mexican soldiers armed with assault rifles patrol the rocky terrain in the hills above.

(The Epoch Times)

Below them, white tents along the Mexican side of the border wall signal the army presence as Mexican national guard (Guardia Nacional) troops pull up in a truck. They set up camp here in early February.

On Feb. 29, a Mexican soldier hides behind a rock as he realizes reporters have seen him on the U.S. side of the border. Several moments later, he ducks back under the barbed wire fence into Mexico.

Manny Bayon, a National Border Patrol Council spokesman in San Diego, said usually any incursion by the Mexican military is directly reported to headquarters and the White House is notified.

After watching an Epoch Times video of the Mexican soldier in the hills above the San Judas break, Mr. Bayon said it’s obvious that the soldier was on U.S. soil.

They should know better,” he told The Epoch Times. “There’s a boundary marker on top of that hill. I’ve been up there. I’ve seen it.”

Any incursion presents a risk to the safety of Border Patrol agents, Mr. Bayon said.

When you have somebody with an automatic weapon coming into the U.S., it’s concerning. I mean, they’re not coming here with flowers or to make things better,” he said. “It’s concerning because they do counter surveillance on us.”

And, just because someone wearing a uniform appears to be Mexican military, doesn’t necessarily mean they are, Mr. Bayon said.

“The cartels have also used military uniforms to make it look like they are military—but they’re actually cartel,” he said.

Illegal immigrants walk through a gap in the U.S. border wall to await processing by Border Patrol agents in Jacumba, Calif., on Dec. 7, 2023.

A Border Patrol agent in Arizona, who asked not to be named for fear of retaliation, told The Epoch Times that no incursions go unanswered.

Any time Mexican military comes on our side, we’re always notified. It’s a big deal,” he said. “We have guys that are liaisons with the south side, so they’re going to be notified, and there is definitely going to be phone calls made immediately.”

Sometimes, he said, it’s Mexican soldiers not knowing where the boundary is or they get lost, especially in remote areas where it’s not as cut and dry, he said.

“But then there are certain areas where it’s very clear,” he said. “We try to play nice with them, because for the most part they’re the same with us.”

“We don’t come in like guns blazing. Typically, we try to defuse the situation and their chain of command is notified. It’s not something that we just allow to happen. There’s definitely people notified immediately. It’s always a big deal if they come over onto the U.S. side and vice-versa.”

Less than three months ago, the gap at the end of this border wall where the military tents now sit, was a pedestrian highway for thousands of foreign nationals entering the U.S. illegally from Mexico.

Mexican smugglers routinely dropped off their human cargo at a footpath leading to the narrow gap, called the San Judas break, where the 30-foot border wall ends at the steep hillside.

In February, Kate Monroe, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Republican congressional candidate in District 49 who lost in the March 5 primary election, bought a 400-foot coil of razor wire off Amazon and blocked the gap. The razor wire is still there.

A few hundred yards away on the American side at a site known as Willow camp to the U.S. Border Patrol agents, little remains of the dozens of firepits and makeshift shelters where hundreds of illegal immigrants waited to be transported and processed after surrendering to agents in December 2023.

Two other sites—known as Moon and 177 camps—close to known illegal crossing sites near the small towns of Jacumba and Boulevard on the southeastern fringe of the county, are also now patrolled by the Mexican military, according to the Border Patrol.

For all the military presence, illegal crossings haven’t substantially dipped in the area. On March 6, 1,132 illegal immigrants were apprehended in the San Diego sector, which is within the average daily range over the last several weeks, according to Brandon Judd, president of the National Border Patrol Council.

“We have not seen a drop in total arrests,” he told The Epoch Times.

An illustration with red markings highlighting the border wall and fencing that separates the United States (L) and Mexico (R), near Jacoumba, Calif. , on Feb. 29, 2024.

A Deal with Mexico?

Todd Bensman, a senior national security fellow at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies and former counterterrorism intelligence officer, told The Epoch Times that according to Mexican soldiers he interviewed, they’re rounding up migrants near the U.S. border and moving them south.

“They said their orders are to hunt down all immigrants and give them to Mexican immigration for deportation to their southern provinces. They also told me their deployments are open ended,” Mr. Bensman said.

The increased Mexican military presence along the border coincides with a flurry of bilateral talks.

President Biden hosted bilateral meetings with his Mexican counterpart on Nov. 17, 2023, and spoke with him over the phone on Dec. 22, 2023, which led to a Dec.. 27, 2023, meeting between the Mexican president and a U.S. delegation, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas, preceding President Biden’s trip to Mexico City on Jan. 9.

“Secretary Blinken will discuss unprecedented irregular migration in the Western Hemisphere and identify ways Mexico and the United States will address border security challenges,” said a State Department spokesman prior to the meeting.

The spokesman also said Mr. Blinken would reaffirm U.S. commitment to the Los Angeles Declaration for Migration and Protection, and “underscore the urgent need for lawful pathways and additional enforcement actions by partners throughout the region.”

After their return, Mexico “mounted one of the most epic domestic anti-illegal-immigration operations in recent memory,” Mr. Bensman wrote.

He surmised the Biden administration may have “cut a deal” with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to crackdown on illegal immigrants headed northward. Both presidents have elections this year.

“The Mexican army is all over the northern border now doing different kinds of interdiction across from Texas, they’re hunting down immigrants aggressively. And when they find them, they force them onto buses and ship them south,” Mr. Bensman said.

“They are interdicting the traffic on top of the freight trains, blocking access to the rail yards, and pulling immigrants off the trains,” he said. “This is all part of a Biden-inspired and directed Mexican crackdown that is nationwide for Mexico.”

In January, Border Patrol agents apprehended 124,220 illegal immigrants along the southern border, CBP data show. It’s a 50-percent decrease from the record surge of 249,735 in December 2023.

American news outlets have essentially ignored Mexico’s actions while “the Mexican media has been all over this,” Mr. Bensman said.

One Mexican newspaper reported the Mexican government is “under U.S. pressure” to step up its military operations in Tijuana, Juarez, and Matamoros—cities across from San Diego, El Paso, and Brownsville, respectively. In Matamoros, the military recently bulldozed a massive migrant camp and dug anti-pedestrian trenches.

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