Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf shared on Monday, Nov. 25, some of his urgent and “exciting” plans to tailgate the gangs behind the movement of illegal migrants, weapons and drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“The TCOs and cartels, they control the southern side of the border — they have to be paid, they have to be compensated for any of these large flows coming across the border,” Wolf said during an exclusive interview with Fox News on Nov. 25. “You eliminate that and you eliminate their ability to recruit in Central America and bring these folks up.”
“‘TCO’ refers to transnational criminal organizations, a term covering both the murderous drug-running cartels that have plagued Mexico as well as other gangs responsible for smuggling operations at the border,” Wolf explained. “The Trump administration has prioritized going after these organizations, last year labeling groups ranging from MS-13 to the Sinaloa Cartel as top TCO threats.
Wolf then detailed how he plans to work with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to target gangs and cartels.
“So when we talk about TCOs, it’s not only them facilitating the flow of migrants to the border, it’s also drugs, weapons and a lot of the violence,” Wolf told Fox News. “So targeting TCOs in a real way … is something that I will certainly push and work on from a DHS perspective, but we’ll also be working in the larger interagency to really start targeting these groups, because once you start eliminating their ability to bring migrants and the like, then I think you’ll start seeing a different dynamic.”
“The department already has a number [of] resources dedicated to that, I think we can do more, we are doing more and I think the U.S. government overall can do more and that’s the exciting part of this job,” the acting homeland security secretary added.
Migrant Protection Protocols, also called MPPs, is a “Remain-in-Mexico” policy that deports migrants back to Mexico as they wait to be summoned for their immigration hearings.
The expansion of that policy, according to Fox, has seen a steep fall in the number of alien apprehensions – nearly 70 percent since May – but the Trump administration regards the number as not nearly low enough.
“The importance of MPP can’t be stated enough, it is what’s allowed us to take control of the crisis that we saw in April and May. The idea is to make sure we process individuals in a timely manner but make sure they wait south of the border,” Wolf said.
“So you get an adverse ruling on MPP and it’s going to make the job of the men and women of Border Patrol as well as [Customs and Border Protection] and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] … very difficult for them, so it really can’t be overstated how much the program means to the department in controlling the crisis,” he continued.
“We like what we see, but we monitor that on a day by day, week by week, month by month basis, so we need to continue to see that progress,” Wolf said in terms of cooperation with Mexico. “We share a lot of intelligence, we share a lot of information between the two countries and as long as they continue to take action to control the folks that are arriving at the southern border, I think we’ll be in a good place.”
Wolf, under the Trump administration, is keeping a close eye on illegal immigration to carry on policies that have resulted in dips in apprehension rates in recent months despite brutal attacks coming from the Democrat Party and immigrant advocacy groups, Fox reports.