Endless border debate demoralizes enforcers, emboldens cartels

Endless border debate demoralizes enforcers, emboldens cartels

Endless border debate demoralizes enforcers, emboldens cartels

As the U.S. Border Patrol hopes to hold onto funding to do the important job of securing America’s border, cartels are gaining power under a Mexican president who may be turning a blind eye.

Having once commanded military operations along the Texas-Mexico border, Col. Dan Steiner (Ret.) spoke to One News Now about a new House appropriations bill that would defund law enforcement at the border, further amplifying problems already in existence.

“[House Democrats] probably can’t do more to demoralize the men and women on the front line of border patrol,” Steiner says, referring to the defunding bill. “Already overwhelmed, headlines such as those do nothing but make them feel more desperate.”

The stark difference between parties regarding illegal border crossings devolves in little more than talking points during any given election cycle, causing Steiner to accuse leaders in Congress of turning border security into a "political football."

Steiner, Dan Steiner

"[When they do that, there's] an immediate humanistic damage committed to the men and women of Border Patrol – [and] the damage does nothing but drive the frontline deeper into the ditch,” he shares.

He points out how Border Patrol agents are now receiving individuals they would have been told to deny in the past, and this turn from the previous administration’s policies is hurting morale. “[And] when you start hurting the morale of individuals on the front line, the chance of losing the fight multiples,” Steiner adds.

On top of that, Steiner is concerned about the lack of interest from many in Congress – not to mention from television news media – that those responsible for securing the border are extremely overwhelmed. And if the border continues to degrade, the retired Air Force officer doesn’t expect it to be very long before “a dramatic, deadly event” takes place within the U.S.

“Much of the nation is going to wake up to a crisis that the government and media never told them was coming,” he tells One News Now. “All indicators … are pointing towards a greater threat to the United States.”

And all the while, he warns, cartels are gaining momentum.

Cartels a growing threat to U.S.

“Young men are running [cartel] teams like capos in the mob” – and as Steiner explains, those mid-level leaders “are always trying to find a way to gather their boss’s attention to make a name for themselves.”

And that, he explains, is the primary reason they make violent videos and brag about them online. He warns that “if [the U.S. continues] to paint a picture to the cartel’s bosses that the border is easier to cross and … less secure, the more emboldened these young men will get to do something stupid.”

And the cartels, which he says control nearly half of Mexico's geographic territory, have the luxury of freely operating in their own environment.

“Drug lords are now warlords, as these guys now own the territory they operate on,” he laments. “… They have to be stopped, because the threat of violence and drugs will cross the river [into the U.S.] more than it already it does.”

Social chaos part of the gov't plan

“Mexico is also in real trouble,” Steiner continues, identifying President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) as a significant part of the problem. “AMLO is allowing the cartels to bring about social chaos in Mexico in order for the country to be restructured in the way he would like to see it.”

Steiner points out that AMLO has referred to himself as “the big brother of Latin America and the Caribbean, [and he] sees himself succeeding [in establishing socialism] where Daniel Ortega and Hugo Chavez have failed.” That essentially equates – in Steiner's view – to "a revolutionary mindset thinker" leading America's number-one trade partner.

He identifies that as a conversation the Department of Commerce and the State Department don't want to have. “Instead, [they] stick their heads in the sand when it comes to the current status of Mexico,” he says.

Mexico, he concludes, is destabilized – and it's getting worse, as exemplified in the growing power of the cartels.

Dan Steiner is author of "The War of the Americas: Mexico as the next Syria."