U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens revealed a concerning statistic, reporting over 18,000 “known gotaways” during the first 16 days of fiscal year 2024, which began in October 2023 and will run through the end of September 2024. These “known gotaways” are individuals whose identities and intentions remain unknown, emphasizing the need for all Border Patrol agents to be actively patrolling and monitoring the border.
In response to this alarming figure, GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas described the situation as an “existential crisis.” The term “gotaways” refers to individuals who deliberately evade apprehension, even amidst ongoing mass catch and release practices. This poses a significant public safety and national security risk, as some of these entrants may have nefarious intentions and could potentially be dangerous individuals who have slipped into the U.S.
It is essential to recognize that border authorities routinely apprehend individuals with criminal records and a history of illegal entry. For instance, Border Patrol agents in El Paso arrested a Venezuelan national with suspected ties to the Tren de Araguas gang, who had also been previously incarcerated for murder and theft in his home country. Additionally, agents intercepted four convicted sex offenders attempting to re-enter the country illegally, with their convictions including charges such as “Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child,” “Criminal Sexual Act on a Child,” “Murder, Rape, or Sexual Abuse of a Minor Liberties with a Child,” and “Sex with a Minor.”
This information underscores the persistent challenges and security threats along the U.S.-Mexico border, as well as the need for effective border enforcement and immigration policies to protect the nation from potential harm and criminal activities. From a conservative perspective, these developments emphasize the urgent need for comprehensive immigration reform and stronger border security measures to maintain the safety and integrity of the United States.