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Border Patrol Chief Calls For ‘Consequences’ Against Illegal Migrants, Praises Partnership With Texas Authorities

Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens on Thursday called for “consequences” for immigrants who enter the U.S. illegally and praised the Border Patrol’s collaboration with Texas authorities on CBS News.

Owens appeared in an exclusive interview with CBS News to discuss the ongoing crisis at the southern border. CBS News reporter Camilo Montoya Galvez asked Owens what he thought the department needed most to “stop” people from crossing the border illegally as encounters hit record highs.

In explaining the effects Border Patrol chiefs believe will help slow the border crisis, Owens said illegal immigrants who are caught can face “jail,” “expulsion” from the country, and in some cases He called for measures such as an “immigration ban.” (Related: Appeals court puts brakes on law allowing arrests of illegal immigrants, hours after Supreme Court gives green light)

“Everything revolves around whether we can bring consequences for acts we don’t want people to commit. If people know there will be consequences for breaking the law, they will do it.” ”Owens said. “The other thing is we need agents out on patrol to be able to enforce those consequences.”

“At a fundamental level, these two elements come together to make up our nation’s border security apparatus,” he continued. “Other things are a force multiplier for agents, helping them stay safe and do their jobs better. I’m talking about technology. I’m talking about responding along the border. I’m talking about the proper equipment and training needed to ensure safety. All of this works to help agents on patrol more effectively thwart that activity. and be able to deliver results when someone takes action.”

“So, are you talking about results?” Montoya-Galvez asked.

“Jail time. I’m talking about prison time. I’m talking about deportation, where you enter the country illegally rather than through the legal channels we have established.” We’re talking about being banned from returning home because you chose to do so.” Owens responded.

“And are you pushing for that? To detain more people, to release more people?” Montoya-Galvez questioned.

“Yes. If they choose to enter the country illegally, they have broken the law and there should be consequences,” Owens responded. “Not because we don’t want people to be able to enter countries that are far away from their countries, but because we want them to be able to enter safely. We want them to escape from the hands of smugglers. We don’t want the funds from that operation to go into the pockets of smugglers, and we don’t want cartels to be able to take advantage of the conditions that have taken our men and women out of border patrol duty. I definitely don’t want that.”

Montoya Galvez asked Owens about his support for Texas’ SB4 bill, which would allow Texas authorities to arrest illegal immigrants. The bill continues to vacillate in the courts. Owens declined to reveal his position on the bill, but said the department “couldn’t have a better partner” than the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This is a clearly different tone from the previous explanation of this relationship. between the two institutions.

“So we’ll have to see what the courts decide. Let me tell you, it doesn’t prevent us from doing our job. Especially in Texas, there’s no better place for the Border Patrol than the Texas Department of Public Safety.” I will say that we don’t have a great partner. We’ve been working with that agency for as long as I’ve been there, and I don’t think that’s going to stop,” Owens said.

“They have always complimented our mission very well,” he continued. “They support us when we are out in the field, and we support them for them. So whatever the law is, whatever enforces our mission, That hasn’t changed, and so has their mission. And at the ground level, I don’t think that’s going to change, that we’re going to work together to make sure that we keep our communities and our country safe.”

Texas authorities and the federal government continue to tussle over the state’s right to process illegal immigrants.The Lone Star State claims it has a constitutional right to protect itself, but DHS accused After the state took control of Shelby Park in Eagle Pass, Texas, state authorities “obstructed” federal operations and impeded Border Patrol.

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