Border Agents: Illegals Don’t Fear Arrest, Expect Release Into US

During congressional testimony, Border Patrol chiefs revealed that illegal aliens crossing the southern border do not even try to evade arrest — instead, they take part in a new “phenomenon” where they turn themselves in to authorities, expecting to be released into the U.S. interior under President Joe Biden’s border policies.

The comments were made during testimonies from several border sector chiefs before the House Homeland Security Committee between May and September 2023, with the Daily Mail recently obtaining transcripts of the depositions for review.

According to the transcripts, Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke from the San Diego Sector told investigators in his May testimony that the increase in illegal aliens turning themselves over to authorities and not actively avoiding arrest is a “more recent phenomenon.”

Another Border Patrol agent, Gloriza Chavez of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, confirmed this assertion in her September testimony — noting that “a lot” of family units have been seen turning themselves over to agents after crossing the southern border.

In July, Chief Patrol Agent John Modlin of the Tucson Sector in Arizona testified that it is “not uncommon now to see a group of 200 to 300 people giving themselves up, and they’re doing it in some of the most remote areas.”

Chief Patrol Agent Jason Owens of the Del Rio Sector made similar observations in May, stating that illegal aliens are “predominantly turning themselves in” — adding that these groups in his sector would sometimes be “in excess of 500 people,” who would all “wait for us to arrive” so that they could turn themselves in to be processed.

“There’s — for the majority of my career, I was chasing people that had crossed the border illegally,” Owens’ testimony continued, according to the transcript. “The phenomenon of having people turn themselves in, it’s happened, but not at the levels that I have been seeing in the last couple years.”

In a statement to the Daily Mail, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Rep. Mark Green (R-TN) blamed the Biden administration’s border policies for this new phenomenon, specifically calling out Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.

“Secretary Mayorkas’ policies encourage lawbreaking to such a degree that record numbers of illegal aliens are actually turning themselves in to Border Patrol agents, expecting to be released, rather than trying to escape across the border uncaught,” Green’s statement read.

The 2023 fiscal year, which ran from October 2022 to September 2023, saw a total of 2,475,669 illegal alien encounters recorded by Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

In October 2023, which was the first month of fiscal year 2024, there were a staggering 240,988 encounters — an increase of roughly 9,000 from October 2022, and a shocking increase of 80,000 from October 2021. Meanwhile, under former President Donald Trump, there were only 71,929 encounters in October 2020.