The Biden Administration currently is celebrating its handling of the border crisis, with VP Kamala Harris even saying over the weekend that the situation down there is ‘going rather smoothly.’ But it’s definitely too early for such a victory lap, says Todd Bensman, Senior Fellow for the Center of Immigration Studies. Bensman, who closely monitored the crisis from the border last week, tells Glenn it’s likely that the massive migration into America simply is ‘on pause.’ And when the Biden Administration says otherwise, Bensman explains, it shows that the left underestimates the cunningness of migrants dreaming of life in America: ‘Immigrants are smart people. They pay very close attention to…any kind of way they can get around the new regime.’
Below is a rush transcript that may contain errors
GLENN: Todd Bensman joins us now. He's the author of Overrun. And also a fellow -- a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies. He's been down on the border. He's not in Mexico anymore. Thank goodness. Welcome back, how you are, Todd?
TODD: Great. Thanks for having me. Just got back last night. Back from Austin.
GLENN: Oh. So you're not really in America, even.
GLENN: So tell me what -- what you saw over the -- over the weekend at the border.
TODD: Sure. Well, throughout the week, of course, it was -- it was just a storming of the border, thousands and thousands crossing through Matamoros to Brownsville.
And I was there on the Mexican side, watching them go. Eventually, the Texas governor was able to shut back down, by -- for the first time ever, deploying tactical units of the National Guard, and DPS. Texas Department of Public Safety, right down on the riverbank, behind razor wire.
And would not let the immigrants pass, no matter what they did. They just would not -- they had pepper balls. You know, to fire at them, if it got out of hand.
But they shut down that hole. And that was the biggest hole in the border.
Then Title 42 ended. And we had our a-- kind of a pause. Not just because of what Texas did. But there's general sort of nervousness, about the new strategy, the new Biden strategy about, you know, how they can exploit it.
They have not figured out, quite yet, how to exploit it. But what I would tell you, is that there are huge loopholes in this thing, that are sitting there, ready to be discovered.
And when I was in Wynosa (phonetic), a few days ago, which was 40, 50 miles up river from Matamoros, at least 15,000 patients pooled up there. All just in a tizzy. Swirling around about, what is the new -- the new strategy? Biden strategy?
And there were NGOs throughout that camp, who were explaining to them, you know, what the new strategy is and undoubtedly what the loopholes are.
So my anticipation is that, before too long, they will figure it out. Immigrants are smart people. They pay very close attention to any -- you know, any crevice, any kind of way they can get around the new regime. And I do anticipate that there will be a gradual increase over time. And then back to normal again.
Every time there's a major policy change, there's kind of a pause down there on the border, while people figure it out.
So I think that's where we are right now. The administration is taking victory laps over this. But it's a little bit early for any kind of victory lap. Because that underestimates the cunning and caginess of the huge population down there, and the NGOs and the lawyers that are all down there, chanting for them about what's happening.
And I can pause there. There's one more thing I would like to say, about something a little bit more different. But I could pause.
GLENN: No. Go ahead. Go ahead.
TODD: Okay. So one of the main cornerstones of the new strategy is this pre-legalization of this scheme, they're handing out humanitarian permits to thousands and thousands now, down there. Kind of like a pressure cooker.
You know, steam escape. Right?
Kind of a way to -- there's hope, right? We'll let you in, this legal way.
So they have really opened the aperture on that. They have let in 30,000 a month, for five different nationalities. And they have widened that up, opened it up for tens of thousands more. For all nationalities. To just get pre-legalized on an app, like a restaurant reservation app on your phone.
GLENN: And when you do that, don't you get a court date like in 2035?
TODD: Yeah. Well, you can -- initially they let you on a humanitarian parole. The humanitarian parole is good up to two years. And they give you work authorization and everything.
And I'll point out, they claim that they're vetting everybody. They're not vetting anybody.
And they're also giving out 99 percent to -- of all applicants who even apply to it.
So they're not even declining anybody. It's just an escape. A steam escape hatch kind of thing.
And when I cross back over yesterday morning, from Matamoros through to Brownsville on the bridge, the line of people who had been granted CBP1, humanitarian parole was 100 yards long, three feet deep. Three, four feet deep, 100 yards long, and it just goes on and on like that, for just pouring in. They would have come in illegally. Now they can't be counted as illegal. But keep in mind, that that is going on, all along the border. Just thousands and thousands more being brought in this way. So when they claim a victory lap, they're not claiming you about that operation. And that operation is under court challenge right now. Twenty states, including Texas. Have challenged the legality of that. I'm not a lawyer. But it's illegal. I'm sorry. It's completely on its face, illegal.
And at my moment, a federal judge in the fifth circuit, is going to strike that thing down. And then they won't have that escape hatch anymore. And that is something that can't be watched as well.
GLENN: I have to tell you, this -- this is an invasion. Not by a nation. But it is an invasion into our country.
This -- this will -- this is when they open the gates at Rome. They just let everybody in. And there weren't enough Roman citizens to keep it Rome. And that's not a race thing. That's nothing. All I want is a group of people that understand the Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and our Bill of Rights.
If you want to do that, I welcome you here. I welcome you.
But they're not coming for any of that. And I don't know why the Governor of Texas is acting more like the governor, you know, of Massachusetts. This -- at this point.
I don't know why we are not calling it an invasion. And the government has let the people down.
TODD: Yeah. So one thing about Greg Abbott and what he did down there. A lot of people were saying, it was too late. You know, this thing has been going on for two and a half years. So he gets criticized for whatever he does.
But I will say, that I was on the ground there.
And I was the first to report it. And, in fact, I'm told that the governor ordered this as a result of my videos, showing these people just pouring through unopposed. And he was angry go. And said, get our people down there, and shut it down. But I will --
GLENN: But that was -- that was one border crossing.
TODD: Yeah. It was a big one. But it was one.
And he's saying, from this point forward. You can look at this.
Hold them to account. That he will have these rapid reaction teams that will run to any place that is being overrun and on federal land and do this.
The Biden administration is saying that they think it's illegal. And they have the Department of Justice, exploring ways to shut down the governor's operation.
So this thing is not over. We will probably hear more about this, one way or another. What the governor is doing.
But I will say, that when I talk to all the immigrants for two days after that, that they were saying, we're not crossing now. Because those over there, won't let us through. So we won't even try.
And Mexican immigration officials on the ground. When I asked him, how come nobody is crossing? They said, it's because of them over there. So I believe, that this shows that they could do something.
GLENN: Of course it can. Of course it can.
TODD: Yeah. So he won't be able to not do this again. Now that he's shown that it works. So, anyway, there's that. Maybe it's late.
Listen, I've been down there for two and a half years covering this thing, Glenn.
And in the two and a half years, all I've ever seen is just mass storming of the border, with a welcome committee over there, our side.
A red carpet, welcome wagon. Watch your step. Move up to the left, of the riverbank. There's a processing over there.
That's all it's ever been.
And is this the first time I have ever seen big brawny guys with guns, saying, you will not pass.
GLENN: That's -- that's nice.
Now, one of the things that happened -- we had somebody cross over that was on a wanted list. Do you know anything about that? And how many of these people do you think have come through, from our enemies?
TODD: That's a major problem. That's an Afghani. He's on the FBI watch list. Last year we had 98 of those that we've apprehended. We've had 80 just so far.
Actually I think it's more than 80, just so far in this fiscal year. That's a huge number of people on a terror watch list.
Also, there's video fresh out, in the Yuma area of just hundreds and hundreds of Egyptians and Sudanese crossing in last night.
Sudanese Egyptian, and Mauritanians, Islamic republic of Mauritania. They're tossing their identification and passports and all of that on the Mexican side before they cross.
That -- that's -- the reason they're coming in, is because the new strategy. The Biden strategy affects the removal.
Can't be applied to them, as easily right now. Because, you know, they -- they live in countries that won't accept them. Or where we don't have agreements to send them yet.
And so those are the people that are crossing in right now. Very disturbing. This is a national security crisis, as well as a mass migration crisis more generally.
GLENN: Todd, I just -- we -- for those of us who live through September 11th. Said, we never forget.
We are worse. We would slap ourselves silly, if we could meet ourselves, of 20 some years ago.
Todd, thank you so much.
TODD: It's a great way to put that. I'm going to steal that.
GLENN: You steal from me, you've stolen twice. God bless.