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Obama Border Patrol Chief: ‘Congress Has Failed,’ Left Trump ‘No Choice’ But to Declare Nat’l Emergency

Michael Morris
By Michael Morris | February 19, 2019 | 3:33 PM EST

Former Border Patrol Chief under President Barack Obama, Mark Morgan (Screenshot)

In an interview on CNN with Ana Cabrera, former Obama Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan blamed Congress, saying, “Congress has failed” and left President Donald Trump “no choice” but to declare a national emergency to help fund a border wall between the United States and Mexico.

“[F]rom my experience, as a law enforcement and border security aspect – not from some political ideology, right or left – in my opinion, the president had no choice,” said former Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan about President Trump declaring a national emergency for border security. “Congress has failed, [and] they’ve continued to fail. This bill was a failure with respect to doing what the men and women, the experts have asked, the tools and resources they need. This bill was a failure. They left the president no choice but to do what he’s doing.”

Obama administration Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan’s comments on CNN with Ana Cabrera came on Saturday after the White House said President Trump would sign the $1.37 billion border security deal put forward by Congress but would also take executive action, “including a national emergency,” CNSNews.com reported on Feb. 14, 2019. “President Donald Trump said Friday that he is planning to use billions of dollars from the Defense Department budget to build the wall, but it’s only a ‘very, very small amount’ compared to the overall military budget,” reported CNSNews.com.

Below is a transcript of Obama Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan’s remarks from his interview on CNN:

CNN’s Ana Cabrera: “With us now is Mark Morgan. He is a former border patrol chief. Mark, thanks for being with us.

“First, your reaction to the president declaring a national emergency to fund his border wall.”

Obama administration Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan: “Look, from my experience, as a law enforcement and border security aspect – not from some political ideology, right or left – in my opinion, the president had no choice. Congress has failed, [and] they’ve continued to fail. This bill was a failure with respect to doing what the men and women, the experts have asked, the tools and resources they need. This bill was a failure. They left the president no choice but to do what he’s doing, and I support [it].

“And real quick, your last guest, with all due respect, he can’t speak for the men and women of the United States Border Patrol. I can. I was there, and I feel very comfortable speaking for them.

Cabrera: “Yeah.”

Morgan: “Right now, they are applauding this president. He is listening to them, especially with the facts on the drugs coming through the ports, the president is right.”

Cabrera: “I know you support the wall, so let’s just take, piece by piece here. Is this a national emergency when you consider southern border arrests have dropped dramatically over the past couple of decades? They’re going down, not up.”

Morgan: “Yeah, so, that’s a false narrative. So, first of all, let’s take that apart real quickly. One of the reasons that they’ve gone down is because we’ve applied a multilayer strategy of barriers, technology and personnel, which is what the experts are still wanting, which Congress didn’t do. The other element of that—”

Cabrera: “But Congress did just do that in the border security passage of the spending bill the president just signed. In fact, it was $23 billion total when it comes to border security with the barrier piece being $1.375 billion of that.”

Morgan: “Exactly, and that’s the key part. They didn’t give them resources, they’re not giving them enough technology in between the ports, and they’re not given a physical barrier, Ana, which is the key element of that multilayer strategy, which, in part, in the past has reduced the illegal immigration that you’ve talked about and want to twist around.

“In Yuma, Arizona – 23 miles of physical barrier, technology and personnel – the illegal immigration went from 150,000 to 15,000. It works. We need more of it, and the experts will tell you they need more of it, and Congress is not listening to them.”

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