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Mexican cartels trick US Border Protection app to send migrants to US, report says

CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr)
August 04, 2023

Mexican cartels are tricking President Joe Biden’s administration by using VPNs to manipulate a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) app that allows migrants to obtain asylum-seeker appointments.

According to an exclusive report by the Washington Examiner, the Mexican government allows Guatemalan migrants bound for the United States to continue traveling north if they have an appointment on the CBP One phone app.

The app only allows migrants in certain locations to schedule appointments; however, the cartels have started using VPNs (virtual private networks), allowing them to request unlimited appointments worldwide.

“Pinning the faith on a smartphone app is sort of like peak Beltway disconnect,” said Josh Trevino, chief of intelligence and research for the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank. “This is a classic example of why the tactical solutions ultimately don’t work because there’s constantly workarounds to them.”

According to the CBP website, authorities have encountered more than 1.7 million illegal immigrants at the southwest border so far in FY23. In FY22, authorities at the southwest border encountered 2,378,944 illegal immigrants.

“It’s further evidence as this administration continues to try to come up with a new security paradigm along that border that I don’t think they really understand it. They don’t understand the lengths and depths the cartels will continue to go to,” said Chad Wolf, former acting Department of Homeland Security secretary. “As the administration continues to put these ‘legal pathways’ into place, that’s music to the cartel’s ears.”

Despite the ongoing border crisis, the Pentagon is removing 1,100 active duty military troops from the southern border after deploying additional troops earlier this year.

According to The Associated Press, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin approved the military to deploy 1,500 active duty members to the southern border in May for a 90-day period in response to the migration surge that accompanied the end of Title 42 asylum prohibitions.

The 90-day mission will conclude on Aug. 8 for 1,100 active duty troops on the southern border, while 400 remaining troops will stay at the border until the end of August, according to an anonymous defense official.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.