On Tuesday, United States Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector of Texas arrested a human smuggler for attempting to re-enter the United States illegally. Ivan Villalobo, a Nicaraguan national, was caught by authorities after attempting to bypass an immigration checkpoint. Upon processing Villalobo, officials discovered the Nicaraguan national had been arrested and subsequently convicted in 2013 for engaging in sexual contact with an 11-year-old in Nassau County, New York. Villalobo was deported after serving a 3-year sentence.
According to a CBP spokesperson, Villalobo will be prosecuted for unlawful re-entry and will presumably be returned to Nicaragua after serving any sentence that may be handed down to him if convicted.
This apprehension serves as an important reminder that immigration enforcement agencies like CBP continue to serve a vital purpose by, among other important duties, preventing dangerous criminal aliens, gang members and potentially even terrorists from entering the country. Additionally, CBP officials have intercepted thousands of pounds of illicit drugs each year. So far in Fiscal Year 2020, authorities have seized more than 1,480 pounds of fentanyl – a highly addictive drug that kills 70,000 Americans every year – along our southern border.
Despite playing a crucial role in protecting American citizens, CBP continues to face constant opposition from open borders advocates who want to restrict critical border protection funding. In fact, several open border proponents in Congress have openly called for CBP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be abolished.
The irresponsible rhetoric from elected officials to terminate agencies that proactively apprehend criminal aliens with histories such as drunk driving, sex offenses, and drug trafficking, should alarm the American people.
Protecting the lives and interests of U.S. citizens should be a top priority for federal lawmakers. The national immigration debate should be focused on how to better provide adequate resources for Border Patrol agents tasked with apprehending criminal illegal aliens like Villalobo. Instead of calling for CBP to be abolished, members of Congress should be focused on expanding funding for patrol efforts, hiring additional officers, and constructing an effective wall along the southern border to thwart the unlawful entry of aliens, including many who seek to harm Americans and lawfully present migrants.