- The Washington Times - Friday, April 5, 2019

Former U.S. Border Patrol chief Mark Morgan says he must “restrain” himself while addressing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s claim that agents “cage children at the border and inject them with drugs” out of “hatred.”

The Obama-era official sat down with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Thursday evening when a recent Instagram Live post by the New York Democrat was addressed.

“I’m not trying to cage children at the border and inject them with drugs. That’s not a mistake, that’s just hatred,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told supporters on social media.

Mr. Morgan, who spoke to lawmakers this week on the border crisis, blasted Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for “reckless and irresponsible” rhetoric. 

“I’m trying to restrain myself with this answer because, first of all, the United States Border Patrol, they should be applauded for what she’s talking about — cages,” Mr. Morgan said, Fox News reported. “In 2014, when this crisis started, they did an incredible job of scrambling, throwing money and putting a facility together to actually care for them properly because their facilities were overcrowded. In 2015, the administration — then — were saying what an incredible, great job the Border Patrol did.”

Mr. Morgan said the current situation is at the border is “the worst we’ve ever experienced,” in part because the demographics are very different.

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Previous waves of illegal immigrants, he said, were overwhelmingly men. Now, he says, entire family units are heading to the U.S. southern border.

“And those cages?” Mr. Morgan said of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s commentary. “The reason why they’re designed that way is for the safety and security of the people who are in there. So those comments she’s making, first all she’s wrong. They’re reckless and irresponsible.”

Mr. Morgan’s analysis dovetails with former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s assessment on March 29.

“When I was in office at Kirstjen Nielsen’s job, at her desk, I’d get to work around 6:30 in the morning and there’d be my intelligence book, sitting on my desk,” Mr. Johnson told MSNBC. “The PDB and also the apprehension numbers from the day before. And I’d look at them every morning — and my staff will tell you if it was under 1,000 apprehensions the day before that was a relatively good number. And if it was above 1,000 that was a relatively bad number and I was going to be in a bad mood the whole day.

“On Tuesday there were 4,000 apprehensions,” he continued. “I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like, so we are truly in a crisis.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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