A US Customs and Border Protection agent testified before a Senate committee today that the Obama administration’s policy of catching and releasing detained illegal immigrants is the primary factor driving the nation’s immigrant influx.

Speaking before members of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committee, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Chris Cabrera outlined how violence in Central American countries is not the only variable leading people to come to the US.

“There are a number of factors that are driving the UACs (UnAccompanied Children) to come,” Cabrera said. “Many point to the endemic violence in Central America. Without a doubt, violence and instability in Central America, where a vast majority of the UACs and family groups are coming from, is a factor.”

“It is not, however, the primary factor driving this mass migration at this point in time.”

Cabrera, who is also vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 chapter, went on to highlight the larger problem: the Obama administration’s policy of refusing to deport detained illegals.

“When Border Patrol agents detain a UAC or family group, we interview them and typically they are very forthcoming about their motivation for coming into the United States,” Cabrera testified.

“Most believe they will either not be caught, or even if they are caught, they will not be deported back to their home country.”

The agent claimed that most illegals apprehended at the border are “acutely aware of the fact that we will not hold them until they are adjudicated.”

“What we have right now is essentially a catch-and-release policy,” the agent stated. ”This, coupled with the violence and instability in their home country, is what’s driving the continued flow into the United States.”

Cabrera added one way to “dramatically” decrease the volume of illegals coming to the US would be to uphold immigration policies and deport people back to their countries of origin.

“If they knew that if they were caught they would be detained adjudicated and repatriated to their home country the calculus changes dramatically,” he said. “I guarantee you if this was the case the numbers would fall dramatically.”

“I would estimate in the Rio Grande Valley we are apprehending 40 percent of illegal immigrants caught crossing into this country,” Cabrera also noted, meaning about 60 percent of illegals were evading CBP capture.

Last year, Cabrera sounded the alarm at the height of the immigrant influx after several agents quit the agency over the practice of releasing known illegal alien gang members into the US.

He was also vocal about the “grim conditions” inside understaffed Border Patrol detainment facilities, as they quickly grew overwhelmed by the volume of illegals, some of whom harbored communicable diseases.

As Infowars exclusively revealed in June of last year, after speaking with a McAllen, Texas, city official, US Border Patrol agents had been ordered to hand illegals vouchers for bus or plane tickets to reunite them with their families after they had received orders to appear in immigration court – 90% of which typically do not attend.

Here’s a transcript of Cabrera’s speech before the Senate Homeland and Government Affairs committee:

My name is Chris Cabrera. I joined the Border Patrol in 2001 after serving four years in the Army. I have spent my entire career in the Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

Last year, the American people were shocked by the massive surge in Unaccompanied Children. In FY2014, the Border Patrol apprehended 66,000 UACs primarily in the Rio Grande Valley.

Although the apprehensions of UACs are down 50% in FY2015 this is no cause for celebration.

We will still apprehend 30,000 UAC this year and an additional 40,000 in family groups.

There are a number of factors that are driving the UACs to come.

Many point to the endemic violence in Central America. Without a doubt, violence and instability in Central America, where a vast majority of the UACs and family groups are coming from, is a factor.

It is not however the primary factor driving this mass migration at this point in time.

Unfortunately many of these countries have been suffering violence corruption and poverty for decades, yet they did not leave in large numbers, with the exception of the El Salvadorans during their civil war 30 years ago.

When Border Patrol agents detain a UAC or a family group, we interview them and typically they are very forthcoming about their motivation for coming into the United States.

Most believe they will either not be caught, or even if they are caught, they will not be deported back to their home country.

The UACs and family groups we detain are acutely aware of the fact that we will not hold them until they are adjudicated. They know they will be released and issued a notice to appear. What we have right now is essentially a catch and release policy. This, coupled with the violence and instability in their home country, is what’s driving the continued flow into the United States.

Unless we hold them until we adjudicate their cases they will continue to come.

If there is one thing that can be done to correct this problem it would be to end this catch and release policy. If they knew that if they were caught they would be detained adjudicated and repatriated to their home country the calculus changes dramatically. I guarantee you if this was the case the numbers would fall dramatically.

The second deals with resources. I know the budget is tight, but I would estimate in the Rio Grande Valley we are apprehending 40 percent of illegal immigrants caught crossing into this country.


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