How to Take Back Control of the Border

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 101

By Mark Krikorian and Tony Porvaznik on April 20, 2023

Listen to "How to Take Back Control of the Border" on Spreaker.


Few people can fully understand the situation at the border like a Border Patrol agent. Throughout his long career, Tony Porvaznik has witnessed the fluctuations in the level and impact of illegal immigration at the border. He joins us for this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy.

Porvaznik began his career in the San Diego sector, which has historically seen the most illegal immigration, particularly when he became an agent in the 1980s. Illegal immigration had a serious impact on the environment, and conservation groups were concerned about threats to the local wildlife population. An increase in the number of agents and the construction of a fence was successful in stemming the tide of migration.

While Porvaznik has experience working as an agent in many different border sectors, he retired as Chief Patrol Agent in the Yuma, Ariz., which is now experiencing a surge in illegal immigration. He explains how cartels have gained a significant amount of influence over the border there, and the money gained from trafficking drugs and smuggling migrants across the border helps them fund their criminal enterprises and gain even more influence.

What can the federal government do to secure the border? Porvaznik’s solution is fairly simple – enforce the existing laws.

In his closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, draws attention to a border security bill that was advanced by the House Judiciary Committee. The “Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023” would limit the executive branch’s ability to abuse parole powers and also includes an E-Verify mandate, which would eliminate the job magnet that motivate migrants to enter the country illegally.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


Tony Porvaznik is a retired Chief Patrol Agent for the Border Patrol.


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".