The U.S. Border Patrol and Homeland Security

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 24

By Mark Krikorian and Victor Manjarrez on October 7, 2021

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The historic surge of illegal immigration at the U.S. border has overwhelmed the U.S. Border Patrol, the agency charged with detecting and preventing illegal traffic between ports of entry.

In this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of the podcast, discusses this with border security expert Dr. Victor Manjarrez Jr.

Manjarrez, a former Border Patrol sector chief who served for over 20 years in key operational roles, now teaches and researches topics related to border security and law enforcement generally at the University of Texas El Paso, where he heads the Center for Law and Human Behavior. Manjarrez attributes the flow of migrants crossing the U.S. southern border, including the recent crisis at Del Rio, to the present administration’s policy of non-enforcement and the unclear messaging, which, in his opinion, poses a national security threat.

Manjarrez and Krikorian discuss the different aspects of border security, the functionality of barriers, and operational challenges faced by Border Patrol, including the bigger picture of the structuring of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which the Border Patrol is a part.

In the closing commentary, Krikorian recounts his trip to the Border Patrol Museum in El Paso and reflects on the sacrifices asked of Border Patrol agents.


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


Dr. Victor Manjarrez, a retired U.S. Border Patrol Chief who served for more than 20 years in key operational roles in the field and at Headquarters. He is currently the associate director at the Center for Law and Human Behavior at the University of Texas at El Paso.

Related Reports

UTEP Center for Law and Human Behavior

Border Patrol Museum

Videos from the recent CIS trip to the El Paso area

Takeaways from the Del Rio Migrant Camp Crisis: What Now?

The Next ‘Del Rio’ Mass Migration Crisis Is Already Brewing in Yuma, Ariz. — and About To Get Worse


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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".