Border Patrol Chief Advocates More Stringent Crackdown on Illegal Immigration 

By Steve Neavling

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Jason Owens emphasized the need for more stringent immigration measures on Thursday, including jailing people who illegally cross the border from Mexico. 

In an interview with CBS News, Owens said tougher federal policies are needed. 

“I think we need to take a look at the asylum laws and make it where only people that have a legitimate claim can claim asylum,” Owens, who took the top role at Border Patrol in June 2023, said. “I think that we need to be able to enforce the immigration laws that are on the books and hold people accountable whenever they choose to break the law.”

He added, “If there’s no motivation to do it the right way, and the right way, it is causing people to have to wait a little bit longer. Naturally, they’re going to choose to come between the ports of entry. We need to take that off the table and make sure everybody’s coming through the front door.”

Owens’ remarks come at a tense time for the Biden administration, which has struggled to curtail illegal immigration. 

At the same time, the Republican-led House has refused to take up legislation intended to deter border crossings. 

Whatever the case, Owens said the U.S. needs a tougher crackdown. 

“I’m talking about jail time. I’m talking about being removed from the country and I’m talking about being banned from being able to come back because you chose to come in the illegal way instead of the established lawful pathways that we set for you,” he said.

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