Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has caused a stir after President Joe Biden, the White House and the National Security Council were unaware that he had been hospitalized ‘for days.’ “Someone’s head has to roll,” a Defense Department official told Politico on Sunday.
Austin has taken responsibility for not being more transparent after the public was not notified until Friday evening that he had been hospitalized on Monday. for complications from an elective procedure. Some officials have speculated that someone will lose their job after the incident after top U.S. officials were initially informed he was working from home and they reportedly were not aware of his condition until Thursday, per CNN.
A U.S. Department of Defense spokesperson confirmed Saturday that Austin remains hospitalized but had resumed his duties on Friday night. During part of his hospitalization, Austin was treated at Walter Reed’s intensive care unit, according to the official.
abc News reported that a DOD spokesperson said Friday it was unnecessary for Austin to delegate his authorities since Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks — who has made routine decisions on his behalf — was automatically tasked with that responsibility. However, Hicks was in Puerto Rico on a previously scheduled vacation at the time.
Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year
The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.
According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.
ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.
Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries.
Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.
Surprisingly, ADN reports:
A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.
Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.
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