Elon Musk Visits Southern Border Amid Worsening Illegal Immigrant Crisis

Kos Temenes
By Kos Temenes
September 29, 2023Border Security
Elon Musk Visits Southern Border Amid Worsening Illegal Immigrant Crisis
Tech entrepreneur Elon Musk with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) while visiting the Texas-Mexico border in Eagle Pass, Texas, on Sept. 28, 2023. (John Moore/Getty Images)

Elon Musk is on a visit to the southern border, meeting with local politicians and border officials. On Sept. 28, he met with Rep. Tony Gonzales (R-Texas) at Eagle Pass, Texas, a city that borders Mexico.

Mr. Musk said that his visit serves to provide an unfiltered perspective on what has become one of the most serious crises in the United States in decades.

He shared a 15-minute livestream on his social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, on Sept. 29.

South African-born Musk noted his own status as an immigrant to the United States and said he was “extremely pro-immigrant.”

However, he directly pointed at the strain that the several tens of thousands of recent illegal crossings has inflicted on the country’s infrastructure and economy, calling for an “expedited legal approval” as part of a “greatly expanded legal immigration system” that welcomes “hard-working and honest” migrants, while also barring entry for those who are “breaking the law.”

“We want to do both things—smooth out legal immigration and stop a flow of people that is of such magnitude that we’re leading to a collapse of social services,” Mr. Musk said.

Support for Border Wall

Mr. Musk expressed support for a border wall when he shared his comments on X, likening gaining asylum status after an illegal crossing at the southern border to being as quick as a Google search.

He went on to say that migrants need to produce a “shred of evidence” to receive asylum in the United States.

“We actually do need a wall, and we need to require people to have some shred of evidence to claim asylum to enter, as everyone is doing that,” Mr. Musk said in the post on Sept. 27, adding, “It’s a hack that you can literally Google to know exactly what to say!”

US Government Shutdown

Mr. Musk also commented on a previous thread by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, which delved into the border crisis, amid a looming government government shutdown that threatens the U.S. from next month, according to Fox News.

“If you paid attention last night to what happened to the border yesterday, 11,000 people came across illegally. That’s 50,000 in just the last five days,” Mr. McCarthy told reporters.

“And you’ve got the governor of New York and the governor of Massachusetts declaring a state of emergency. The president can take action, the presidency can do something here that would really us keep the government open but at the same time secure our border,” he added.

In his reply, Mr. Musk wrote that the border must be secured and that the border crisis is “not a partisan issue.”

“The (USA) border needs to be secured. This is not a partisan issue—even the elected Democrat Party leaders of New York are saying this is a severe crisis,” he said.

Prior to his visit, Mr. Musk had shared a post saying that he had already shared his concerns with Mr. Gonzales, saying that the state being inundated by illegal crossings is a serious issue.

Worsening Crisis

The crisis at the border has been getting progressively worse since July. After an initial drop earlier this summer, July’s illegal crossing numbers rapidly increased to reach a record 230,000 encounters by the end of August, with September’s numbers looking even more concerning.

As footage of droves of illegal immigrants flooding into Eagle Pass surfaced, border authorities have shut down bridges and deployed additional resources to cope with the surge.

Last weekend, a Biden administration official met with Mexican authorities, to talk about “reiterating the need for coordinated engagement to include mirrored patrols with Mexican law enforcement agencies.”

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) on Saturday announced the resumption of operations at the international railway crossing bridge in Eagle Pass.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners in the Government of Mexico to ensure safety and security throughout the region and on railway networks,” according to the statement by the CBP.

Reuters contributed to this article.

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