March 14, 2023

Every Town Is A Border Town – Historic Changes And Implications – with Todd Bensman – [Ep. 160]

Every Town Is A Border Town – Historic Changes And Implications – with Todd Bensman – [Ep. 160]

America is a nation of immigrants. The rich diversity of our population is part of what makes America such an amazing place. We have always welcomed people from all over the world. Immigration, done legally, is meant to enrich lives and society...

America is a nation of immigrants. The rich diversity of our population is part of what makes America such an amazing place. We have always welcomed people from all over the world. Immigration, done legally, is meant to enrich lives and society overall. Today, our immigration system is broken, causing harm to immigrants and American citizens. You may have heard the phrase, "Every town is a border town,” but most people are unaware of how true this is and are likely unaware of the magnitude of the crisis happening at our southern border and with our immigration system, in general. Linda’s guest is border expert and best-selling author, Todd Bensman, from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS). Todd offers somber warnings and keen insights into identifying and solving the border crisis now and for the future.

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Linda J. Hansen:  Welcome. Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the Prosperity 101 Breakroom Economics Podcast. My name is Linda J. Hansen, your host and the author of Prosperity 101- Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck, and the creator of the Breakroom Economics Online course, the book, the course and the entire podcast library can be found on Prosperity101.Com. I seek to connect boardroom to break room and policy to paycheck by empowering and encouraging employers to educate employees about the public policy issues that affect their jobs. My goal is to help people understand the foundations of prosperity, the policies of prosperity, and how to protect their prosperity by becoming informed, involved, and impactful. I believe this will lead to greater employee loyalty, engagement and retention, and an increased awareness of the blessings and responsibilities of living in a free society. Listen each week to hear from exciting guests and be sure to visit Prosperity 101.Com.

Thank you for joining me today. America is a nation of immigrants, most of us have relatives that came here from a foreign country and the rich diversity of our population is part of what makes America such an amazing place. We have always welcomed people from all over the world, immigration, done legally, is meant to enrich lives and society overall. Today our immigration system is broken, causing harm to immigrants and American citizens. You may have heard the phrase, every town is a border town, but most people are totally unaware of how true that is and they are likely unaware of the magnitude of the crisis happening at our southern border and with our immigration system in general. America is known for welcoming immigrants, so why the concern now? What is different? With me today is Todd Bensman, senior National Security Fellow at the center for Immigration Studies, otherwise known as C.I.S and former counterterrorism intelligence officer, Prior to joining C.I.S, he led Homeland Security intelligence efforts for nine years in the public sector. His body of work with policy and intelligence operations is founded on more than 20 years of experience as an award winning journalist covering national security topics with particular focus on the Texas border. He is the author of the brand new book Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed the Greatest Border Crisis in Us History and America's Covert Border War: The Untold Story of the Nation's battle to Prevent Jihadist infiltration. Todd is a repeat guest and Todd, I welcome you back onto the podcast. Thank you so much for joining with me today.

Todd Bensman: Good to be here. Thanks for having me again.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, it's a pleasure. What you do is so important and the information you share with the American public and the world overall is critically important to really everyone. So the last time I had the privilege of interviewing you was shortly after your book America's Covert Border War was released. Now you have your newest book, Overrun and I'd like you to share with the listeners what led you to write the new book and how you hope listeners will help to impact our immigration policies after they learn about what is really happening.

Todd Bensman: Well, by the numbers, if you just look at government apprehension figures at the border, we have seen more than five and a half million people in 24 months cross that border. This is something that is so far beyond the American experience that it just simply dwarfs all prior numbers. It breaks every record on the books since we've been keeping records. It's a historic event and when you have a historic event that involves just millions and millions of people just pouring over your border for the first time in your history, and really for the first time in the history of any nation at all, this has never happened before, even anywhere else, what's happening to the United States then? My position is that historians and journalists should come in and explain what happening, document what’s happening, tries to put it into some kind of context and keep going. But unfortunately, in this time period, we have some kind of dispute about what's really happening or denialism about what's, what's really happening. But I, I think the book, one of the big purposes of the book is to just clear away all that fog and smoke and junk about what's actually happening and just lay it out. This is the greatest mass migration crisis, the greatest border crisis that has ever stricken the United States and that deserves a book.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, it does. And I'm so thankful that you are writing about it and letting people know. Like you said, the historians need to be aware as well so we don't have to make every mistake ourselves. We can learn from the mistakes of others, but it seems like we are making our own mistakes when it comes to immigration because you said that no other country has ever seen this type of mass migration, this type of illegal immigration that we are seeing now. And I know that prior to the Biden administration, things were very different. Could you explain you've got a great history with immigration studies, so could you explain where things were maybe during the Obama years versus what happened during the Trump years to onto what happened right after Joe Biden took office?

Todd Bensman: It's not unprecedented that we have had surges and during the Trump administration we did have a surge over the border of about a million people in a very short span. I want to say this was in late 2018 to early 2019, but you also had a president in office who did everything he possibly could to shut it down and eventually did shut it down with policy. And that policy was to make sure that people were dis-incentivized from coming. In other words, if you cross, you were going to end up back in Mexico and your smuggling fee was, all your money was gone, and that made people stay home. And then on top of that, because of COVID we brought in another policy called Title 42, which was to push back 100% of everybody who crossed the border and deny them asylum and so you were able to bequeath a border that was maybe seeing about 30,000 a month apprehended.

So we have had times where it went spiked up, but the scope of this spike is it dwarfs even the biggest one that we've ever had in American history. The very first year of it, in 2021, hit 1.7 million apprehensions at the border, and then in 2022, 2.4 million apprehensions at the border. And none of this includes the hundreds and hundreds of thousands, I would say millions of people that got away into the interior. Those happen against a very different backdrop, which is of a president that has decided that this is great, that there will be no effort to stop this, that we will continue to keep that door pried open against all challenges, legal and policy wise, against all public polling showing that the American people absolutely despise this. So this is really something brand new, we've never seen before, and it's the reason why it's happening.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, it is definitely a result of the policies. And people say, oh, just incompetent, or they don't know what they're doing, but they actually do know what they're doing. It's very strategic and it's executing a plan to really, in a sense, overthrow America. It's really to change our culture and our society from the inside out. And I know that to a lot of people, and what the media would like it to be portrayed as, is they think it's just destitute people who are coming here for a better life and they're fleeing persecution or something, but that's not truly the case. Now, that is they're coming from all over the world. They're being flown in from all over the world. They're from hostile nations, many and not only are they being flown into our country, but we are often paying for that and then giving a cell phone, a hotel room, and food coupons. Our taxpayers may be suffering and our veterans may be homeless, but we are aiding and abetting, in a sense, illegal immigration at just incomprehensible levels. So I'd like you to address that a little bit, like where they're coming from, why I'm saying that they're being flown in from all over. I mean, I learned this from you, I'm so thankful for your reporting and how much you're helping American people to understand, but this is just unbelievable to most Americans.

Todd Bensman: Right, well, so in the beginning, the reason this started was that the Biden Administration just created these huge exemptions for categories of immigrants like women and children and families. If you were like a woman, child, women with a child and had a family, we were going to let you in. Well, how do you think that that plays down trail into the rest of the world? They're like letting us in. It's incredible. Even people that have money and jobs and security are, well, we always live in the United States. Let's go. We don't even need to flee anything. It's just a chance to upgrade into the great American dream. So you see really this whole cross gamut of people from different countries and different situations. I like to say that the vast majority of everybody coming through are going to be economic migrants. People that just want either an upgrade they're doing fine, but they want an upgrade, or people who are just flat out impoverished and want a shot and I think we can all get that.

The problem is that they're claiming asylum, which is to say that they're claiming persecution by governments for their tribal affiliation or their religion or their political opinion or something like that. And I would say, and I think the book supports that, that is all a mass fraud. None of that is true. I like to say that if you are fleeing, genuinely fleeing persecution in your country and you get two countries over, I'm starting to get a little skeptical. If you get three countries over, I'm like, well, why'd you have to go three countries over if you're just looking? But if you have to cross ten countries of safety to get to the United States, you're just a flat out liar. You're just a fraudster committing fraud and that's what almost all of these people are. They're just crossing in and they're going to claim asylum because they can. They're not fleeing anything worse than poverty. And the asylum law does not accept you for that reason. We reject you for that reason. But by then you're running around hiding in the country and we can't find you and that's the whole game here.

So we're looking at 43% of everybody who has crossed that border is not from Mexico or Central America. They're from those ten countries away from all over the world. I've met everybody from pretty much every corner of Africa, everywhere, all over the Middle East, Iranians, and Chinese. They're coming from the entire world for the first time in American history in these percentages and that is an indictment of our policies that just let everybody in and to claim bogus, fraudulent asylum, to do it again. If you came in over ten countries, you are not an asylum seeker. Mexico's got an asylum law, every country south of here has got a good asylum. We've seen a lot of Haitians who are coming in and saying, I can't go back to Haiti. It's a basket case and it's terrible. Except none of them are coming from Haiti, they've been living in Chile for five years and the Venezuelans who are coming in often carrying Gucci handbags and fancy clothes and designer jeans, rolling luggage because they just flew in, have been living in Colombia for 5-6-7-8 years straight and ten other countries in South America that like Argentina, which are perfectly modern and have powerful economies and everything else. So they're coming in for the American dream and taking advantage of us and lying, completely lying from top to bottom and that should be a problem for anybody, that's not a good first impression. I'll just say it that way.

Linda J. Hansen: Absolutely. The asylum laws too, as I understand it, the asylum laws are that you need to get to the next country over, otherwise it really isn't asylum. Like you need to get to the next safest country. And like you mentioned, when they come like ten countries away, they've had to go through a lot of safer places or potentially safe places to get here.

Todd Bensman: If you're truly drowning, you are not going to spend time figuring out which of the life rafts you should grab onto, which is the best one.

Linda J. Hansen: Right? Yeah, absolutely. Well, and the thing here, you mentioned some people that are coming for a better life. That's fine, we understand and we don't judge the good people who are coming based on the information that they have thinking they can get a better life in America. They don't understand that, they may not get it, may be somewhat better, but we can't pay all their bills indefinitely here in America, but they just don't understand. But there's good people coming for good reasons, but on top of that are a lot of bad people coming for bad reasons. And I'd like you to talk a little bit about the cartels. People have no idea, I think that it touches us all the time because of the Fentanyl deaths. It touches us with the human trafficking, it touches us because this intense spending on taking care of these immigrants and everything that is being used to provide them with resources is out of our tax dollars. It comes out of the money we work to earn, so it affects us so much. But in day to day lives, most people don't even think anything about the border and how much it is truly changing the face of America and their own economic wellbeing.

Todd Bensman: Well, a primary problem or objection that I have, and I think a lot of good Americans have about mass migration crisis at this volume of this scope, of this historic number. I mean, another two years of this and we're probably going to have something on the order of 10 million people in the country in a four year span. I mean, that's just incredible and they're mostly uneducated and low skilled people who are going to need help. But the primary objection to it is that the vast majority of them are complete strangers. We don't know what they've been involved in before they got to our border. I can go down to the border at any time with a grocery bag and fill it up with IDs that have been discarded, passports that have been ripped up, cut the pieces down there on the border as the last act before they crossed in.

This is a stranger danger issue. You have no idea who anybody is. You can't call the Venezuelan government for an intelligence background check because we're adversarial. You can't call Cuba, they're not helping us. If anything, they're happy to send their prisoners our way. There are a lot of countries that just simply are incapable of telling us anything about any of these people that are coming through. I mean, half the countries of Africa don't even have computer systems that could be accessed by us to find out who's the rapists. Who are the war criminals that are chopping hands and limbs off in villages across the Congo? Who are the people that are just ethnically cleansing villages in Cameroon? Are the perpetrators these war criminals among the Cameroonians that are crossing in? I'm going to say probably and that's just like, the worst of the worst.

Then you've just got regular gang members in El Salvador and people that have committed unspeakable crimes. They're just crooks and criminals, career criminals from anywhere who will just cross in and we don't have any idea. We just fingers crossed, flip the coin, hope it doesn't turn up. Criminal. And that's the problem here. And you mentioned being in the Midwest. We don't feel it or we don't see it. Whoever's listening to this, go Google the following terms the name of your school district and portable classrooms and tell me what pops up. Because I guarantee you that your school district is buying a lot of portable classrooms and having bond elections to deal with a sudden spike in enrollment that nobody ever will explain to you in a news article about where it's coming from. Your school districts right now are jammed up, and I don't care where you live, you will find your school district completely jammed up, and you putting them before all of these migrant children that are being brought in because they were a golden ticket, an admission ticket into the country under the Biden policy. It looks like we've had at least 2.2 million children enter the country in the last 24 months. Well, you got to have a bond election in your school district to pay for classrooms and ESL teachers.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, and I've heard that even teachers, especially along the border that are bilingual that have been very fluent in Spanish, are used to this bilingual education things. They can't keep up because there's so many people coming from so many different countries that they can't know every language. Big tax burden, right? It's a big tax burden.

Todd Bensman: And let me tell you something. One of the exemptions that was opened up was for women who are seven months pregnant or postpartum and they could come in, and every one of them, I need thousands upon thousands, go straight to a US hospital where the cost of delivery is somewhere on the average of like $8,000, and they're all uninsured. So those hospital systems are picking that up and on top of that, when you have an American child, a child on U.S Soil, you now have an American child and that qualifies the whole family for public welfare benefits for years and years and years. Thousands and thousands and thousands of those people were invitedly, invited in. We will not detain or deport pregnant women.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, while we care for pregnant women, this is just a horrible example of policy gone wrong and they would have just stayed home.

Todd Bensman: They would have stayed home.

Linda J. Hansen: Yeah.

Todd Bensman: And also a lot of pregnant women are dying on the way in.

Linda J. Hansen: Absolutely.

Todd Bensman: Take advantage.

Linda J. Hansen: Right. The trek on the way in is not safe. We've heard of the dairy and gas.

Todd Bensman: Not doing them any favors.

Linda J. Hansen: Right, it's not. And I mentioned before about how safety for immigrants, it's dangerous for the immigrants, too, because a lot of times the immigrants come and they pay to the cartels thinking they're going to get a ticket to America and be able to come to America and they don't realize that they have sold their lives, in a sense, to be sex slaves or labor slaves, whatever and this means children, too. So children are caught in the crosshairs here, it’s terrible. The rapes, the beatings, the human trafficking that is going on not only at the border, but all around the country as a result and I bet human trafficking is in every town, even small towns, It's there, and this is just a horrible thing. And you mentioned how we are paying this, like this is our tax dollars paying for all of this and I know you have talked about how not only are we paying for this when they come in, but could you explain to the listeners what you've been alerting people to, is that now the Biden administration doesn't want to have the big visual of people gathered at the Del Rio Bridge again. Like if people look back at that and see it was a crisis and you could see a problem, but now they want to hide that. They want to hide that and make it seem like there's not as many people apprehended and things because they're doing something covertly.

Todd Bensman: Up until now, the border was these policies invited so many people in that you would see these terrible crowds in El Paso, people sleeping on the street and in the airports and on the ground and begging for food everywhere. And this was a terrible political optic for the administration, and so in recent months, they have shifted the face they've given the face of this thing, plastic surgery, we'll say, so that it looks better, but it's not better. And what they've done is that they are now they've created a parallel immigration system outside of the congressional statute, which is what is required for the creation of an admittance system into the country. The people have to approve and what they did was created a system where you can gain humanitarian parole while you're still on the Mexican side and in your home country and simply cross in through the port of entry and fly in to an interior airport somewhere all sight unseen. The numbers are in the hundreds of thousands that they're doing this and they're pointing to the less active border areas now as saying, look what we did, we fixed the problem. But what they did was they just re-channeled it to a place that you can't see, the American people can't see, but just as many are being entered into the country with permission that is not approved by Congress. There are court challenges to this whole system.

They call it CBP One, which is an app. You can make a reservation for your humanitarian parole document and then wait in line, and after a few weeks or months or whatever, we will escort you right through into the country and to any city you want to go to and a year from now you'll be illegal. So you can kind of see what they've done here. And it's a sleight of hand, it's duplicitous, it's a prevarication, it's a lie, they didn't fix the border. Just as many people, if not more enticed, will be coming through in this quote unquote legal way. That's the new face of it. You should be aware that anytime you hear the President or any of his people say, look, we've got the border under control, they don't have the border under control. They're just letting everybody in to the interior to just wreak criminal havoc, to cause unfunded tax burdens on communities and your school districts and your hospitals and everything else, just the same as that. They entered illegally, a year or two from now, they'll all be illegal because nobody's getting asylum, they don't qualify for it.

Linda J. Hansen: Well, it is just another thing to bring about though, is that when they come in too, nobody's really tested for COVID or disease. People talk about the old way of immigration, people would come through Ellis Island and they had to prove that they could work, they were healthy, they had a sponsor, all these things. None of that is happening now. So while our businesses, our churches, our schools were on lockdown, people were just flooding in with no testing, no anything in terms of their health. I can't say no because there might have been some, but very little testing for healthy, so not only is it a tax burden, it's a health burden, it's a safety burden because we don't know all the criminals that are coming through and what's happening. And so what can American people do to help prevent this, to help stop it, and to make sure we have better immigration policies in the future?

Todd Bensman: Well, there's a really good reason why all nations on the planet have border controls and borders to prevent this kind of thing that we're seeing. Everybody knows this, every nation that has ever existed down to ancient times has known this is like fundamental to nationhood that you get to the people that live within a territory, get to decide who comes in and get to determine that. We want to know your name and who you are and what your intentions are and what your history is and to say no if we want to. We have ceded that control to the immigrants. Oh, if you want to come in, okay, we'll let you come in just because you want to. To the question of what can be done about it? Nothing. Except that you can vote in the 2024 election for a Republican president or even a Democratic President who would put a stop to this and to put those sovereign responsibilities into action to control the borders. Or at least try, to the best of your ability, not to totally cede the whole thing to these immigrant, immigrants and to their out there. You can't do anything except bring attention to it and vote. If you don't vote or if you vote for somebody else for some other reason, there's a good chance that this will continue for another four years and you'll have 20 million people in the country and another four years after that for two terms. That's what's at stake.

Linda J. Hansen: The future of America is at stake. So not only can we vote, but you said bring attention to it. And so listeners, I want you to get Todd's book, both of them actually. You can get Overrun: How Joe Biden Unleashed The Greatest Border Crisis In U.S History and America's Covert Border War the Untold Story of the Nation's Battle to Prevent Jihadist infiltration his newest book Overrun is most current and I think it will help you to not only be educated yourself, but buy one for your Congressmen, buy one for your state legislators. Make sure that people have this. Donate one to your public library. People need to have this information, so one, they can vote more intelligently but they can actually use their voice to create better policy. As we look at how this affects everybody, you mentioned the tax burden. It isn't just individual tax burdens, its corporate tax burdens, it impacts cities. You mentioned school districts, all of this obviously that impacts businesses. So there's businesses everywhere like we have, the government has nothing until there's a healthy business that creates a profit that can pay taxes, that can hire people who can then pay taxes. Government has nothing until we give it to them first. So what would you tell employers who would love to educate their employees about how this overrun border is impacting their businesses.

Todd Bensman: I mean that's a big topic but let me just say that the demographic that is coming over the border and by the millions now is for the most part low skilled, low education. You got a strong back, Okay, you say I've got a strong back, but they'll qualify mainly for kind of the service industry, construction, and those kind of industries. But there are low skilled, low education American citizens that occupy those jobs. And so when you hire people who are going to be, you could hire them cheaper because they're illegal, you're just killing your community. You're depressing wages, I get the impulse to do that but the labor force that is coming in right now is going to hurt American black communities first. It's going to just destroy them, it already has because they're in competition for these jobs and they're going to under the American citizens who need those jobs. And I think there's great reporting and corroborating studies everywhere that support what I'm saying and I think that that's coming to your community. It's already here. We're already two years into this thing, so it's happening already. People that you hire are displacing Americans.

Linda J. Hansen: True. It does affect the labor force and so yours. Make sure you're hiring legal citizens and again, make sure you consult with your elected officials to let your voice be heard because we the people are still in charge even though they act like we're not. And I feel like these policies come about because people have been too complacent and they have not paid attention to the importance of protecting the sovereignty of our nation. And the people need to wake up and be in charge of our government and hold our elected officials accountable. So anything you have in closing that you want to make sure people remember about this important issue?

Todd Bensman: Well, if I had anything to say at all, it would be don't be fooled by the new policy of bringing people in under the COVID of legal admittance. That is not a legal admittance, there are people that are flying into your airport day and night. They're being flown in from other countries, your international airport. Go look if you don't believe me and they are still going to be pouring in and impacting your communities even if you don't see it. The other thing I would say is, see it. Just open your eyes, it's all around you, it's everywhere, go look at your local downtown hotels where your city council and your city managers are renting them out to illegal immigrants or people who will shortly be the illegal immigrants at your expense. Pay attention to your budget, your city budgets, there are more and more cities that are adding to a long list that have declared emergencies for themselves and are demanding federal bailouts, look for that. That's going to be happening a lot, and your local press is not going to want to cover it.

Linda J. Hansen: Exactly. We have to go beyond the mainstream media to really find out the truth about these issues. So I really recommend everyone follow you. Where can they follow you?

Todd Bensman: So yeah, I have is my website. I put all my stuff up there and I work for the center for Immigration studies, You can find a lot of my work there. And my book is available anywhere books are sold, i mean, you go to your bookstore, they should be there in Amazon.

Linda J. Hansen: I really recommend to listeners that they get your books because they're so informative. But also, anytime you can, listeners, anytime you can watch or listen to Todd, please do, because you will begin to see it. As he mentioned, we can't close our eyes to this anymore. And the old saying, a politician thinks of the next election, but a statesman thinks of the next generation. We have to think like statesmen. This may seem expedient at the time, or we may look for easy answers here, but there is nothing easy about this long term. This is going to affect America for decades to come and the sooner we rectify the problem and solve this immigration crisis, the better it will be for our children and grandchildren. So, Todd, thank you so much. And listeners, please go to That's, and you can follow all of his writings, you can see his interviews. And I really recommend that you become aware of this and then contact your elected officials because we, the people, are still in charge and we should never put up with this happening at our borders. So thank you. Thank you, Todd.

Todd Bensman: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Linda J. Hansen: My pleasure.

Linda J. Hansen: Thank you again for listening to the Prosperity 101 Podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, share, and leave a great review. Don't forget to visit to access the entire podcast library to order my newest book, Job Security Through Business Prosperity: The Essential Guide to Understanding How Policy Affects Your Paycheck or to enroll you or your employees in the Breakroom Economics online course. You can also receive the free e-book, 10 Tips for Helping Employees Understand How Public Policy Affects Their Paychecks. Freedom is never free. Understanding the foundations of prosperity and the policies of prosperity will help you to protect prosperity as you become informed, involved, and impactful. I give special thanks to our sponsors Matthews Archery, Inc. and Wisconsin Stamping & Manufacturing. Please contact us today at to let us know how we can serve you. Thank you.