Legal Hurdles Exacerbate Border Crisis

By Thomas Gallatin  

Ignoring a problem won’t make it go away. Neither will claiming that it is not a problem. But maybe worst of all is actually acknowledging the problem, claiming to want to work to solve it, and then doing nothing. That latter response has essentially been the modus operandi of Congress regarding illegal immigration and border security for decades now, and as a result that problem has exploded into the crisis America is witnessing today.

On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection commissioner Kevin McAleenan, speaking from El Paso, briefed the press on the current border crisis. According to McAleenan, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our Southwest border. And nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso. On Monday and Tuesday, CBP started the day with over 12,000 migrants in our custody. As of this morning, that number was 13,400. A high number for us is 4,000. A crisis level is 6,000. 13,000 is unprecedented.” In fact, he said, “We are now on pace for over 100,000 apprehensions and encounters with migrants in March.”

He further noted that the number of families and children illegally crossing has increased exponentially to the point that “65% of crossings are now families and children.” The cause for the increase in family units crossing, McAleenan explained, was “a direct response to the vulnerabilities in our legal framework where migrants and smugglers know that they will be released and allowed to stay in the U.S. indefinitely, pending immigration proceedings that could be many years out.”

With regard to those legal hurdles that are only exacerbating the crisis, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen will ask Congress for greater authority to deport unaccompanied illegal-alien minors. In a letter to Congress, Nielsen highlights the plight of illegal-alien children, noting that many “are arriving sicker than ever before after traveling on the treacherous trek.” She further explains that the growing number of unaccompanied children (UAC) is due to the “pull factor” of current U.S. law that prevents DHS from deporting them back to their families in their home countries. Nielson also requests that Congress change policy to “allow asylum-seekers to apply for U.S. protection from within Central America, rather than take the dangerous journey north.”

Clearly, Democrats are exploiting this crisis while pretending it doesn’t even exist. How reprehensibly cynical.

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