To acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary (DHS) Kevin McAleenan, the immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border must be dealt with by Congress now.
The border crisis isn’t a fresh topic, as the apprehension numbers have continued to increase over months, overwhelming border officials in the process. In the month of May, total apprehensions of migrants trying to cross illegally jumped 32 percent, with 144,278 in total.
McAleenan agrees with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official that the immigration system is “bursting at the seams.”
“We had two prior surges of families and children of the border, 2014 and 2016. At that time President [Barack] Obama called it a humanitarian crisis,” McAleenan noted. “In the last two months alone we have more than doubled those two full years of crisis.”
During Sunday morning’s “Fox News Sunday” interview, the DHS secretary said “we still need Congress to act” to fix the asylum loopholes and for additional funding.
McAleenan laid out three parts that need change: increasing detention periods for migrant families during their asylum processing, the process for returning unaccompanied children to their home countries as well as the creation of an application process in their home country, and a fix for the asylum standard of credible fear.
“Eighty-five, ninety percent of people get [credible fear approval] while only 10 percent get asylum at the end of the court proceeding,” McAleenan said. “We need to align that more closely with what might actually be a successful claim.”
Watch the video below:
Discussing President Donald Trump’s tariff threat on Mexico as a way to get them to address the immigration situation — which the president called off the plans late Friday after the two countries came to an agreement — McAleenan said “if they implement” the deal, then it “will be effective.”