There’s no letting up on the southern border, as U.S. border officials continue to wrestle with the increasing number of illegal immigrant families crossing into the U.S.
Now, it’s leaving them with no other choice than to release “100 percent” of the immigrant families into U.S. communities, as acting Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kevin McAleenan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
And it doesn’t stop there. McAleenan claims they are giving immigrants work permits after a short period and offering places to live while they wait during the immigration process — which he says is “advertising” for smugglers.
During the Senate hearing, McAleenan also noted that border resources would be exhausted before the end of the fiscal year due to the current border crisis more than doubling two previous border crises in 2014 and 2016 combined in the first seven months of the fiscal year.
“Every day that Congress does not act puts more lives at risk and increases the burden on the system,” he said.
Watch his comments below:
Acting U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan explained the gravity of the current border crisis, noting that it has “more than doubled” the last two border crises. pic.twitter.com/oK9vx5mMhL
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) May 23, 2019
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection began transporting immigrants from Texas to San Diego by plane last week is expected to continue to transport hundreds more. It intends to also disperse thousands of migrants elsewhere across the U.S. This almost included two spots in Florida before the president quickly called it off after pushback from the governor.
This increase in immigrant crossings is overwhelming the system, as border officials apprehended over 100,000 migrants for the second consecutive month. In March, there were 103,719 total apprehensions at the southern border, followed by 109,144 apprehensions in April, according to CBP statistics.
Republican lawmakers are looking to find a solution for the border crisis, or even partly fix the situation, as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) proposed working on the border situation through fixing asylum laws. Last week, the president also unveiled a massive immigration overhaul plan that, in part, would include moving to a merit-based system.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) tossed his support behind Graham, as he told IJR that the senator’s proposal — which included moving asylum claims outside of the U.S. and changing detention periods from 20 days to 100, as well as other key points — would allow the U.S. to “do what we need to do, really regain operational control of our border.”
Crenshaw said he believes congressional Democrats will have a “harder time coming up with arguments against Sen. Graham’s plan” because they’ll “have to acknowledge at this point there’s a crisis on the border.”