Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach — who is rumored to be a front-runner to replace Kirstjen Nielsen as the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) — has a plan to help address some of the issues with the U.S. asylum system at the southern border.
As IJR previously reported, detention facilities used by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol have hit capacity as more Central American migrant families continue to arrive at the southern border.
Because the detention facilities are at capacity, at least 100,000 migrants have been released into the United States with nothing but a court order to return to attend their asylum hearing — a process some migrants skip to remain in the U.S. illegally.
Kobach claims there are unutilized facilities in the U.S. that can be used to house migrant families while they await their asylum claim to mitigate the risk that they will stay in the U.S. illegally instead of attending their asylum hearing.
He explained his idea during an interview with Fox News host Martha MacCallum.
Watch the video below:
“We’ve maxed out on the detention space we have. We have to think creatively and make additional space because if we don’t, all of these people that are claiming asylum, they simply make the claim and then they disappear into the fabric of the United States — many never to be seen again.”
Kobach’s solution to the problem of overcrowding is to utilize U.S. military bases and existing mobile homes that are already owned by FEMA to hold migrant families while they wait for their claim to be processed. FEMA has been selling trailers used during previous natural disasters for a fraction of their market price.
“Instead of trying to sell [the trailers], let’s use them to help solve this crisis so that we can keep people in comfortable living conditions, but instead of just turning them loose, never to be seen again, let’s process their asylum claim quickly,” he said.
Kobach noted that he believes those with valid asylum claims would want to be processed as quickly as possible:
“If they fail in their attempt to gain asylum, then put them on a passenger plane immediately and fly them back home. And word will get back in the home countries that, ‘Hey, wait a minute, it’s not so easy now just to disappear into America by making a bogus claim of asylum,’ which more than 90 percent of them currently are not actually legitimate asylum claims.”
Kobach added that he would be “an honor” to work under President Donald Trump if he was chosen to replace Nielsen.