Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen projected that, in the month of March alone, Border Patrol will stop 100,000 illegal immigration attempts at the southern border.
During the annual State of Homeland Security address Monday morning, Nielsen revealed that Border Patrol stopped the most migrants in a month since 2007 in February and that number is only going to grow in March:
“I want to cut through the politics today to tell you loud and clear there is no manufactured crisis at our southern border. There is a real-life, humanitarian and security catastrophe. Late last year, we were apprehending 50,000 to 60,000 migrants a month. Last month, we apprehended more than 75,000 — the highest in over a decade. And today I can tell you that we are on track to interdict nearly 100,000 migrants this month, alone.”
Nielsen explained why this influx of migrants is an unsustainable burden for the authorities at the border and the nation’s immigration system as a whole.
“The situation at our southern border has gone from a crisis to a national emergency to a near system-wide meltdown,” said Nielsen, later adding, “The system is breaking and our communities, our law enforcement personnel, and the migrants themselves are paying the price.”
Watch Nielson’s remarks:
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen delivers remarks and participates in a discussion on the state of Homeland Security.
Posted by Fox News on Monday, March 18, 2019
The DHS secretary explained high numbers of migrant border crossings were more manageable in the past because it was mostly single men crossing from Mexico. These individuals could be quickly apprehended and returned to their home country, but that is no longer the case. Today, most of the illegal immigrants apprehended are families from Central America who take much longer to process.
“Our laws are not keeping up with our migrant flows and until they are fixed the situation will only get worse and more heartbreaking,” Nielson explained. “We need Congress to stop playing politics and do what’s right.”
Nielsen reiterated many of the talking points of the months-long debate that has been ongoing since President Donald Trump triggered the longest-ever partial government shutdown in order to secure wall funding. When Democrats refused to cave to his funding demands, Trump reopened the government and declared a national emergency to fund the wall under the National Emergencies Act.
Congress then rebuffed the president’s action, including 12 Republican senators, and passed a resolution to try and stop the president from moving forward with the national emergency. Trump issued the first veto of his presidency to push the emergency declaration forward, though it is likely to face a second battle in the courts.