‘Make no mistake: Americans may feel effects from this emergency…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen gave an alarming statement on Friday about the escalating crisis at the U.S.–Mexico border that has put the immigration system in “freefall.”
“Today I report to the American people that we face a cascading crisis at our southern border,” Nielsen said according to a DHS press release.
“DHS is doing everything possible to respond to a growing humanitarian catastrophe while also securing our borders, but we have reached peak capacity and are now forced to pull from other missions to respond to the emergency.
The crisis has led Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona to begin releasing illegal aliens into the city’s streets due to overpopulation at immigration centers.
“Let me be clear: the volume of ‘vulnerable populations’ arriving is without precedent,” Nielsen said. “This makes it far more difficult to care for them and to prioritize individuals legitimately fleeing persecution.”
She discussed how loopholes in the U.S. immigration system create a “pull factor” that illegal aliens continue to exploit in greater numbers.
“In the past, the majority of migration flows were single adults who could move through our immigration system quickly and be returned to their home countries if they had no legal right to stay,” Nielsen said.
“Now we are seeing a flood of families and unaccompanied children, who—because of outdated laws and misguided court decisions—cannot receive efficient adjudication and, in most cases, will never be removed from the United States even if they are here unlawfully.”
Texas Border Patrol agents in the Rio Grande valley last week made the same decision as Yuma Sector agents and began releasing illegal aliens.
“My gravest concern is for children,” Nielsen said. “They are arriving sicker than ever before and are exploited along the treacherous trek. Smugglers and traffickers know that our laws make it easier to enter and stay if you show up as a family. So they are using children as a ‘free ticket’ into America, and have in some cases even used kids multiple times—recycling them—to help more aliens get into the United States.”
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisc., the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, investigated the rise in family migration and traced it back to the far-left 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and Obama Administration policies. Their policies now leave children vulnerable to abuse in order to foster illegal immigration.
“This goes well beyond politics,” Nielsen said. “We must come together to find a way to tackle the crisis and reduce the flows so children are not put at risk. Any system that encourages a parent to send their child alone on this terrible journey—where they are exploited, pawned, and recycled—is completely broken.”
Nielsen said she will have to reorganize the Department of Homeland Security due to the mounting crisis.
“…effective immediately, I am redirecting additional personnel and resources from across the Department to assist with the response, I have put out a call Department-wide for volunteers to provide support to our frontline agencies, and I am appealing to interagency partners for further assistance,” she said.
“But it will not be enough, so this week I notified Congress that DHS will need emergency legislative action to restore order, achieve operational control of our border, and ensure we can fulfill our humanitarian responsibilities effectively.”
Nielsen asked Congress in a letter for temporary fixes, such as increasing space in facilities, and for long-term solutions, such as untying the hands of DHS so that they can enforce immigration laws and remove families with children.
She also signed an agreement this week with El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to “combat human smuggling and trafficking, crack down on transnational criminals fueling the crisis, and strengthen border security to prevent irregular migration.”
She also met with Mexican officials this week to discuss methods to curb illegal immigration to the United States from Mexico.
“Make no mistake: Americans may feel effects from this emergency,” Nielsen said.
“As personnel are reallocated to join the crisis-response effort, there may be commercial delays, higher vehicle wait times at the border, and longer pedestrian lines. Despite these impacts, we cannot shirk our responsibility to the American people to do everything possible to secure our country while also upholding our humanitarian values.”