The immigration crisis at the southern border was likened to one of the deadliest hurricanes known to man on Tuesday when Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reiterated the Trump Administration was doing all they could to handle it.
During an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Nielsen said the security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border was like a “Cat 5 hurricane disaster,” BizPac Review reports.
According to the secretary, her department and the rest of the administration were continuing their “aggressive effort” to combat illegal crossings, the influx of drugs, and human an sex trafficking.
“We are bringing all of the agencies together, we’re asking everybody to chip in,” Nielsen said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” per BizPac Review.
Carlson questioned Nielsen about some of the administration’s plans, asking “Why wouldn’t we put the U.S. military along our border if it’s really a crisis of that magnitude?”
“I think we’re looking into that. We’ve made the request. I’m in constant contact with the acting secretary of defense. I talked to some of the combatant commanders today. We are in fact pushing more and more military resources to the border,” Nielsen replied.
She also indicated that other options, such as signing an order to end “birthright” citizenship and expanding the E-Verify system are under consideration.
“We have to stop the drugs. We have to stop the smuggling and trafficking gangs. He’s very serious about it, so yes, I think everything is on the table,” Nielsen said.
President Trump has repeatedly cautioned lawmakers on Capitol Hill that more needs to be done to stop illegal immigration and has proposed several efforts like increased border security funding. The Democratic-majority in the House has blocked these efforts.
As a result, Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border and said he would utilize funding from the Department of Defense budget to construct the wall.
He is also considering closing the border wall, Trump said on Tuesday.
“We’re going to have a strong border, or we’re going to have a closed border,” Trump said at the White House, as Fox News reports.
From BizPac Review:
The president repeated his threat to close down the border this week, calling on Mexico to use its own “strong” immigration laws in the effort to combat illegal immigration.
And Mexican officials have sounded the alarm over the forming of another potential caravan of people from El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Venezuela, which they believe could reach about 20,000 in number. Trump also cut aid to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
“We were paying them tremendous amounts of money. And we’re not paying them anymore. Because they haven’t done a thing for us. They set up these caravans,” he said.
Trump’s renewed threat to shut down the southern border came as U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported that March was on track to become “the highest month” for border apprehensions in over a decade.
According to Fox News, even after Trump declared the national emergency, the border situation has worsened:
“Trump declared a national emergency at the border in February, shortly after Congress refused to grant him the more than $5 billion he had demanded for a wall at the southern border. The declaration is meant to free up $3.6 billion in funding for barriers at the border. Democrats, and some Republicans, opposed Trump’s declaration and passed legislation to block the move — subsequently vetoed by the president,” Fox News reports.
But since then, the situation has worsened and the administration has repeatedly held up statistics that underscore their point of a growing humanitarian and security crisis at the border. Officials on Tuesday described a “system-wide meltdown.”
According to Customs and Border Protection, more than 76,000 migrants were detained in February, marking the highest number of apprehensions in 12 years. That figure includes more than 7,000 unaccompanied children. More than 36,000 migrant families have arrived in the El Paso region in fiscal 2019, compared with about 2,000 at the same time last year, according to CBP data.