No matter how much Democrats and the media want to ignore it, the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is a growing humanitarian and security crisis. The DHS predicted that the number of interdictions would top 100,000 this month.
In light of the lack of cooperation he has received from both Congress and Mexico in addressing the situation, President Donald Trump has threatened in recent days to “close the border” to all entrants, if necessary, and a top cabinet official just confirmed that such a move is definitely “on the table.”
Closing the border is “on the table”
Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen confirmed that the southern border could soon be “closed” — whether completely or in part — in order to allow officials to get a better handle on the situation that is rapidly growing worse.
In a phone call with reporters on Friday, Nielsen said, “If we have to close ports to take care of all of the numbers that are coming, we will do that. … It’s on the table.”
She further explained that the massive flood of illegal immigrants across the border had compelled DHS to shift personnel and reallocate resources away from legal ports of entry to shore up areas being exploited by the illicit cross-border intrusions.
The situation “is past emergency and truly at the breaking point,” she said, and admitted that legal entrants into the country through legal ports of entry could experience delays because of the necessary resource reallocation.
Crisis has reached breaking point
In a press release on Friday, Nielsen said, “Today I report to the American people that we face a cascading crisis at our southern border. The system is in freefall.”
“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,” she added.
Nielsen noted that dramatic change in composition of those entering the country illegally from predominately single males to family units and unaccompanied children — many of whom are being exploited, as are loopholes in our nation’s “outdated” and “misguided” immigration laws.
In a letter sent to Congress Thursday, Nielsen explained, “Today, the majority are families and unaccompanied children, who pose a unique challenge to the system because most cannot be easily cared for, efficiently processed, or expeditiously removed, due to resource constraints and outdated laws. The result is a dangerous and growing backlog of individuals in custody that has forced us to begin releasing large numbers of aliens, most of whom will never appear for their immigration court hearings, further exacerbating ‘pull’ factors into the United States.”
Parts of border could be closed next week
Nielsen’s remarks followed a string of tweets from the president on Friday that threatened to close some or all of the southern border if Mexico continued to refuse to provide assistance in dealing with the tens of thousands of migrants making their way from Central America to the U.S. border.
Trump tweeted, in part, “If Mexico doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States through our Southern Border, I will be CLOSING … the Border, or large sections of the Border, next week.”
Closing down the southern border may seem a bit extreme, but it is not entirely unprecedented, nor should it be considered out of the question.