‘An Ongoing Security And Humanitarian Crisis’ At The Border

‘I Don’t Think We’ve Ever Seen Anything Near This’: More Funding Is Critical For Agencies ‘Overwhelmed’ By Record Numbers Of Migrants, Families, And Children Crossing The Southern Border


SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “[T]he headlines remain filled with the unacceptable, unsustainable security crisis and humanitarian crisis on our southern border. By now I’m confident that every member of Congress has heard the breathtaking numbers. We’ve all heard the chaos analyzed a thousand different ways. What we haven’t seen is any appetite on the Democratic side for actually getting an outcome…. The officials whom we trust to protect our borders … have been crying out for months that their agencies are stretched to the breaking point.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/05/2019)

ACTING SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY KEVIN McALEENAN: “[W]ith regard to border security and immigration enforcement as you are well aware we are in the midst of an ongoing security and humanitarian crisis in the Southwest border…. Given the scale of what we are facing we will exhaust our resources before the end of this fiscal year which is why the administration sent a supplemental funding request to the Congress …” (U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing, 5/23/2019)

  • ACTING SECRETARY McALEENAN: “In addition to the $3 billion in that request for Health and Human Services to care for unaccompanied children the request includes $1.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security and would provide a $391 million for humanitarian assistance including temporary migrant processing facilities at the Southwest border, $530 million for border operations to include our search personnel expenses and increase transportation and detention cost and $178 million for operations and support cost including pay and retention incentives for our operational personnel …” (U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Hearing, 5/23/2019)


Even The New York Times Editorial Board Recognizes There Is ‘A Crisis At The Southern Border’

THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD: “President Trump is right: There is a crisis at the southern border…. [A]s record numbers of Central American families flee violence and poverty in their homelands, they are overwhelming United States border systems, fueling a humanitarian crisis of overcrowding, disease and chaos…. Something needs to be done. Soon.” (Editorial, “Congress, Give Trump His Border Money,” The New York Times, 5/05/2019)

  • “Funding for vital services is not expected to last through the fiscal year, [acting OMB Director Russell] Vought said [in a letter to Congress]. Most urgently, the program that deals with unaccompanied minors is expected to run dry next month, requiring resources to be diverted from other programs and leading to a further deterioration in conditions…. Nearly three-quarters of the funds, $3.3 billion, would be earmarked for humanitarian needs, with much of it flowing to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, the agency responsible for unaccompanied minors.” (Editorial, “Congress, Give Trump His Border Money,” The New York Times, 5/05/2019)


‘Apprehensions On The US-Mexico Border Highest Since 2009’

“More people have been apprehended illegally crossing the US-Mexico border this fiscal year than in any year since 2009, according to Customs and Border Protection. Between October and April, the US Border Patrol apprehended 460,294 people for illegally crossing into the US from the southern border…. In 2009, agents made 540,865 apprehensions on the southern border for the full fiscal year. Every year since then, apprehensions have remained below the half-million mark.” (“Apprehensions On The US-Mexico Border Highest Since 2009,” CNN, 5/08/2019)

  • “The number of migrants apprehended at the Southern border surpassed 100,000 for the second consecutive month, according to new figures released by the Trump administration. U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended 109,144 migrants in April. That is more than 5,400 over the total in the month of March, and it is the highest monthly total since 2007. The chief of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost, told a Senate Judiciary panel that ‘our apprehension numbers are off the charts.’” (“Migrants Apprehended At Southern Border Top 100,000 For Second Consecutive Month,” NPR, 5/08/2019)

‘Border Agents Apprehend More Than 1,000 Migrants In Record Roundup’

“More than 1,000 migrants were apprehended after illegally crossing the border near El Paso, Texas, early Wednesday morning, according to two U.S. officials and a document obtained by NBC News. The group of 1,036 is the largest ever encountered by the Border Patrol; the previous record of 424 was set [in April 2019].” (“Border Agents Apprehend More Than 1,000 Migrants In Record Roundup,” NBC News, 5/30/2019)


‘The Number Of Asylum-Seeking Central American Families Crossing The Southern Border Broke Another Record’

“The number of asylum-seeking Central American families crossing the southern border broke another record in April, with Border Patrol agents apprehending 58,474 members of family units during the month, an all-time high, according to data released Wednesday. The flood of migrants has overwhelmed Border Patrol stations and other federal facilities, forcing immigration agents to release migrants directly into U.S. border communities with only the hope that they’ll appear for their immigration court hearings, the head of the Border Patrol said during a congressional hearing on Wednesday.” (“Southern Border Crossings By Asylum-Seeking Migrants Kept Rising In April, Set New Record,” USA Today, 5/08/2019)

  • “Nearly 169,000 youths have surrendered at the southern border in the first seven months of this fiscal year, and more than half are ages 12 and under, according to federal records and officials familiar with Customs and Border Protection statistics. Minors now account for nearly 37 percent of all crossings — far above previous eras, when most underage migrants were teenagers and accounted for 10 percent to 20 percent of all crossings. ‘I don’t think we’ve ever seen anything near this,’ said John Sandweg, an acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Obama administration.” (“The Crush Of Children At Arizona’s Border Shows A U.S. Immigration System On The Brink,” The New York Times, 5/28/2019)


Shortages Of Money And Manpower Are Leading To ‘Dangerous Overcrowding’ Which ‘Has Strained The Capabilities Of America’s Immigration System’

“The surge of Central American migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexican border has led to ‘dangerous overcrowding’ and unsanitary conditions at Border Patrol stations around El Paso, Texas, according to a government watchdog report released Thursday.” (“‘Dangerous Overcrowding’: 900 Migrants Cram Into Border Patrol Center Designed For 125 People,” USA Today, 5/31/2019)

“Office of Refugee Resettlement Director Jonathan Hayes warned lawmakers at a Senate hearing … of the ramifications if the program is not provided additional funding soon. ‘Without additional funding, there is a significant likelihood that the UAC program will exhaust all of its resources in June, in which case HHS may need to reallocate more funds from refugees and victims of trafficking and torture, and scale back services,’ Hayes said in his statement to the Judiciary Committee. ‘In the worst-case scenario, thousands of children might remain for lengthy periods of time in DHS facilities that were never intended to be long-term shelters, rather than being expeditiously transferred to HHS custody, where they would receive case management and other services that address their unique needs,’ he added.” (“Apprehensions On The US-Mexico Border Highest Since 2009,” CNN, 5/08/2019)



Related Issues: Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Immigration