The mainstream media put on a big show of outrage Monday morning over the separation of children from their parents for families that have illegally crossed the border into the U.S. By late afternoon, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen found herself facing a room of accusatory reporters bent on painting the Trump administration as heartless child abusers.
Nielsen outlined the following facts at the White House press briefing:
— “In the last few months, we have seen illegal immigration on our southern border exceed 50,000 people each month, multiples over each month last year.”
— “Since this time last year, there has been 325 percent increase in unaccompanied alien children and a 435 percent increase in family units entering the country illegally.”
— “Over the last ten years, there has been a 1,700 percent increase in asylum claims, resulting in an asylum backlog today in our country of 600,000 cases.”
— “Since 2013, the United States has admitted more than half a million illegal immigrant minors and family units from Central America, most of whom today are at large in the United States. At the same time, large criminal organizations such as MS-13 have violated our borders and gained a deadly foothold within the United States.”
— “This entire crisis, just to be clear, is not new. It’s been occurring and expanded over many decades. But, currently, is the exclusive product of loopholes in our federal immigration laws that prevent illegal immigrant minors and family members from being detained and removed to their home countries.”
— “These loopholes create a functionally open border. Apprehension without detention and removal is not border security.”
— “We have repeatedly called on Congress to close these loopholes. Yet, the voices most loudly criticizing enforcement of our current laws are those whose policies created this crisis and whose policies perpetrate it.”
Nielsen named three laws that need to be reformed to discourage families from sending unaccompanied minors across the border, make the U.S. system work for legitimate asylum seekers, and keep families together through these processes.
“Congress and the courts created this problem, and Congress alone can fix it,” she declared.
“Those who have criticized the enforcement of our laws have only offered one countermeasure — open borders, the quick release of all illegal alien families and the decision not to enforce our laws,” she continued. “This policy would be disastrous. It’s prime beneficiaries would be the smuggling organizations themselves, and the prime victims would be the children plunged into the smuggling machines and gang-recruitment on the trip north.”
Nielsen then hit the reporters in the room with some facts about what is actually happening at the border when families illegally cross.