The Department of Homeland Security issued a warning that a “near systemwide meltdown” is likely as United States border security is projected to catch nearly 100,000 illegal aliens this month crossing the border – approaching a 10-year high.
“That number would be the worst in more than a decade, and it’s more troubling than the worst years because the migrants are children and families who – despite being unauthorized – are almost impossible to deport,” The Washington Times reported.
Too many to handle
With the escalating numbers, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has renewed the Trump administrations’ call for Congress to act on the national emergency – soon.
“The situation at our southern border has gone from a crisis, to a national emergency, to a near systemwide meltdown,” Nielsen announced in a Monday update on the state of her department 16 years after it was established, during George W. Bush’s administration. according to the Times.
It was stressed that President Donald Trump’s proposed 2,000-mile continuous wall spanning from California’s Pacific Coast to Texas’ Gulf Coast is not the only deterrent needed to end the border crisis.
“Ms. Nielsen said the border wall is part of the solution, but also said Congress must change the laws to allow for detention and faster deportations of illegal immigrant children and families,” the Times’ Stephen Dinan noted.
Catch and release?
The latest government statistics indicate that 98 percent of illegal immigrants nabbed at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2017 are still residing in the U.S. today – a sobering fact that reinforces how difficult the current framework makes it for federal officials to deport illegals.
“March’s nearly 100,000 migrants – which includes those encountered at ports of entry demanding admittance without permission, and those nabbed by agents after they jumped the line between the ports – compares to about 76,000 in February,” Dinan pointed out. “At the beginning of this decade, the rates were less than 30,000 a month.”
Nielsen indicated that challenges for DHS are not contained to the border.
“She said that while radical Islamic terrorism is still the biggest terror threat, her department is not ignoring dangers of right-wing domestic terrorism,” Dinan added. “She drew an equivalency between the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in 2017, last year’s Pennsylvania synagogue shooting and last week’s massacre at mosques in New Zealand.”
The DHS secretary made it clear that hate crimes in the form of domestic terrorism will not be allowed to be carried out in the U.S.
“I want to make one thing very clear: we will not permit such hate in our homeland,” Nielsen stressed.
She indicated that a concerted effort – above and beyond DHS’s operations – is needed to thwart proliferating domestic threats.
“More broadly, Ms. Nielsen said, her department – created as government’s solution to the 2001 terrorist attacks – is not enough to surmount today’s threats,” Dinan noted. “She said what’s needed is a ‘whole of society’ defense against election hacking, corporate cyber attacks and smuggling cartels who dictate the flow of contraband across the U.S.-Mexico border.”
As attackers continue to use more innovative means to inflict harm upon the American public, the DHS secretary insisted that new counterterrorism measures must be taken to ensure the safety of Americans on their own soil.
“The ground beneath our feet has shifted,” Nielsen insisted. “Our enemies and adversaries have evolved, and the arms of government are swinging too slowly to protect the American people.”
What about the wall?
As Democrats continue to play hardball and deny Trump the funds needed to build a complete border wall, new means are being sought to secure the southern border.
“After Congress allocated only $1.4 billion of the $5.7 billion Trump requested for border-barrier funding, the president declared a national emergency at the southern border,” WND recounted. “The order would divert $3.6 billion from military construction funds to building a wall, [but] last Thursday, the Senate voted 59–41 to block the emergency declaration, with 12 Republicans opposing the president. Trump vetoed the measure, and it’s unlikely the Senate will find enough votes to override the veto.”
So far, construction along the border has reportedly only included renovations and repairs to existing barriers.
“Trump's border agency says he has built ZERO walls in new places despite claiming otherwise – as [the] president vetoes lawmakers' attempt to kill his emergency declaration and keep his signature campaign promise alive,” the Daily Mail of London reported. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection told DailyMail.com that no new border wall has been erected where there wasn't a barrier before. President Trump has boasted that he has built both new and replacement walls – a claim that appears untrue given CBP's statement on the record.”
However, groundbreaking of the all-new wall is reportedly slated to commence next month.
“U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has said that the first new border-wall construction project will begin in April,” The New American divulged. “We reported on February 6 that a CBP official had just confirmed that the federal government would soon begin construction of more border barriers in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, with heavy construction equipment expected to arrive within the week.”
The cost and extent of the new portion of the wall was also indicated.
“That project will be funded with more than $600 million that Congress approved last March for 33 miles of new barriers,” The New American’s Warren Mass informed. “In that report, we cited a CBP statement from last September saying that it planned to construct approximately 25 miles of a levee/border-wall system in Hidalgo County, Texas, and approximately eight miles of a border-wall system in Starr County, Texas.”
It was also indicated that by next year, a significant amount of the wall will be erected.
“In an interview with Fox News Sunday in February, White House adviser Stephen Miller said hundreds of miles of a new border barrier will be constructed by 2020,” WND recalled.