Homeland Security chief Kirstjen Nielsen told lawmakers on Wednesday that the US needed to fix what she called a “humanitarian catastrophe” on the Mexican border by supporting President Trump’s wall and cracking down on illegal migrants — even those seeking asylum.
“This is a crisis, pure and simple, and we need to respond accordingly,” Nielsen said in front of the House Homeland Security Committee.
“We cannot stand idly by as our border security is further compromised and our immigration laws are exploited.”
And, she warned, the problem will only get worse.
“And I can report today that CPB is forecasting the problem will get worse this spring as the weather warms up,” she said, referring to Customs and Border
“At the current pace we are on track to encounter close to 1 million illegal aliens at our southern border this year. Of great concern for me is that the children are used as pawns to get into the country,” he said.
She issued a dire warning about what she called “recycling rings … where innocent young people are used multiple times to help aliens illegally gain entry.”
And she said Congress needed to act to toughen immigration laws.
“The laws are not keeping up with the migrant flows,” Nielsen said.
The hearing is one of three at the Capitol on border issues Wednesday.
Since Democrats took control of the House, they have prioritized investigating last year’s family separations and have subpoenaed documents related to the policy.