Law enforcement officials at the U.S.-Mexico border told Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and six other Senators that the border crisis will get worse when the temperature starts cooling down.
The delegation went to the McAllen Border Patrol Station, the Hidalgo Bridge, and Lackland Air Force Base on Friday. And the trip made Fischer realize more than ever that “changes to current law to expedite the repatriation process are the key to solving this problem.”
“After visiting both DHS and HHS detention facilities, there is no doubt that once in U.S. custody, these children are treated humanely,” she said in a Saturday Facebook statement. “There is also no doubt, though, of the severity of this crisis, which is expected to worsen once again as temperatures cool in coming months.”
She also noted that the “U.S. Border Patrol, which has performed remarkably well under recent pressure, is forced to operate less efficiently in order to cope with legal constraints preventing them from safely and quickly returning these children home.”
Sens. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), and Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) made the trip with Fischer, and the delegation also met with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske.
The White House said 40,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended in the last three months. There have been nearly 60,000 illegal immigrants apprehended since October of last year, but the number has declined a bit due to the scorching temperatures this month. Law enforcement officers have indicated that somewhere between one in five and one in 10 illegal immigrants are actually caught, and federal officials expect at least 150,000 illegal immigrants to be apprehended in the next fiscal year.