The surge in illegal immigration at the southern border is due to President Obama’s policies, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) argues.
During the first two months of fiscal year 2016 — October and November — Border Patrol apprehended 10,588 unaccompanied alien minors and 12,505 family units. The level of apprehensions represented increases of 106 percent and 173 percent, respectively, over the same period last year.
According to Goodlatte, a recent internal Border Patrol document obtained by his committee reveals that “ the Obama Administration’s lax immigration policies are the culprit for the ongoing surge at our borders.”
“During recent interviews, the vast majority of the family units interviewed heard that if they came to the United States they would be able to stay,” Goodlatte said in a statement Thursday. “And most of those interviewed stated that it was the U.S. government’s policies that influenced their decision to come to the United States in the first place.”
The Virginia lawmaker took further issue with border security, highlighting that the border surge is a “national security” matter.
“We know that Syrians are attempting to cross our southern border,” Goodlatte said. “Recently, Senator Grassley and I wrote to the Department of Homeland Security to get answers about this troubling issue.”
“President Obama needs to take a look at what he has done to encourage the border surge and end the policies that have created disorder at our borders. He created this crisis and he has the tools to fix it,” he added.
Goodlatte pointed to bills that the Judiciary Committee has approved — to strengthen immigration enforcement, return the unaccompanied minors to their home countries, close asylum loop holes, and end “catch and release” — that would reduce the influx.
“These bills ensure that unaccompanied minors can be returned home safely and quickly and also closes loopholes in our laws that encourage illegal immigration, allow people to game the system, and exploit our asylum laws. The House must pass these bills so that we can protect our nation and restore the integrity of our immigration system,” he said.