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Jeh Johnson: ‘We Might Be on the Doorstep of Another Separating Families Type of Crisis’

JEFF POOR

Saturday on MSNBC’s “AM Joy,” former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson acknowledged the severity of the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border with regards to illegal immigration.

Johnson argued against sending unaccompanied minors back to without due process, but added that what was underway now was much worse than anything he dealt with as Obama’s Homeland Security secretary.

“The number you’re showing — I lived with them month by month, day by day,” Johnson said. “We had a crisis in 2014. It’s nowhere near the numbers you’re seeing now. There are ways to respond to this. One thing I would not do, which is [what] the secretary’s letter to Congress proposes is amending a law called the [Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA)] in a way to make it easier and faster to send unaccompanied kids back to Central America. We might be at the doorstep of another separating families at the border crisis, Joy.”

“The idea of sending a 7-year-old back to Central America without due process is something that most Americans should have a serious objection to,” he continued. “There are other ways to deal with this situation right now. As Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of [Customs and Border Protection (CBP)], pointed out, on Tuesday, there were 4,000 apprehensions — one day alone, 4,000. We are on pace this month for 100,000 apprehensions. The highest we saw on my watch was May 2014, 65,000. So this is a crisis. It is very definitely a crisis. There are ways to deal with this. There are answers. There are no easy answers. The one thing we should not do as Americans is simply send a 7-year-old, an 8-year-old unaccompanied child back to Central America without due process.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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