Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Sean Hannity on Fox News that the United States is being “flooded” with people coming across the U.S. border with Mexico, and it is indeed a “crisis.”
“If this is not a crisis, what the hell would be?” Graham said in the interview, which comes ahead of the Senate’s vote on President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to allow federal funds to be used to build a wall. “We’re being flooded.”
“The numbers are just through the roof,” Graham said.
Those numbers include family units being apprehended at the border up 335 percent over the last year and the apprehension of unaccompanied minors up 55 percent.
As Breitbart News reported, Homeland Defense secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday that an estimated 900,000 people are expected will be counted as border apprehensions by the end of the year.
The nation’s border defense system “is clearly breaking,” Nielsen said. “We need a barrier.”
“We cannot take operational control of the border without it,” Nielsen said.
Graham agrees with Nielsen that a barrier is needed and that U.S. immigration law also needs to be changed.
“If you’re a family from Central America and you can make it to the United States, you’ll never be deported,” Graham said. “You will be only held for 20 days, and we’ll release you within the country.”
Graham also said that only two percent of unaccompanied minors are returned to their homeland after arriving in the United States.
“Our laws are broken, and we need a barrier,” Graham said.
Hannity said the most “stunning testimony” he’s heard came from a law enforcement official deals with sex trafficking.
“He said most children brought into America come across the open area of the border because the smugglers are afraid to go through the points of entry,” Graham said.”Eighty-seven percent of the people apprehended coming here illegally from Central America never go through a point of entry.”
Graham said current immigration law is also costly to the American taxpayer, with a price tag of $1.6 billion to house and care for unaccompanied minors.
“We need to change the laws, and we need to build a wall,” Graham said, adding that he believes Trump’s emergency declaration will stand and the wall will be completed.
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