Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach says that despite claims by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, President Trump does not need Congress to stem the tide of booming levels of illegal immigration at the United States-Mexico border.
In an exclusive interview with SiriusXM Patriot’s Breitbart News Tonight, Kobach said there is much the Trump administration and DHS officials can do to mitigate the soaring levels of illegal immigration in recent months where now about 1.5 million illegal aliens are projected to enter the country this year.
Contrary to claims by Nielsen, Kobach said Trump does not need Congress to take action to stop illegal immigration.
“It’s not like we’re powerless and it’s not like we have to wait for Congress to do something,” Kobach said. “It’s sort of frustrating we see the Secretary of Homeland Security [Kirstjen Nielsen] saying ‘Well, we need Congress to help us before we solve this problem.’ No, we can actually solve the immediate crisis without Congress acting.”
Kobach detailed three steps DHS and the Trump administration can take, immediately, to not only lower illegal immigration levels, but unilaterally end the expanded policy of Catch and Release — where more than 17,000 border crossers and illegal aliens were released into the interior of the U.S. over the last 12 days.
There’s basically three steps. The first one is finalize a regulation that DHS proposed back in September. They could have finalized the regulation, made it go into effect in December, four months ago, but they’ve been dragging their feet … what the regulation would do is basically supersede the Flores Settlement. The Flores Settlement is that 20-year-old settlement that limits the amount of time that a minor can be detained and effectively limits the amount of time that a family can be detained together. Once this regulation is published, we can detain the whole family, keep them together, and that reduces the incentive to bring these minors north and using them as ‘Get out of jail free’ cards. [Emphasis added]
The second [step] is because of the lack of traditional detention space, the Border Patrol is saying ‘Well we have to let these people go.’ Now I have some … disagreements with the terms on which they’re letting them go. Let’s back up, we can create detention space. The federal government right now owns thousands, multiple thousands, of trailers and mobile homes that we use for hurricane disasters and they’re selling them at bargain prices right now … we should be using those to create basically processing centers where people … you put a fence around a park or a parking lot, you park a hundred of those trailers there and you can have people have their immigration hearings, have their asylum and credible fear hearing, have everything right there. Deploy dozens of immigration judges down to these centers. Don’t let them go, have a fleet of commercial planes ready to fly them back to their home countries. [Emphasis added]
The third thing we could do is we absolutely have to put pressure on Mexico. But I don’t think threatening to close the border is necessarily the best way to do it because Mexico knows that hurts us as well. What we should be doing is threatening to pass a Treasury [Department] regulation prohibiting illegal aliens from sending home remittances through Western Union and the like. Then tell Mexico, we’ll finalize that regulation and we’ll cut off $20 billion a year in capital … unless you give us a safe third country agreement like we have with Canada. And what a safe third country agreement is, basically whenever an asylum seeker steps foot in one country or another, he doesn’t have the ability to pass through that country and then claim asylum in the second country. With Mexico and the United States, people coming from Central America would have to claim asylum where they step first, that’s Mexico, and not go all the way through Mexico to claim asylum in the United States. Demand that Mexico sign that agreement, it’s very simple, it’s working great with Canada … and get them to throw in some [border] wall money as well. [Emphasis added]
Kobach said the three executive actions would deliver immediate results for the American people and the nation’s sovereignty.
“If we did all those three things, we’d solve the crisis,” Kobach said. “You would see a dramatic drop in the number of people coming north and you’d see these caravans coming to an end.”
Currently, DHS is operating an expanded Catch and Release policy where the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency releases tens of thousands of border crossers and illegal aliens into the country.
The Catch and Release process often entails federal immigration officials busing border crossers into nearby border cities and dropping them off with the promise that they will show up for their immigration and asylum hearings, sometimes years later. The overwhelming majority of border crossers and illegal aliens are never deported from the country once they are released into the U.S.
Since December 21, 2018, Trump’s DHS has released more than 125,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the country. In the San Antonio, Texas area, alone, more than 53,000 border crossers and illegal aliens have been released since the end of 2018.
The Catch and Release policy has strained ICE resources, forcing fewer arrests of illegal aliens living in the interior of the country in recent months. At current rates, DHS is on track to release about 500,000 border crossers and illegal aliens into the interior of the U.S. by the end of this year.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.