Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told FOX Business that the large number of apprehensions at the U.S. southern border constitutes a crisis.
“By any measure 4,000 apprehensions on our southern border in one day, 100,000 in a month, is a crisis,” he said during an interview Monday on “Making Money with Charles Payne.” “It’s a crisis in Central America where the poverty imbalance is occurring that causes people to flee in the first place. It’s a crisis in that it overwhelms our border security personnel to deal with that volume of people coming in and it’s a crisis in these communities on the border that have to absorb these populations. So the question is what to do?”
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection recorded more than 100,000 apprehensions for the month of March, making it the highest monthly total in a decade.
Johnson, who led the DHS from late 2013 to 2017, said it’s up to the agency's officials and the intelligence community to deal at the source of what’s causing the influx of migrants to the U.S.
“Almost no one crosses our southern border without having to pay several thousand dollars to a coyote to help them get here. And these people put out various messages in Central America that has sort of a snowball effect to it right now, and clearly that is something that is going on here. The law hasn’t changed in the last number of years,” he said.
President Trump has threatened to close the U.S. southern border and blames Mexico for not doing enough to stop migrants coming into America.
Johnson said Congress bears the responsibility of ensuring that the dilemma at the southern border is resolved.
“There are no quick, easy fixes,” he said. “Congress has to deal with the underlying problem and commit to doing it through multiple administrations. We need to have a commitment, a sustained commitment, over the course of years.”