Human traffickers are exploiting weak U.S. asylum laws and immigration policies by ‘recycling’ children used to escort adult illegal aliens into the country, according to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
Nielsen testified before Congress on Thursday regarding the explosive crisis unfolding at the U.S. border – a situation she said is “truly an emergency.”
“Smugglers and traffickers have caught on realizing that the outdated laws, lack of resources and bad court decisions effectively give them a free ticket into America,” Nielsen said. “Information about the weaknesses in our system has spread quickly in Central America, in fact they are advertised. And our booming economy under President Trump has made the dangerous journey even more attractive to migrants.”
“As a result, the flow of families and children has become a flood. In the past five years we have seen a 620 percent increase in families or those posing as families apprehended at the border. The last fiscal year was the highest on record.
“And of great concern to me is that the children are used as pawns to get into our country,” Nielsen continued. “We have encountered recycling rings where innocent young people are used multiple times to help aliens gain illegal entry. As a nation, we simply cannot stand for this. We must fix the system.”
Nielsen revealed that Customs and Border Patrol agents apprehended or encountered a stunning 75,000 migrants attempting to illegally enter in the United States in the month of February alone – an 80 percent increase over the same period last year – and that the agency is already on pace to apprehend more migrants in the first six months of this fiscal year than the entirety of FY 2017.
Nielsen warned that if the crisis continues on its current trajectory, it “will overwhelm the system entirely.”
She also explained that due to changing migration flows and demographics of arrivals, combined with laws and policies currently in place, most are now released into the United States “with virtually no hope of removing them in the future.”
“The vast majority of these individuals are from Central America,” Nielsen said. “While many of them initially claim asylum and are let into the United States, only one in 10 are ultimately granted asylum by an immigration judge. Unfortunately when it comes time to remove the other 90 percent, they have often disappeared into the interior of our country.”
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