The crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border is finally being accepted as such but Congress must allow for specific policy changes that will alleviate the turmoil, according to a Customs and Border Protection official.
The funding Congress approved is helping conditions but there is a long way to go until the border is secure and detainees are handled efficiently, CBP Deputy Commissioner Robert Perez claimed Friday on “Your World.”
“We have been, in CBP and the Department of Homeland Security, sounding the alarm on the overcrowding and the unprecedented migration crisis for the better part of 18 months,” he said.
“It’s universally accepted now that we do have a crisis.
“And now, we need targeted changes to the legal framework to get to the heart of the matter.”
In addition, Perez said his department needs help going after people he believes to be willing participants accentuating the crisis.
“Alien smuggling organizations are profiting off the back of this crisis — off the back of children by virtue of smuggling children and using them as virtual passports across the border… to profit their illegal endeavors.
“The targeted changes to the legal framework absolutely have to change to end this crisis.”
In regard to critiques from lawmakers who claim officials have been less than forthcoming about conditions on the border and have aggravated the situation, Perez said his officers have acted responsibly.
“We have been open and honest about that discussion,” he said.
“We’ve invited congressional delegations every month, multiple times… in addition to all of the oversight that we’ve had to our facilities so that they could see first hand the challenges we are facing.”
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