Last week I went to the border with President Trump and a few of my colleagues in Congress. The number of people fleeing their homelands in Central America to come to the United States is staggering.
I want to go over some of those numbers and the data behind this extremely important situation.
Before I do that, I also wanted to offer my sincere thanks to our brave Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents who are on the front-lines of ensuring our borders are safe.
While this might not get much coverage in the news, I met agents who would show up having bought diapers and baby wipes out of their own pockets to try to help children.
We owe a debt of gratitude to these agents who are working tirelessly to help fight the serious problems we are facing on our southern border.
This is a crisis that is growing by the hour.
Here are some of the staggering numbers and data from CBP from the last few weeks:
- Unauthorized border crossings at a 12-year high
- 50% increase in unaccompanied children
- 66,450 crossed the border illegally in February, an increase of 18,000 from January
- 103,000 apprehensions in March
- In El Centro, California sector with border-wall, illegal crossings are down 75%
- Detention facilities are at 97% capacity
Border Patrol Agents are apprehending a record number of migrants.
We have appropriated billions of dollars to Central American nations since 2014 when I went to the border as the head of the task force to address the crisis of unaccompanied children coming into the United States. What was a crisis at that time mainly affecting children and teenagers has exploded to encompass whole families.
We made it clear that the funds we appropriated would have strings attached to it and would be reviewed and suspended if it was not working. Where programs are not working, funds should be redirected to programs that will help solve these problems.
Let me be clear- funding alone will not solve this problem. If we are truly serious, Congress must also change the law—particularly when it comes to asylum seekers.
Member of Congress