DHS Panel Calls for Urgent Action to Address the Border Crisis

Washington Free Beacon | 4/17/2019 | Charles Fain Lehman
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BY: Charles Fain Lehman

The border is in a crisis, a panel of experts organized by the Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday, and Congress must act to stop it.

Crisis - Border - Panel - Report - Surge

"There is a real crisis at our border," the panel's new report reads. "An unprecedented surge in family unit migration from Central America is overwhelming our border agencies and our immigration system. This crisis is endangering children."

That is the conclusion of a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC), a group of experts who advise the Secretary of Homeland Security on policy. In October of last year, then-Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen instructed the HSAC to look specifically at DHS policy on the care of children and families (members of which are known as "family units" in DHS terminology).

Response - Council - Panel - Issue - Group

In response, the council created a 10-member, bipartisan panel to study the issue. The group includes two former CBP commissioners, two former DEA administrators, former DHS and DOJ officials, an immigration expert from the Bipartisan Policy Center, the CEO of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and others.

Since Nielsen's letter, illegal immigration by families and unaccompanied minors has exploded. More than 100,000 people were apprehended crossing the border last month, of whom 65 percent were family units or unaccompanied kids. This trend is unlikely to abate—the HSAC report indicates that family unit apprehensions alone are expected to exceed 500,000 through September, the end of the fiscal year.

Children - Crossing - Family - Members - Report

What is more, most of the children crossing, both with family members and unaccompanied, are young—the report estimates that 73 percent of those apprehended are age 12 or under. Many of these children are traumatized by the long, often perilous journey north, and may be exposed to diseases like measles, mumps, and chicken pox. Some are even sexually assaulted along the way.

This wave of children and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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