On Fox News, Portman Reiterates Need to Address Border Crisis
On Fox News’ Your World with guest host Sandra Smith, Senator Portman once again voiced his support for addressing the border crisis through both increased resources and legislative action.
Transcript of his remarks can be found below and a video can be found here.
PORTMAN ON ADDRESSING THE BORDER CRISIS
“There’s a crisis at the border, no question about it. We had a hearing in the Homeland Security Committee and we had the professionals there. The people who are actually on the border – the border patrol, Customs and Border Protection, the ICE folks. We also had someone there from HHS because they handle these unaccompanied kids. It’s unprecedented. We have 4,000 people a day now coming over. More families and kids than ever. More than when President Obama called it a ‘crisis’ several years ago. So we do need to do more. Congress has acted, as you know, recently provide more funding, and that’s necessary.
“Money is not enough. Until you change the laws, you’ll continue to have this magnet with people coming into the United States. We provided more funding. That’s good. There’s more barriers being put up, there’s more border patrol being hired, and we need more actually than what Congress appropriated but it was the most funding ever. We need more judges. We said another 75 immigration judges. We need even more. Here’s the problem. When someone comes to the United States and they’re a family from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, they’re being told by the traffickers, and it’s true, that if you ask for asylum and then during the time you wait for your asylum hearing you are allowed to go into the United States, into the community. That time period is 40 days on average before there’s preliminary test as to whether you qualify. The actual court case takes much longer. That’s just unacceptable. Because often these people don’t show up. And 85 percent are being turned down for asylum eventually. But by then a lot of them have already disappeared in the countryside. So that’s the issue. Until we deal with that, it’s going to be hard to keep people from coming up. There’s ways to do it. There’s something called the Flores decision that needs to be amended. This is a court decision that does not allow us to have people in detention with children more than 20 days. But then there’s the broader issue of how you speed up this system to get people adjudicated quickly.”