DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen affirmed in a written statement that “Our system has been pushed to a breaking point by those who seek open borders. Smugglers, traffickers, and their own parents put . . . minors at risk by embarking on the dangerous and arduous journey north. This crisis is exacerbated by the increase in persons who are entering our custody suffering from severe respiratory illnesses or exhibit some other illness upon apprehension.” Nielsen cited four particular problems,
- an immigration system that rewards parents for sending their children across the border alone,
- a system that prevents parents who bring their children on a dangerous and illegal journey from facing consequences for their actions,
- an asylum process that is not able to quickly help those who qualify for asylum,
- a system that encourages fraudulent claims, and a system that encourages bad actors to coach aliens into making frivolous claims.
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