Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (shown, left), speaking on NBC’s Meet the Press on July 5, said somewhat ambiguously that everyone who crosses the border illegally faces a “pending” deportation proceeding, but added that the Obama administration is looking at ways to “create additional options.”
He added, “There’s deportation proceeding pending against everybody coming illegally across the border. We have to do right by the children, but at the end of the day, our border is not open to illegal migration and we will stem the tide.”
Speaking the same day on ABC’s This Week, Texas Governor Rick Perry (shown, right) observed that he doesn’t think President Obama “particularly cares whether or not the border of the United States is secure.”
And Marine Corps Gen. John Kelly (shown, center), commander of U.S. Southern Command (which is responsible for providing contingency planning and operations in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean) said in an interview with Defense One posted on July 5: “Many argue [that the near collapse of Western Hemisphere societies and the associated drug and illegal immigrant flow] ... do not challenge our national security. I disagree.”
The Obama administration has estimated that 60,000 children unaccompanied by parents or relatives will pour into the United States this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011. Since most come from Central America and can be sent home only by chartered flights, they are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters, including some on military bases.
Johnson echoed the language President Obama used last week in a statement saying he would bypass Congress and take executive action to revamp the U.S. immigration system: “There are a number of things the president and I, within the confines of existing law, can do to fix the broken immigration system. If Congress doesn’t act, we will.”
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