U.S. Hits 'Breaking Point' at Southern Border, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Says

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 28, 2019 | Go to article overview

U.S. Hits 'Breaking Point' at Southern Border, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Says


Byline: Nick Miroff and Maria Sacchetti The Washington Post WP Bloomberg

EL PASO, Texas -- Outside a Border Patrol station overflowing with Central American families, the top U.S. border security official made an urgent appeal to lawmakers Wednesday for more resources and authorities, warning of an unprecedented migration surge that has pushed his agency to "the breaking point."

Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, gathered reporters and television cameras near an improvised holding pen beneath an overpass where U.S. agents have been processing hundreds of parents and children in a dusty parking lot. He said he has warned Congress of the unfolding chaos and called for immediate action to "address this broken framework."

"That breaking point has arrived this week at our border," he said. "CBP is facing an unprecedented humanitarian and border security crisis all along our southwest border and nowhere has that crisis manifested more acutely than here in El Paso."

Just before the commissioner began speaking, a group of nine parents and children from El Salvador and Panama traversed the Rio Grande, and agents led them to the processing center on foot.

McAleenan's statements reflect the growing desperation among Homeland Security officials faced with a border influx that is on pace to be the largest in more than a decade, led by Guatemalan and Honduran asylum seekers who arrive with children and surrender to U.S. agents. McAleenan said his agency currently has 12,000 migrants in its custody.

"A high number is 4,000," he said. "Six thousand is crisis level. Twelve thousand is unprecedented."

McAleenan said Border Patrol holding stations are so dangerously overcrowded that CBP is releasing migrants directly into the United States for the first time in more than a decade.

Some have been seriously ill, including infants with 105 degree fevers, a two-year-old suffering seizures in the desert, a 19-year-old woman with a congenital heart defect who needs emergency surgery and a 40-year-old man suffering multi-organ failure. Others have lice, the flu, and chickenpox.

"We are doing everything we can to simply avoid a tragedy in a CBP facility," McAleenan said. "But with these numbers, with the types of illnesses we're seeing at the border, I fear that it's just a matter of time."

He blamed the surge on smugglers and U.S. laws that he said encourage illegal migration because migrants are virtually guaranteed to be released in the United States.

"There's no questioning why this is happening," he said.

Thousands more Central Americans are waiting in Mexico, at shelters in Ciudad Juarez, and U.S. officials believe they likely will cross the river in coming days and weeks.

Though Border Patrol apprehensions remain below their annual peak of 1.6 million in 2000, the nature of the increasing migration flows has shifted dramatically, and that shift is driving the alarm. In prior eras, most of the migrants were adult men who could be easily deported to Mexico; now, many of those attempting to cross the border are asylum-seeking Central American families and, to a lesser degree, minors traveling on their own. Because those seeking asylum have a legal right to have their cases evaluated, most families are released into the United States to await hearings in clogged immigration courts, a process that can take months or years.

President Donald Trump has cited the immigration surge to bolster his push for a border wall. The migrants arriving here are crossing the Rio Grande, arriving in place where the United States already has formidable, modern border barriers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

U.S. Hits 'Breaking Point' at Southern Border, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Says
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.