Trump Border Patrol official goes on Fox & Friends to appeal for new law to crack down on families crossing the border
Brian Hastings: "We need changes there so we can apply a consequence to be able to affect that demographic"
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From the April 26 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
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BRIAN KILMEADE (CO-HOST): Chief, the numbers are continuing to grow. What could you give us from even last night?
BRIAN HASTINGS (CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL CHIEF OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS): Yeah, so as of yesterday, we've seen those numbers continue to grow. As of yesterday, 440,000 apprehensions along the southwest border. Very concerning for us. And it's more so because it's the change in demographics. So you're talking historically 70 to 90% of those that we were arresting we could quickly return to the contiguous Mexico. Whereas today we are seeing up to 83% of those coming across the border from the Northern Triangle, and about 63% of those are family units and children, which we basically have no consequence that we can apply that group. So, you know, we see these numbers continue to rise with the outdated laws that we currently have in place. We need changes there so we can apply a consequence to be able to affect that demographic.
KILMEADE: Chief, what you're saying in a very deliberate way is we solved the Mexicans coming across the border issue by saying that you [are] going right back. If we tell these people -- and just because they don't have guns and fixed bayonets -- that sadly, they have to go back and do it the right way, they will -- it'll begin to stop the flood. But right now there's a flood because the way is we hold them 20 days, and we let them go. We are letting in a million a week, basically, into the infrastructure of our country.
HASTINGS: Well, I mean, like I said before, there is no consequence that we can apply to this group currently. We're overwhelmed. If you look at the agents on the border, they're doing a tremendous job trying to deal with what, with this flow and this amount of family units. Our facilities weren't built for this type of demographic. We know we have added a lot of medical assistants down to the southwest border. We've surged agents. We've got the office of field operations assisting as well. The Department of Defense is assisting, but -- all of these are assisting but they're short-term solutions where we need a change in the current outdated laws that we're dealing with for this current demographic and this crisis that we have.
KILMEADE: So you would like to see a piece of legislation come forward. It was supposed to come out of Sen.Lindsey Graham's committee, I don't know where it is, and then let people vote on it. And anyone who comes down and sees what you see, and what you're experiencing, it shouldn't be a Democrat or Republican thing. In the past as Jeh Johnson told us as Homeland Security secretary, he went up to Republicans and said this is what I need, and he got it. How frustrating it is that now a different administration in power and they're not getting what you say we need?
HASTINGS: Well, the agents on the ground are frustrated. They're doing the best they can with the resources they have. and you know we -- there just, it's a strictly a flow issue and it's the amount of volume that they're dealing with, it's creating capacity issues for us to be able to simply process the individuals and get them out of our custody. It's overwhelmed the entire system, not just Border Patrol, ICE, with having additional bed space to be able to house those individuals. Even the single adult population having -- being able to apply consequence to them and have the bed space for them. So, you know, it's overwhelming our agents strictly with pulling from the national security mission in order to do this humanitarian mission based upon the flow and those from the Northern Triangle that we're seeing -- many of whom have never received inoculations. They've never seen a doctor before. They've been on a long, crowded trip in confined areas. Many showing up on the border sick. Many needing to see a doctor, which again pulls from our resources as we take those individuals to see medical staff. And then a lot of our agents. Up to 40% of our agents at any given time are processing. That should say -- that in and of itself is pulling from those border security resources.
KILMEADE: Four hundred and fourteen thousand have come across already in the first six months of 2019. We had 396 [thousand] all of last year. The numbers don't lie. How soon until we're talking about humanitarian disaster within one of those facilities, because just statistics say it's going to happen. And they're going to point all fingers at you when it really should go right to Washington. Chief Brian Hastings, thanks so much.