'This Crisis Is Real': DHS Sec'y Says Migrants 'Taking Advantage of Immigration Law Loopholes'
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said Thursday that illegal immigrants are taking advantage of "loopholes" found in current immigration law that allow them to enter the country and stay.
Some have accused President Trump of exaggerating the problem of illegal border crossings and asylum-seekers.
California State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) -- who is also a U.S. Senate candidate -- tweeted his opinion on the issue, calling Trump's call to use military force at the border "pointless and expensive."
.@realDonaldTrump can rant all he wants but there’s no imminent influx of asylum seekers coming to US. Border crossings along our southern border are at their lowest since 1971. @JerryBrownGov should ignore Trump’s pointless & expensive call to send National Guard to the border.
— Kevin de Leόn (@kdeleon) April 4, 2018
Nielsen, however, said on "Fox & Friends" that "this crisis is real" and explained that around 50,000 migrants were interdicted at the border last month, a 200 percent increase from March of 2017.
"I never talked to a senator or congressman who doesn't tell me they're in favor of border security, so now is the time to fix it," Nielsen said. "Let's get together and put forward a legislative proposal that can pass."
The president has said other countries are laughing at the United States' immigration laws, which he said "are so weak and so pathetic" that the migrants would be allowed to enter.
He said under the Obama administration's policies, the migrants could be released into the U.S. with a court date, but that many would never show up to court.
Trump on Wednesday signed a proclamation sending the National Guard to secure the southern border immediately.
"Operation Phalanx was a way in which the National Guard could provide air support, so we’d be looking for them to do that ... It’s a lot of support functions that will free up the border patrol to do what they do best, which is enforce border laws," Nielsen said.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) April 3, 2018
Nielsen said she spoke with California Gov. Jerry Brown Wednesday, and that she'd like to have more conversations about how he'd like to secure his border.
Brown has been under scrutiny for signing a sanctuary state legislation that limits the cooperation his law enforcement has with national immigration officials.
Watch the segment above.