By Jon Dougherty
It’s turning out that Jeh Johnson, President Obama’s last secretary of Homeland Security, is one of the more honest, apolitical figures in the former administration, as evidenced by his convincing, even-keeled responses to what’s going on along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Calling the current crush of humanity along the border that the Trump administration is currently navigating “a crisis by any measure,” Johnson said in an interview Thursday anyone in Congress and the cable news commentariat who still denies that is just playing partisan politics.
“This is, in my view, having owned this problem for three years, first, I know what a thousand a day looks like. I saw it myself at border patrol holding stations,” Johnson said.
“I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. It must overwhelm the system,” he added.
“I think we have to get away from Democrat vs. Republican, crisis vs. no crisis.” Johnson continued. “This is a crisis by any measure, and the solution inevitably is bipartisan. It has to be bipartisan. It requires a change in law.”
Johnson, Obama’s DHS secretary from 2013 until the former president left office in January 2017, has regularly called the situation along the border a “crisis.” And he has just as regularly implored Congress to come together to help POTUS Trump solve the problems including ‘loopholes’ in our asylum laws.
Last summer, during an interview with Fox News‘ Chris Wallace, Johnson also freely admitted that yes, the Obama regime also engaged in family separation along the southwestern border, because that was the court-ordered legal standard.
Under him, DHS “expanded family detention” as well as detained some children alone, but added that he believed the decision “was necessary at the time.”
Asked if he “handled” the situation “so well,” Johnson was sympathetic but adamant.
“Without a doubt the images, and the reality, from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty,” Johnson said. “And so we expanded family detention. We had then 34,000 beds for family detention. Only 95 of 34,000 equipped to deal with families. And so we expanded it. I freely admit it was controversial. We believed it was necessary at the time. I still believe it is necessary to remain a certain capability for families.”
He’s talking about these images:
Johnson then repeated a contention he has repeated before, that we “can’t have catch and release.”
“We can’t have catch and release,” said Johnson. “And in my 3 years, we deported or repatriated or returned over a million people.”
Except now we do have catch-and-release again, thanks to Democrats in Congress refusing to step up and work with the GOP and the White House to fix the broken immigration system migrants and their handlers are exploiting.
“We did not want to go so far as to separate families, but unless we deal with the underlying causes that are motivating people in the first place we are going to continue to bang our heads against the wall on this issue,” Johnson said.
Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as discussed a proposal he’s planning to pitch to Trump’s DHS about how to more quickly end catch and release.
“One of the problems we have right now is because the system is so overloaded in terms of detention space,” he told Fox News this week, as reported by Breitbart News.
“We’ve maxed out on the detention space we have. We have to think creatively and make additional space, because if we don’t then all these people who are claiming asylum — they suddenly make the claim and then they suddenly disappear into the fabric of the United States, never to be seen again,” he said.
“My point was we should have processing centers either at U.S. military bases or other facilities where we bring in the thousands upon thousands of trailer homes that FEMA still has … let’s use them to solve this crisis so that we can keep people in comfortable living conditions but instead of just turning them loose and never to be seen again, let’s process their asylum claim quickly,” he continued.
“I would think most people claiming asylum, if it’s a true claim, would want it to be processed quickly. Get it done and if they fail in their attempt to claim asylum, then put them on a passenger plane immediately and fly them back home,” noted Kobach.
He noted that by quickly dismissing bogus asylum claims, as most of them are, and returning migrants home, word would spread in their home countries that the U.S. is no longer a pushover when it comes to gaining entry through the backdoor.
As for Johnson, he told the Left-wing sycophants at MSNBC last month that the border situation was had reached a “crisis.”
“A little bit of context here. When I was in office in Kirstjen Nielsen’s job, at her desk, I’d get to work around 6:30 in the morning, and there would be my intelligence book sitting on my desk, the PDB, and also the apprehension numbers from the day before,” Johnson said.
“My staff would tell you if it was under 1,000 apprehension the day before, that was a relatively good number, and if it was above 1,000, it was a relatively bad number, and I was going to be in a bad mood the whole day.” he continued.
“On Tuesday there were 4,000 apprehensions. I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I can’t imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. So, we are truly in a crisis,” he urged.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10