Former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, who led the Department of Homeland Security during the second half of the Obama Administration, said in a Fox News interview Sunday that the U.S. government must end catch-and-release on the border. Additionally, he said that the Trump Admin. should expand family detention centers like the previous administration did.
"Without a doubt the images and the reality from 2014, just like 2018, are not pretty and so we expanded family detention," Johnson said. " We had, then, 34,000 beds for family detention. Only 95 of 34,000 equipped to deal with families. So, we expanded it and I freely admit it was controversial.
"We believed it was necessary at the time. I still believe it is necessary to maintain a certain capability for families."
He went on to say that the U.S. should equip Border Patrol agents with the necessary tools to enforce immigration laws and address the driving factors that motivate illegal border crossings.
"We can't have catch and release and in my three years we deported or repatriated or returned over a million people," Johnson continued. "But again, you can deal with this on the border. You can try different things. We did not want to go as so far as to seperate families.
"But, unless we deal with the underlying causes that are motivating people to come here in the first place, we're going to continue to bang our heads against the wall on this issue."
Johnson's statement comes after DHS released a report in May showing a huge spike in the number of unaccompanied children and family units attempting to cross the border illegally.
For more on this story, see Washington Examiner.
Updated: Mon, Jul 9th 2018 @ 2:45pm EDT