In his first sit-down interview since taking over DHS, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf discussed the dangers of sanctuary cities, border wall construction and new plans to combat the gangs that control the flow of illegal migrants across the border. Wolf spoke to Fox News during a visit to the Texas-Mexico border.
Just prior to his border visit, Wolf met with North Carolina sheriffs, local officials and “Angel Families” to discuss sanctuary city policies. Wolf told Fox’s Brian Kilmeade, “I thought it was important in my first week to call this out and to stand with the men and women of ICE… (Sanctuary cities) are magnets and…havens for criminals, and they make those communities less safe and not more safe. And it makes the officers of ICE, it makes their job more difficult and puts them in danger.” Kilmeade noted that police in North Carolina sanctuary cities refused 480 ICE detainer requests during fiscal year 2019.
On the topic of the border wall, Kilmeade asked whether the Administration is building new sections or just replacing old ones. Wolf said, “We are building new wall, Brian. Under President Trump's leadership, we built 83 miles. We have another 153 under construction and we are on track to build between 450 and 500 miles by the end of 2020. I hear this fallacy that we are replacing wall, we are not building new wall. I would say if you are going to tear down a shack and build a five- or six-bedroom house you don't call that a replacement shack. You call that a new house. When we are building and tearing down 7- to 8-foot shanty landy matte wall with an 18- to 30-foot wall. That's new wall. It gives the border patrol, the agents at CBP new capabilities they have never had before.”
Wolf also said his agency is “going after” the financing of the transnational criminal organizations. "The TCOs and cartels, they control the southern side of the border — they have to be paid, they have to be compensated for any of these large flows coming across the border. You eliminate that (with the Migrant Protection Protocols) and you eliminate their ability to recruit in Central America and bring these folks up… The importance of MPP can’t be stated enough. It is what’s allowed us to take control of the crisis that we saw in April and May. The idea is to make sure we process individuals in a timely manner but make sure they wait south of the border…(But if) you get an adverse court ruling on MPP, it’s going to make the job of the men and women of Border Patrol…very difficult.”
As for next steps, Wolf said he needs Congress’ help in controlling the border. Beyond more funding for the Border Patrol and ICE, he wants Congress to: extend the amount of time alien minors and their parents can be kept in custody; strengthen the initial “credible fear” standard so that non-viable asylum applicants are routed out; and deem Central American unaccompanied minors to be the same as those from Mexico for deportation purposes.
Updated: Wed, Dec 11th 2019 @ 4:35pm EST