(CNSNews.com) – During a cabinet meeting Wednesday, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, speaking via video from San Diego, said that the majority of illegal aliens – 70 percent – are victims of violence on the way to the U.S. border, and one in three women are sexually assaulted.
Furthermore, children “are being recycled” by smugglers using them to get more illegal aliens into the country," she said.
“The human toll is real and shocking. Women are being trafficked and raped. In fact, one out of every three women report they are sexually assaulted on the journey to our borders. Kids are getting abused. They’re getting sick, very sick. Many of them are being recycled and used by smugglers to get more people into the United States, and nearly 70 percent of illegal aliens report being victims of violence along the journey – 70 percent of those traveling north to our country,” Nielsen said.
“Our hearts break for families who have lost children and those who are affected by this violence. We’re doing everything we can to ensure rapid medical care when needed, but the men and women of CBP and ICE are doing the best they can with what they have, but they don’t have the facilities, the resources, and the legal authorities to keep up with this crisis. Only Congress can give them that,” she said.
Nielsen also addressed the number of criminals, gang members, and “potential terrorists” trying to enter the country.
“The southern border’s also the primary entry point for criminal and gang members. Just last year, we apprehended more than 17,000 criminals and 1,000 gang members along the southern border,” the secretary said.
“We are also concerned about potential terrorists as well as you know,” she said. “In 2018 alone, we apprehended 3,000 special interest aliens coming into our country along the southern border. These are aliens that have travel patterns or other characteristics of concern to the intelligence community.”
Nielsen said there are three categories of illegal immigrants arriving at the border: “single adults, family units, and unaccompanied children.”
“In the past, single adults have been the vast majority of illegal aliens. They’re still the easiest for us to handle. We’re able to detain and deport them quickly,” she said.
“Under your administration, Mr. President, we have dramatically ramped up prosecutions of these illegal border crossers with help from the Department of Justice, and we will continue to do so, but the demographics are changing, and the vast majority of the people we see now are family units and unaccompanied children. They now make up about two-thirds of those arriving at our borders,” Nielsen said.
She blamed “poorly written laws and activist court decisions” for making it “virtually impossible to send them home.”
“We’re only allowed as you know to hold families for 21 days. That’s it. Then we have to let them go under the law. Most of them then disappear into the United States. What’s worse, in nine of 10 cases, immigration judges find that these families are not even eligible for asylum in the first place and should be deported, but by then most of them have vanished and escaped the law,” the secretary said.