(CNSNews.com) - Speaking at a National Security Forum on Capitol Hill Thursday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said "loopholes" in current law encourage foreigners to keep making the dangerous trip through Mexico to the United States.
And many will be sent home.
"The asylum system right now is so broken that we have a 600,000 case backlog. Which means within that 600,000, there are those who truly need our protection, and they're in limbo because we just can't get to them.
"Eighty percent of the people we see now coming across the border seeking asylum are never granted asylum by a judge. That's after multiple appeals. So it is a process that is...full of abuse."
Nielsen also said that of the 12,000 minors currently housed in Health and Human Services facilities, 10,000 are unaccompanied children, "which means 10,000 of those kids were sent here without a parent, without a legal guardian, in the hands of smugglers, in the hands of traffickers.
"Anyone who's ever asked those children or looked at the facts -- it's horrifying. I mean, these children, some of them are raped, they're abused, many of them come, they're already recruited into a gang because that was the only way they could survive the travel."
(This week, liberal activists have focused on the 2,000-plus children who were separated from their parents, because their parents crossed the border illegally and were detained for prosecution and eventual deportation. President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday directing that parents who cross illegally with their children be detained as a family unit, but critics now say the order does not explain how the 2,000-plus children now in government custody will be reunited with their parents.)
Nielsen on Thursday said aside from the adults and children seeking a better life in the U.S., "ten known, suspected terrorists" try to cross into the country every day. Terrorists also plot how to smuggle weapons across the border; and transnational criminal organizations traffic in deadly drugs.
"So there's a lot coming across the border that we have to fix," Nielsen said. She added that the bills being considered Thursday by the House of Representatives would help secure the border by adding manpower and technology and also by raising the bar for asylum.
President Trump tweeted on Thursday:
Democrats want open Borders, where anyone can come into our Country, and stay. This is Nancy Pelosi’s dream. It won’t happen!
What is the purpose of the House doing good immigration bills when you need 9 votes by Democrats in the Senate, and the Dems are only looking to Obstruct (which they feel is good for them in the Mid-Terms). Republicans must get rid of the stupid Filibuster Rule-it is killing you!
The Border has been a big mess and problem for many years. At some point Schumer and Pelosi, who are weak on Crime and Border security, will be forced to do a real deal, so easy, that solves this long time problem. Schumer used to want Border security - now he’ll take Crime!
We shouldn’t be hiring judges by the thousands, as our ridiculous immigration laws demand, we should be changing our laws, building the Wall, hire Border Agents and Ice and not let people come into our country based on the legal phrase they are told to say as their password.