Sen. Graham: 'I Saw That 60 Different Nations Are Sending People Here Illegally'

By Susan Jones | July 15, 2019 | 8:00am EDT
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) supports President Trump's tough stance on illegal immigration. (Photo by Ron Sachs/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) accompanied Vice President Mike Pence to Border Patrol detention facilities in Texas on Friday, and like Pence, Graham said he saw what he expected to see:

"I saw a system completely overwhelmed for no good reason," Graham told "Sunday Morning Futures" with Maria Bartiromo:

Our laws are set up such that if you can bring a small child to America coming from Central America, we can only hold a child for 20 days. Then we let the entire family go because we don't want to separate families. We can't process a case in 20 days.

What did I see? Fifty-two thousand people have been released into the interior of the United States from this one Border Patrol area alone. What did I see? A system about to break. I saw brave men and women who are doing an incredible job under difficult circumstances.

And I'm going to introduce a resolution next week praising them, the men and women of the Border Patrol and their allies. I saw 900 illegal immigrants that were captured for coming into our country illegally housed in detention facilities that was meant for 385. So they had to put a tent in the back.

What I saw is a bunch of people who have been here before, broke the law before, and we're not going to let them go. I don't care if they have to stay in these facilities for 400 days. We're not going to let those men go that I saw. It would be dangerous.

And also I saw that 60 different nations are sending people here illegal. We caught people from Iran, Syria, every place in the world. They're coming through our border.

Graham noted that the crowd of men held behind bars at one of the detention facilities all broke the law by entering the country illegally:

"Many of them have done it before, and we're not going to let them go," Graham said:

"This is not a concentration camp that I saw. It is a facility overwhelmed.

"I'm willing to buy beds for these people, so they will have a better place to get a night's sleep, but I'm not going to let them go. And AOC and Democrats are trying to break the system, so that we let these people go," Graham continued.

"They came here illegally, 700-and-something adult males, with criminal backgrounds by many of them, repeat offenders who've been caught before. We're not going to let them go. And I don't care if we have to build tents from Texas to Oklahoma. We're not going to let these people go. They're going to have their day in court. We're going to send them back."

Graham has authored a bill that says you can't apply for asylum in the United States if you're from Central America:

"If you can set one foot on American soul and claim asylum, you're entitled to a hearing. The hearing is years away. You never show up. So you get here home-free.

"I'm saying you can't apply for asylum in America anymore. You got to do it in your home country or Mexico. I'm also saying we can't process a minor claim in 20 days. Give us more time the process minor claims, so families -- 30 percent of the people with small children are fake families.

"The word is out in Central America, you bring a small child to the United States, you're home free. I want to change that narrative. My bill will stop 90 percent of this. We're going to vote before the August recess.

"I'm willing to spend money to help Central America. Democrats have mentioned that. I will do that. But we have got to change our laws, or this never stops."

Graham accused Democrats of "perpetuating a system that's dangerous to children."

"And it's going to result in a national security nightmare for America, because the terrorists could easily get in this group," he said. "It would be so easy for a terrorist from Syria or Iran or someplace else to go to Central America, get in the middle of the group and come to the United States. It would be so easy to do."

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