(CNSNews.com) - In addition to sending National Guard troops to the Southwest border as a force multiplier, the Trump administration is preparing legislation that would allow the speedy return of illegal aliens who are caught crossing into the United States illegally.
President Trump has complained about the current "catch and release" system, where some illegal aliens, including unaccompanied children, are allowed to stay in the United States pending a court hearing, which some never attend.
In a conference call on Wednesday, a senior administration officials told reporters they saw a "significant uptick" in illegal immigration last month, emphasizing the need for action:
"We are going to be sending Congress a legislative package to close these loopholes, so that we can return illegal immigrants in a responsible and expeditious manner, and our expectation will be for rapid action on that legislation in the House and Senate," said the official who spoke on background.
Obviously, as some of you are familiar, there's strong resistance in the Democratic Party to securing the border. You know, we have heard rhetorically Democrat leaders say that they aren't (for) open borders. They do care about border security. Of course, that's belied by their actions and voting records.
But they will have a chance to demonstrate to the American people in the coming days whether or not the Democratic Party wants to officially become the party of open borders. And if they decide to become the party of open borders, I have the feeling that the American voter will be urging them strongly to reconsider that decision, because it's obviously an issue of urgent national security and public safety.
So there'll be a very vigorous legislative strategy. We also expect Senate action on the other House-passed immigration bills, including the Gang Inadmissibilities Bill, Kate's Law, a continued push on sanctuary cities, as well as other measures necessary to protect the safety and security of the United States.
The official predicted that by summertime, "the issue of border security is probably going to be one of the biggest issues on Congress' plate. So I think that -- that that level of attention is going to make it very possible to pass border security legislation."
Another official said the legislative push is all about border security:
"This is about stopping drugs, stopping cartels, stopping the trans-national criminal organizations. And as you know, all of those are interconnected. The same cartels that -- that make money, that derive profit from smuggling drugs, they make money from smuggling humans. They control those routes, and they're -- and they control the process, and the way in which people are able to enter the country illegally.
So by deploying the -- the National Guard in support of our border, Border Patrol, we're going to attack that -- that structure, and that organization, and their profits, and that'll have an impact on their human smuggling, that'll happen on their -- their -- their drug smuggling. That'll happen -- impact their -- their criminal efforts."