WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, appeared on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria Bartiromo Sunday to discuss the country’s broken immigration system, border security, and Saturday’s synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh.
Johnson, on the column of people traveling through Mexico:
“We reward people for coming to this country illegally, because if they get in here they’re able to stay. Listen, as troublesome as these ‘caravans’ are, the fact of the matter is, Maria, on an average day last year 1,400 individuals came to this country illegally between the borders. … The broken legal immigration system we have right now is prompting this. We have a lengthy adjudication process, an almost unending appeals process, and of course one of the ways we’re handling this backlog of cases is we just simply grant administrative closures to the tune of close to 900 per day last year. … The main problem is literally our laws, bad court decisions, bad court precedents that incentivize people to come to this country illegally. We need to end that.”
Johnson, whose Families Act would reduce the perverse incentives, on working with Democrats to find areas of agreement:
“Hopefully, we can get agreement from Democrats. Nobody wants to separate families. Hopefully, Democrats want to secure the borders, but I have my doubts because their solution literally is sanctuary cities, open borders, catch-and-release and abolishing ICE.”
Johnson on addressing one specific problem, the 2015 reinterpretation of the Flores settlement that hobbles the government’s ability to handle adults crossing the border illegally with children:
“We need to come to agreement on how to actually fix the settlement so we can detain families and their children together and then adjudicate their claim rapidly so that we can send them home. (Homeland Security Secretary ) Michael Chertoff faced a surge of illegal immigrants from Brazil and (in 2005) established a rapid removal process, sent them back to Brazil. The next year, we went from 33,000 people coming in from Brazil to, the following year, 1,700. We need consequences. We can’t reward people for coming into this country illegally, and right now because we incentivize families coming, we incentivize unaccompanied children, so we’ve had a huge surge of both those types of illegal immigrants.”