U.S. Sen. Johnson: Recaps border visit in interviews with Fox News, CNN

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Austin Altenburg

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, talked about his impressions from his recent trip to the El Paso sector of the southwest border during interviews with Fox News’ America’s Newsroom and CNN’s Inside Politics today.

Excerpts from his interviews are below.

America’s Newsroom (video)

“We need a consequence for people entering this country illegally or we’ll continue to see an increase in the number of people attempting to do it.”

“Only about 15% of those people claiming asylum actually have a valid asylum claim. So we need to rapidly determine who has the valid asylum claim. We probably need a higher standard so we more accurately assess who has a valid asylum claim. And then those that don’t have a valid asylum claim, we need to remove them so there is a consequence. If we start doing that … you’ll see a dramatic reduction in people trying to get into the country illegally.”

“Since DACA was instituted in 2012, we’re approaching 900,000 unaccompanied children [and] primarily people in family units having been let into the country. They’re staying long term. Nobody really knows where they went. We have no real accounting where these people are, and the numbers are growing.”

“We held two great hearings in our committee the last couple of weeks and really laid out the reality. I had Democrat senators coming up to me afterward saying, ‘you’re right, let’s sit down, we need to fix this problem.’”

Inside Politics (video)

“This is a crisis. We have a completely unsecured border. We are basically being used by the human traffickers in their $100 million enterprise here, and we are helping them out.”

“The way to solve this problem – in the end, once adjudicated, only about 15% have a valid asylum claim – so what we need to do, is we need to have a more rapid and more accurate initial determination on an asylum claim while we have people in custody for a few days. Until this really spiked, it took about eight days to come to that initial determination, now it is about 40 to 45. We have to provide the resources, we have to have the facilities to maintain people in custody because if we don’t detain people, we don’t remove them.”

“The ball is clearly in Congress’s court. The administration simply can’t solve this problem on their own. The way you solve any problem is first you lay out the reality. You have to admit you have a problem. We’ve actually come a long ways – I haven’t heard Democrats say this is a manufactured crisis anymore.”

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