Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson said Sunday he is worried about a recent flu outbreak and deaths at the southern border due to overcrowding but maintained that the larger issue continues to be illegal immigration.
“We’re all concerned,” the Wisconsin Republican said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “They had an outbreak of flu. The believe it might have been H1N1 — highly dangerous. The processing centers are back open, but they are grossly overcrowded because of the unbelievable situation on the border, the out-of-control nature of it.
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“Just the last three weeks, on average, about 23,000 women, children and men are coming over across the border illegally as family units or as unaccompanied children — 22 to 23,000 a week,” Johnson said
“We’re almost eight months into this fiscal year and we’re up about 400,000 in total. If it continues at this pace, in one year, we’ll have about 800,000 unaccompanied children, people who cross the border illegally as a family unit — 800,000. So this is overwhelming our system, and we have to stop it. We have to change our laws to stop rewarding and incentivizing people who cross our border illegally.”
Host Margaret Brennan noted that Congress left last week for recess without allocating money to the border crisis and that Republicans agreed to strip funding from the disaster relief bill.
“Well, first of all, I have been advocating to make sure that the Department of Homeland Security and HHS get the $4.5 billion emergency spending request,” Johnson said. “They need that money. They need it desperately. So hopefully when we get back in session after the Memorial Day holiday, that funding will be quickly appropriated so that those individuals that are doing such a — they’re doing the Lord’s work down there.
“But again, we’re allowing this to happen,” he added. “It’s our broken laws that are sustaining this wicked business model.”