Illegal immigration is a ‘crisis,’ says Trump’s border security boss

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Illegal immigration is a ‘crisis,’ says Trump’s border security boss

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Kevin McAleenan on Tuesday called illegal border crossings into the U.S. a “crisis” — even as border arrests remain lower than levels in past decades.

Speaking at the 2018 POLITICO Pro Summit, McAleenan cited the shift of the migrant population to children and families in recent years.

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He argued that the U.S. immigration system attracts that vulnerable population to trek to the border.

“I would say that’s a crisis,” he told moderator Luiza Ch. Savage, POLITICO’s editorial director for cross platform content and executive director of POLITICO Pro Canada.

According to government statistics, arrests along the southern border rose from about 25,000 in October to about 40,000 in May (before falling in June to about 34,000). But that’s well below the rate of monthly arrests in the early 2000s, which averaged above 100,000.

McAleenan also mentioned profits that smugglers in Mexico earn from illegal immigration and the loss of young people in Central America.

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