Jeh Johnson: Border Issues Cannot Be Solved by an ‘Easy Fix’

‘People in Washington want quick answers’


JOHNSON: “In the short term, Jonathan, the current secretary of DHS controls the Border Patrol, controls immigration enforcement, controls assets land, sea and air, and there is emergency authority in times like this for the secretary and FEMA to coordinate a broader response that includes the Defense Department, HHS. I know that from my own experience when we had a similar but smaller spike in migration in 2014. People in Washington want quick answers. They want easy fixes like shutdown the border, things of that nature. And this is not an easy fix. It requires a dedicated, sustained effort over multiple administrations to address the push factors. I know from personal experience that the push factors are always more powerful than any level of deterrent you can throw at the problem on the southern border. People in Central America are making the very basic decision to flee a burning building, send their kids up here, even if that means they only stay for three or four years during the pendency of their asylum proceeding. So we have to address the underlying situation. It may take years but that is the answer.”

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