WASHINGTON – Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin K. McAleenan today released the following statement on the Homeland Security Advisory Committee’s report on CBP Families and Children Care:
“Today, a panel of experts under the DHS Homeland Security Advisory Committee – a nonpartisan federal advisory committee – issued a report on the current humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border. The ‘Emergency Interim Report on CBP Families and Children Care’ made a series of important findings and recommendations to address the crisis that will form key elements of the Department’s response in the coming weeks.
“The unprecedented surge in unaccompanied children and family unit migration is overwhelming our ability to provide humanitarian aid within our immigration system. The reasonable changes proposed by this nonpartisan panel, could dramatically reduce migration of family units from Central America, help eliminate dangerous and illegal border crossings, as well as improve the care of children who are brought on this harrowing journey. These recommendations are essential to secure our border and for the safety and welfare of children living in Central America and elsewhere who will continue to make this dangerous trek north.
“I want to thank the Committee for their diligent and rapid work in producing this report. This emergency report should help inform decision makers throughout the government, and I look forward to discussing the findings with Congress in order to find a common path forward.”
The recommendations included in the report are emergency legislative recommendations; emergency regulatory changes; establishing temporary regional processing centers for all family units; co-locate necessary personnel to facilitate rapid adjudication of asylum claims of family units within the regional processing centers; propose and negotiate a North American Family Protection Initiative (NAFPI) that includes the essential elements of a Safe Third Agreement with Mexico; increase contracted medical and transport professionals; provide additional training and child exploitation safeguards; and for the Acting Secretary to name a DHS Commander/Coordinator to assure a whole of government approach to achieve these goals.
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