Former DHS Secretary Worries About Border Crisis

Jeh Johnson, Former Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security | Photo by Riccardo Savi/Getty Images for Concordia Summit

Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, who served under former President Barack Obama from 2013 to 2017, said during an interview on Wednesday that the crisis at the southern border has gotten out of hand and is difficult to deal with due to the discrepancy in ideology between the country’s two main political parties.

Johnson made an appearance on Fox News’ Your World, stating, “No matter who the president is, there’s a hemispheric shift northward because of drought, famine, corruption, crime, violence, etcetera.”

“And what frustrates me about this debate … is a solution is at hand,” he added, per Fox News.

The solution proposed by Johnson was the border security bill that was shot down by the Senate last month, a bill the former DHS secretary told Fox News would be the “strongest, most pro-border security bill that has been negotiated in decades.”

Despite Johnson’s claims about the bill, many Senate Republicans were against it because a large portion of taxpayer spending was allocated to provide aid to foreign countries.

The bill would have provided roughly $86.5 billion in taxpayer money to foreign countries while providing just $20.23 billion to “address existing operational needs and expand capabilities at our nation’s borders, resource the new border policies included in the package, and help stop the flow of fentanyl and other narcotics,” the Senate Appropriations Committee said, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

Johnson addressed opponents of the bill and said that disagreements between the two parties have led to difficulty in creating bipartisan bills.

“The frustrating thing about … our broken immigration system [is] there are solutions, but they are politically unobtainable because this is such a politically volatile issue,” he argued, per Fox News.

Johnson’s sentiments are not new, as the former DHS secretary appeared on Fox & Friends at the end of February to discuss similar concerns.

He claimed during the interview that DHS had “315,000 apprehensions in all of the year 2015,” adding that the ongoing crisis will affect more than just states along the southern border.

“Just for some perspective here, I understand the numbers have dropped a bit as of late, but longer-term big picture, this is a hemispheric shift northward. It’s a crisis on multiple levels in multiple places,” he told Fox & Friends.

Johnson’s remarks come amid an ongoing crisis at the southern border, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reported incredibly high numbers of encounters with unlawful migrants.

Since President Joe Biden took office in 2021, the agency has reported more than 7.5 million encounters. In addition, the House Homeland Security Committee reported an excess of 1.8 million “gotaways” during the same period.

Concerns about the border have prompted multiple officials currently in the U.S. government to voice their opinions as well, as FBI Director Christopher Wray testified on Monday that the agency has been concerned about potential threats crossing the border.

“And that includes everything from drug trafficking — the FBI alone seized enough fentanyl in the last two years to kill 270 million people — that’s just on the fentanyl side,” Wray said, as previously reported by DX.

“An awful lot of the violent crime in the United States is at the hands of gangs who are themselves involved in the distribution of that fentanyl.”

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