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DHS Statement on President Trump Visit to Border Wall Prototypes

WASHINGTON – Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Acting Chief of the Border Patrol Carla Provost, and Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan released the following statements after President Donald J. Trump received an operational briefing at the border wall prototypes in San Diego, California:

“The border wall is only one of the tools we need to secure the border – the wall system also involves mission-ready agents, patrol roads, sensor technology, and support resources,” said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. “But importantly it also includes the ability to promptly remove illegal aliens, terrorists and criminals, closing often exploited loopholes in our immigration system. After speaking with our frontline operators at the border today, their message underscores the urgency for Congress to take action and find legislative solutions to secure our border and make America safe. I want to thank President Trump for his steadfast support for the men and women of DHS and what they need to execute their mission.”

“At CBP, we are committed to keeping America safe by securing our borders, and that includes enhancing our border wall system,” said Acting Chief of the Border Patrol, Carla Provost. “In our experience, walls work. With the right combination of a wall, technology, infrastructure and agents, we have been successful in denying and impeding illegal border crossers. Unfortunately, infrastructure alone will not deter migrants from taking a dangerous path towards illegally entering our country. Current loopholes in our immigration laws pertaining to family units and unaccompanied minors have created a path to entering America illegally. Without legislative changes to these loopholes, we will continue to see a rush to the border by young migrants, and adults with children. The dangerous journey to attempt to enter our country illegally is no place for children and without closing these loopholes, more and more people will be put in harm’s way.”

“ICE has made significant progress in enforcing immigration law and removing criminal aliens and public safety threats from local communities,” said Deputy Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Tom Homan. “That includes increasing arrests by 43 percent, increasing interior removals by 30 percent, and achieving the highest number of MS-13 arrests by the agency since 2008. However, until Congress addresses the underlying causes of illegal immigration, we can’t reach a lasting solution to this problem. We need to address misguided policies and loopholes that serve as pull factors for illegal aliens, we need to stop dangerous sanctuary city policies, and we need a border wall, without which ICE’s work only grows in difficulty and danger.”

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