Ed’s most recent post focused on Trump DHS Secretary saying we have a crisis at the border. Today she was backed up by former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson who served under the Obama administration. Johnson appeared on Morning Joe and said he can’t imagine how overtaxed the system is now given the sheer number of people arriving at the border every day.
“When I was in office at Kirstjen Nielsen’s job, at her desk, I’d get to work around 6:30 in the morning and there’d be my intelligence book, sitting on my desk,” Johnson said. He continued, “The PDB and also the apprehension numbers from the day before. And I’d look at them every morning…and my staff will tell you if it was under 1,000 apprehensions the day before that was a relatively good number. And if it was above 1,000 that was a relatively bad number and I was going to be in a bad mood the whole day.
“On Tuesday there were 4,000 apprehensions. I know that a thousand overwhelms the system. I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like, so we are truly in a crisis.”
Clearly, Johnson agrees that what we’re seeing at the border right now is a genuine crisis and not, as many Democrats have claimed, a manufactured crisis. He disagrees with President Trump that a wall would solve the problem but at least he’s broken out of the left-wing talking points that no longer have any connection to reality.
Johnson’s solution, as he said this morning and as he has said before is more investment in Central America to try to change the conditions that are driving people to the border. Here’s what he said in January on Face the Nation:
MARGARET BRENNAN: –units coming across the border. They’re saying this is a crisis now, and it sounds like the one you saw coming. So this is a unique challenge for them. Are they wrong to call that a crisis?
JEH JOHNSON: It is very definitely humanitarian crisis because of the poverty and violence in Central America. And the way to deal with this problem, frankly, is make a long-term investment in helping to eradicate the poverty and violence in the three countries that are probably the most violent on Earth. That’s not a quick, simple, easy fix which Washington likes.
MARGARET BRENNAN: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
JEH JOHNSON: Correct. And so we need to make a long-term political commitment to investing and dealing with those push factors, otherwise we’re going to continue to deal with this problem for a very long time.
The problem, of course, is that a long term solution, even if it works, won’t help the Border Patrol deal with the problem of 4,000 people arriving every day. There are already people like AOC and other Democrats appearing on MSNBC who are attacking the CBP for not handling the crisis better at this moment. A long-term solution doesn’t solve the problem we have now. But many Democrats seem content to go from claiming there is no crisis to waving the images of the crisis like a bloody shirt. They don’t really want a solution, they just want to beat up on the Trump administration with whatever is at hand.