Rep. Raul Labrador accused Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson of fabricating reasons as to why undocumented immigrants – mostly from Central America – are pouring into the United States in record numbers.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday – just after Johnson – the Idaho congressman, playing on the show’s slogan – “If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press” – said “If it’s Sunday, it’s another administration official making stuff up on ‘Meet the Press.’ It’s really shameful.”
This comment did not sit well with host David Gregory, who asked Labrador to elaborate on what Johnson had lied about during the previous segment.
“Look at what he said. He said the number one reason these children are coming to the United States is because of the violence in these Central American countries. The reality is that the violence has existed in these Central American countries for a long period of time,” Labrador said.
The Republican congressman added that if the administration claim is true, that they are doing everything they can to stem the flow of undocumented migrant children, they would be deporting them immediately.
“The thing that this administration needs to do is immediately deport these families,” Labrador said. “I know it sounds harsh, I know it sounds difficult, but they are creating a crisis at this that is actually going to harm these children.”
Americans are frustrated with the administration’s policy on border security, the congressman added.
“This is an outrageous thing that is happening to these children,” he continued. “The best, safest message we can send to Central America is, if you want Central American families know that they shouldn’t be bringing their children to the United States, is by sending these children back in a humanitarian way.”
During his appearance on “Meet the Press,” Johnson assured Gregory that the Obama administration’s message to Central Americans is that the U.S. border in not open to undocumented immigrants.
“Our message to those who come here illegally: Our border is not open to illegal migration,” he said.
Johnson said the surge of undocumented immigrants flooding into the country is primarily due to poor conditions in Central America. He said though, the U.S. “will stem this tide.”
“We have dramatically reduced the turnaround time from 33 to 4 days,” Johnson said.
A different deportation process is required for children who cross the border alone, Johnson said, who didn’t say whether the children would be ultimately sent out of the country.
“We have to do right by the children,” he said.