Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard called out the U.S. immigration system as “vastly outdated and broken” on “Fox and Friends” Thursday.
The representative from Hawaii said the surge in immigrants from Central America over the southern border is “a crisis,” as apprehensions at the border between the U.S. and Mexico surged to 109,144 in April alone, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection
The first seven months of the fiscal year saw more apprehensions and immigrants turned away at the border than in all of 2018.
Gabbard attributed the high number of detainees to “lack of resources being sent there to deal with the large numbers of people who are seeking asylum or trying to come across our borders.”
“That extreme shortage of resources continues to be a problem,” Gabbard said, reiterating the concerns outlined in the plea to Congress. “I think that we’ve also got to recognize that … for people to come into our country legally, our legal immigration system is vastly outdated and broken.”
President Trump asked Congress at the beginning of May to provide $4.5 billion in emergency spending to fund increased measures in response to the “humanitarian and security crisis” at the border.
The funding request stressed that “the speed with which illegal migrants transited through Mexico to reach the United States continues to challenge America's best efforts to keep pace with the overwhelming numbers of migrants arriving at the southern border.”
The request asks for $3.3 billion for humanitarian efforts, which includes $2.8 billion to be allocated to child care services and additional shelter, including another 23,600 beds for unaccompanied children, $1.1 billion for border operations, and $178 million for mission support to aid the system of detention and processing for migrants that is “stressed to the breaking point.”
The request claimed Department of Health and Human Services funding at the border could run dry by June, and suggested HHS could be forced to “divert significant resources from other programs that serve vulnerable populations.”