Sen. Lindsey Graham was “blown away” by new statistics showing the U.S. border is being “flooded” with illegal immigrants.
The South Carolina Republican spoke about the stunning new numbers from U.S. Customs and Border Protection as the Senate is set to vote on President Trump’s national emergency declaration, telling Fox New host Martha MacCallum on “The Story” Tuesday, “I was blown away.”
Despite the alarms being sounded for months by Trump and immigration officials about the crisis along the southern U.S. border, naysayers have panned the warnings as fiction, accusing the president of manufacturing a crisis. But according to the latest CBP report, Border Patrol agents have experienced “a more than 300 percent increase” in family apprehensions this year compared to the same time in 2018.
More than 76,000 people tried to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in February, making it the highest number for the month in the last dozen years. Sixty percent of those apprehensions were made up of a combination of 7,249 unaccompanied children and 40,385 family units.
Graham noted that the number of families apprehended at the border compared to last year has gone up 335 percent while there has been a 54 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied minors in custody. He explained that, at a cost of $375 a day to house an unaccompanied minor, the U.S. will be spending $1.6 billion in 2019 in housing costs for these children.
“If this is not a crisis, what the hell would be?” Graham said. “We’re being flooded. The numbers are just through the roof.”
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman told MacCallum that Trump is “disappointed that he’s not able to convince Republicans that this is an emergency.”
“We’re sending a signal to all over Central American that if you make it to America, you’re going to stay,” the senator said, noting his own experience with the border issue for more than a decade.
“We’re being overwhelmed. We’re on track to have 650,000 illegal immigrants apprehended in 2019. It is a crisis,” he said, adding that Trump is on “sound legal footing” in declaring a national emergency at the southern border.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) March 7, 2019
Graham reiterated his support for the president and said he was hoping Republicans would back him as well as the Senate looks to vote on a resolution that would revoke Trump’s national emergency declaration, something that several GOP members, including Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., have indicated they would support.
President Trump sounded off on the estimated one million migrants headed to the U.S. this year: