Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, just back from a visit to the southern border, said Tuesday that both U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) want President Biden to revert to former President Trump's border policies.
Interviewed on the John Solomon Reports podcast, Malliotakis was asked what CBP and ICE are asking for to solve the border crisis. "Well, first and foremost, they do want the policies reversed," the New York Republican said. "They said that this was a preventable crisis, the policies that were put in place by President Trump were working, and they want President Biden to reverse it.
"Second thing that they suggested was if we put a court facility at the border where those asylum claims can be heard quicker, it would ease a lot of things, because individuals who are released into the country and are given a court date, many of them don't show up. And the reason for that is less than 10% end up having a legitimate asylum claim."
Malliotakis cited another item near the top of the immigration law enforcement agents' wish list: "Reinstate cooperation with Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico, in terms of individuals remaining in Central America as they await their court dates."
Malliotakis was alarmed by the scope of the health and humanitarian crises that overcrowded border facilities are causing.
"It's also a humanitarian crisis," she said, "when you see these children sleeping on top of each other — I mean, a facility that was meant for 250 — capacity of 250 — they have 4,000 individuals, okay? And they're not screening for COVID. HHS does that when they're about to leave the facility, which could be like a month later."
"The Customs and Border Patrol, they're begging for help," Malliotakis said. "They are begging for help. And they want us to get the message out there.
"There have been enough members of Congress, now — bipartisan — that have visited the border, in which we are highlighting the humanitarian crisis, the national security issue, as well as the cost to the American taxpayer, which is completely unsustainable, because it needs to be reversed.
Malliotakis had a message of her own for Vice President Kamala Harris, who was tasked with stemming the tide of illegal immigration — but hasn't found time to visit the border to gain a first-hand impression of the dimensions of the problem.
"I know that if the vice president were to go down there, which she absolutely should — she should have been there weeks ago when she was first appointed head of the problem," Malliotakis said. "The fact that she hasn't gone there speaks volumes. She was in a bakery in Chicago, eating cookies, when meanwhile you have this devastation occurring at the southern border. And it's really unconscionable and irresponsible, she needs to get down there as soon as possible."