By Steve Neavling
Donald Trump’s continued rhetoric about building a wall at the U.S.-Mexican border is far from enough to stop the increasing number of illegal immigrants from reaching America, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“Border security alone cannot overcome the powerful push factors of poverty and violence that exist in Central America,” Johnson said in a statement. “Walls alone cannot prevent illegal migration. Ultimately, the solution is long-term investment in Central America to address the underlying push factors in the region.”
Johnson is urging Congress and the next administration to enact immigration reform and handle the root causes of migration.
Johnson said 77,000 more immigrants were captured at the border this fiscal year compared to the previous one.
More than 400,000 people apprehended at the border in the 2016 fiscal year, which ended in September.
“Fewer Mexicans and single adults are attempting to cross the border without authorization, but more families and unaccompanied children are fleeing poverty and violence in Central America,” Johnson said. “In 2014, Central Americans apprehended on the southern border outnumbered Mexicans for the first time. In 2016, it happened again.”