A deputy director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Wednesday that Republican states were “overstating” what was going on at the border and dismissed those who said the border situation threatened national security.
“I think people are overstating what’s happening at the border,” Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, told CNN hosts Kaitlan Collins and Poppy Harlow. “If you close the border, of course there will be a temporary influx of people, but ultimately it will even out and the federal government has more than enough resources to deal with this.” (RELATED: ‘It’s All Political’: Border Patrol Council President Says Biden Admin Hid Border Numbers To Pass Omnibus)
The ACLU was among groups urging the Supreme Court to uphold a November ruling by U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan to end the use of Title 42 on Dec. 21. The Supreme Court instead kept Title 42 in place in a 5-4 decision, and scheduled arguments in the case for February.
Republican attorneys general fought to keep Title 42 in place, arguing in legal documents that allowing the policy to lapse would cause a sure in border crossing.
United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) encountered over 2.3 million migrants in Fiscal Year 2022, while another 600,000 migrants evaded CBP that fiscal year, Fox News reported. CBP reported encountering 230,000 people in October, the first month of fiscal year 2023, and a record 233,470 people in November, the second month of fiscal year 2023, according to a Friday release.
“You hear people saying, well, this is a national security crisis — if you would see these families at the border, and I know CNN has been down there all the time, these families walk over the border, and they just sit down with their little children wanting to apply for asylum. They’re not bringing drugs, they’re not a danger,” Gelernt said.
The administrator of the of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) outlined the toll drugs smuggled into the country from Mexico, notably fentanyl, took on the United States earlier this year.
“What we see happening at DEA is essentially that there are two cartels in Mexico, the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco New Generation cartel, that are killing Americans with fentanyl at catastrophic and record rates like we have never seen before,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said during an Aug. 19 interview with CBS News. Nearly 108,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2021, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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