The border security system is in a "meltdown" that is getting worse day-by-day as more immigrants pour in, acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Ron Vitiello said Thursday, while denying contentions from critics who call the matter a manmade crisis that's being overstated to politically benefit President Donald Trump.
"It is an absolute crisis down there," Vitiello told Fox News' "America's Newsroom." "It has humanitarian aspects, border security aspects. This policy can't continue."
He noted that on Wednesday, Customs and Border Patrol reported that there are currently more than 12,000 people in custody.
"We're maxed out in ICE capacity and looking for more detention beds across the country," said Vitiello. "The system is overflowing. As an example, statistically nearly 130,000 families were released into the interior of the United States just since December of last year."
Vitiello said the nation's immigration laws must change for relief to occur, as because of court rulings, children or families can't be held while their immigration proceedings continue.
"If they're in detention while going through proceedings, if they get asylum, we welcome them; if not, then they get removed," said Vitiello."If you can cycle these cases fast enough, people will stop coming because there is no upside to it."
When Trump visits the border Friday, he'll see all resources that are in play, but he'll also see there is no way to legally address the "unbelievable flow" at the border without Congress acting, said Vitiello.
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