The nation doesn't have enough Border Patrol agents, so it needs the increased manpower the National Guard would bring to support them while they guard the nation's border with Mexico, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson said Friday.
"It is part of the puzzle; it is part of what we need to do," the Wisconsin Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" co-host Sandra Smith. "The president is right, barriers work. Talk to Israel. But we do need increased manpower. Part of the problem is the attrition rate is higher than the hiring rate."
In addition, there are many legal loopholes that are allowing immigrants to enter the United States illegally and stay, said Johnson, and it is also difficult to return many of the people coming into their home countries.
"We can't return unaccompanied children from Central America like we can children from Mexico," he said. "They come into our country and turn themselves in. They go up ports of entry and claim fear and we process them and disburse them around America and never return them."
That constitutes a "huge incentive for further illegal immigration," Johnson said. "We have a horribly broken legal immigration system. That's what [Trump] talks about fixing, which Democrats refuse to even talk about."
Meanwhile, Johnson said Trump's talk of a wall may not mean building a full wall, but Americans do support protecting the border.
"Nobody is talking about a 2,000-mile wall," said the senator. "Barriers actually work. I was in Israel. In two years they constructed a 140-mile wall. Their illegal immigration went from 16,000 down to 16. So walls definitely work."
Personnel is also needed, said Johnson, and more Border Patrol and Customs agents are needed at the border itself, not doing administrative tasks, many of which "are caused by the legal requirements of a very bad law."
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