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Immigration

REPORT: Trump Considers Creating ‘Immigration Czar’ Post to Address Border Crisis

President Donald Trump talks to reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Fla., March 29, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The Trump administration is considering creating a new “immigration czar” position to manage the recent influx of illegal immigrants at the southern border, the Associated Press reported Monday.

Former Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach and former Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinelli are reportedly under consideration to fill the new position, which would either be housed in the Department of Homeland Security or the White House.

The report comes three days after Trump threatened in a series of tweets to shut down “the Border, or large sections of the Border,” if Mexican authorities fail to “immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug (sic) our Southern Border.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, in a Sunday tweet thread of her own, echoed Trump’s pronouncements, calling lawmakers’ refusal to modify immigration law in the face of an influx of migrant families “catastrophic.”

Nielsen has repeatedly called on Congress to adapt immigration law to the unique challenge posed by the arrival of massive numbers of families from Central America.

According to DHS data released last month, the number of family units arriving at the border has increased 338 percent since the previous fiscal year while the number of unaccompanied minors has risen by 58 percent.

Because these migrants hail from non-contiguous countries, immigration authorities are prohibited from returning them to their countries of origins and instead must shelter them until they can be seen by an immigration judge. This legal requirement has placed immense pressure on DHS facilities and has forced the agency to release hundreds of migrants who arrived at the border in recent weeks to the care of private charities.

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