- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2014

The new commissioner of Customs and Border Protection said the U.S.-Mexico border is “more secure and more safe,” as the White House has touted a drop in the number of unaccompanied children arriving there in recent weeks.

Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske was asked on CNN’s “New Day” if he believed that, practically, the southern border can be truly sealed.

“I guess my analogy would be I was a police chief for a long time both in Buffalo and also in Seattle; people would ask me ‘is this a safe city?’ Everyone had a different definition,” he said. “So if we look at our border today, we have more resources, not only border patrol agents but technology. We have great working relationships, for instance, with the Texas department of public safety, local sheriffs’ departments, local police departments. The border is more secure and more safe.”

He added that crime in cities near the border is low.

“We have a campaign in central America to tell people — parents, relatives — how dangerous the journey is and it is not a path to citizenship if you arrive in this country,” he said.

He did note that United States border patrol stations are not designed to hold a lot of people, particularly young people, for any length of time.

“But because of this influx, we really had to put them somewhere — we had to try to make them as comfortable as possible, we had to make sure they were fed, we had to make sure that they had medical supplies, and then we had to help get them out into other staff facilities that are just much better for them than a border patrol holding facility,” he said.