The Obama administration's Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Thursday on Fox & Friends that the influx of immigrant caravans at the Mexico border was "a crisis by any measure."
"This is, in my view, having owned this problem for three years, first, I know what a thousand a day looks like. I saw it myself at border patrol holding stations," Johnson said. "I cannot begin to imagine what 4,000 a day looks like. It must overwhelm the system."
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"I think we have to get away from Democrat vs. Republican, crisis vs. no crisis. This is a crisis by any measure, and the solution inevitably is bipartisan. It has to be bipartisan. It requires a change in law," Johnson said.
Johnson's statement on Thursday echoes what he has said recently.
Last month, Johnson told MSNBC's Morning Joe that "we are truly in a crisis" at the border.
It was reported that in the same month over 100,000 migrants were turned away are apprehended at the southern border, increase over over 100 percent from the same time last year.
"Much media attention has focused on caravans coming across from Central America," Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch said recently. "But the fact is that RGV is receiving caravan-equivalent numbers every seven days."
A number of prominent Democrats have, however, downplayed the severity of the border crisis.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) argued DHS should not oversee immigration because it is "not a security issue." She and other Democrats have also called for abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with the New York senator calling it a "deportation force."
Rep. Jim McGovern (D., Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) have echoed Gillibrand's sentiments.
Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.), who is also running for president, has compared ICE to the Ku Klux Klan.