Arizona Republican U.S. Senator Martha McSally says border agents are being overwhelmed by the drastic increase in asylum seekers in her state. She spoke Monday at a roundtable discussion at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office in Phoenix.
"They were saying sometimes 60 percent of their staff is spending processing, running medical, medical support, and not doing their job of border security," said the senator.
McSally says 268,000 migrants have been apprehended at the border since the start of the fiscal year, a 97 percent increase over last year.
"We have about 2,000 migrants every single day that are being apprehended at the southern border," McSally claimed.
She says she does not want to see the southern border shut down, because legitimate trade and travel are important to Arizona.
"I believe we need to keep legitimate trade and travel flowing through our border ports of entry," added the senator. "It's important for Arizona's economy, it's important for our jobs. But we also have to secure the border, so that's what I'm going the focus I'm having when I get to D.C."
McSally says increased apprehensions are leading to many migrants being released in Arizona.
"In Arizona over the last three months 18,500 migrants have been released into the community because of the challenges (ICE has) related to staffing and related to kind of capacity."