DHS Advisory Council recommends 'emergency' steps for family surge at the border

EL PASO, TEXAS - FEBRUARY 01: Central American immigrants walk along the border fence after crossing the Rio Grande from Mexico on February 01, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. The migrants later turned themselves in to U.S. Border Patrol agents, seeking political asylum in the United States. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

(CNN)The Homeland Security Advisory Council announced emergency actions on Tuesday that the Department of Homeland Security should take to address the surge of migrant families and children, primarily from Central America, arriving at the US-Mexico border.

The first recommendation is for CBP to establish three or four regional processing centers along the border to shelter all families apprehended at the border, moving the care of migrants away from US Border Patrol.
"The view of the panel, is that thousands of migrants children and national security of our nation are in danger," said retired Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator and council committee Chair Karen Tandy on a public call regarding the council's recommendations and findings.
    "We recognize that this may require a supplemental of several billions of dollars for construction and administrative costs, but it is the only way to ensure treatment of migrant children that conforms to our values," reads a draft report of the findings.
    The panel was due to provide a full recommendations in May, but presented its "emergency interim report" Tuesday in order to address the surge in families and "what the committee views needs to be undertaken immediately."
    US Border Patrol doesn't currently have the ability to take care of "phenomenal needs" of the migrants. For example, one Border Patrol station had to take migrants on a 120-mile round trip "just to provide a shower," Tandy said.
    "They [CBP] have cannibalized their special units, taking away form training, horse patrol and other special units to provide care," Tandy said.
    The council also made a number of recommendations for congressional action, including modifying asylum procedures, at least temporarily, so that a hearing and decision can be provided to family members within 20 or 30 days.
    The council also recommended a "roll back" of the Flores decision by "exempting children accompanied by a parent or relative, who is acting as the guardian of the child."
    DHS also should be given discretion to detain a close relative with a non-parent family member when this is in the best interest of the child, the council found. The report also recommends that Congress require asylum claims be made at ports of entry, and at the same time provide resources to handle the claims and "put an end to metering."
    When asked if the council considered alternatives to detention, rather than change