DHS official explains Trump administration’s handling of the Southwest border

The number of people apprehended at the border has risen steadily while activists accused the Trump administration of expelling them without due process.
5:47 | 08/09/20

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Transcript for DHS official explains Trump administration’s handling of the Southwest border
The coronavirus crisis is also playing out on the southwest border. It's been closed because of a CDC public health order since March, but the number of people apprehended there has been rising steadily. While activists accuse the trump administration of expelg them without due process. Joining us now is Ken cucchinelli. Thank you so much for your time this morning. I want to jump right to it, some of the people being turned away as part of these rapid expulsions as they're called, include children, infants as young as 8 months old, does the United States have a moral or a legal obligation to hear these asylum claims even during a pandemic? So, the asylum system is still up, but we're operating under the CDC's public health order from mid-march. This has been the case for a number of months now and families of course are kept together and they are turned over, 80%, to your point about the rapid return are now returned in under two hours, they don't come through our facilities. They can and they do make for instance what are called claims, torture claims, those do come to the border patrol facilities and those are adjudicated by uscis officers. But the others go straight back to Mexico, Mexico's been very accommodating in terms of that, and of course we have set up with Mexico for a year and a half now the mpp, the migrant protection protocols. People who are awaiting for asylum hearings wait in Mexico instead of being released in the United States. It changes where they wait, and they wait in Mexico. This is a hot-button issue, strong opinions on all sides, critics argue that there's more aboulitics than public health. When this pandemic is over, and that public health emergency is done, will the asylum process go back to normal, can you promise that today? Well, when there's -- when we're not operating under a public health order and we can safely conduct all of these processes, absolutely. And in fact, we're looking at ways to do some of these processes virtually from Mexico trying to get those setups so we can get people hearings faster, so we can get this process going even before the pandemic ends, which is our goal. We think it's in everybody's interest to move forward as efficiently and as quickly as we can, of course, we have to balance that with the public safety aspect of the covid pandemic. I do want to turn to another topic which is tiktok and president trump's decision to ban the chinese-owned video sharing app, so many of these apps collect personal data on their users, what makes tiktok so much more dangerous in the eyes of the administration than say Google, Facebook and others? So tiktok is owned by a Chinese company and the laws the communist party have put in place, requires the companies to share information on demand, no warrants, none of the protections you would see in the United States with the Chinese communist government there. And that is a major security concern, if -- if the Chinese owner were to divest the foreign part, with say Microsoft, then that obligation for the company operating in the United States would go away, so there's a major concern here and as you noted this is an unusual product or service in that it collects an awful lot of personal information, including beyond just the users, the users -- Mr. Cuccinelli, a quick follow-up question for, tiktok is threatening to sue the administration this week, but as this legal process plays out, what do you tell parents, you're a parent. I have kids at home. Should parents go out and delete this app right now on their kids' phones and devices? I've actually had that conversation in my house. And I've let my kids know what they're dealing with and so my preference as a parent is that they do more listening and viewing than posting, if you will, and I mean, that's one way to be passive about it and still protect that information. You know, the problem is, it happens on a mass scale. It's not one particular kid or one particular person. It's the existence in the united States of a multimillion-person data collection effort that the essentially the spy agencies and the military of communist China can tap into, so it's really more of a meta problem on any given day. Hopefully, there will be a positive, constructive free-market solution to this. But the president is well within his authority to take the step he is to protect the united States and you know, India already banned tiktok as well. So we're not the only country in the world that has this concern but we do have a president obviously who's willing to take action which I think is somewhat unique from our America's history recently. There will definitely be a process to be played out in the coming days. Thank you so much for your time. We had overseas now to

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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