Border patrol official says 'highly possible' to see influx of Venezuelan migrants

The chief of law enforcement operations with U.S. Border Patrol, Brian Hastings, told Hill.TV in an interview that aired Thursday on "Rising" that more migrants from Venezuela will likely cross through the southern border amid the country's ongoing political unrest.  

"Highly possible," Hastings told host Buck Sexton on Wednesday when asked whether border patrol expects to see an influx on migrants from Venezuela. 

"Our top three countries that we're seeing now [are] Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras, but we are watching that situation saying 'yes, it could be Venezuela next,' " he continued. 

Venezuela is engulfed in a political crisis, with opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who has been recognized by the U.S. and other countries as president, trapped in a power struggle with leader Nicolás Maduro.

Meanwhile, the debate over the U.S. southern border rages on in Washington. President TrumpDonald John TrumpNASA exec leading moon mission quits weeks after appointment The Hill's Morning Report — After contentious week, Trump heads for Japan Frustration boils over with Senate's 'legislative graveyard' MORE has defended his move to declare a national emergency at the border. Congress is likely to have the votes to pass a resolution rebuking the move but not enough to override a veto. 

However, Hastings told Hill.TV on Wednesday that the situation at the border had reached a breaking point. 

"We are overwhelmed, and we are at crisis level," Hastings said. 

— Julia Manchester