GOP lawmaker says border situation threatens US 'integrity'

Rep. Clay HigginsGlen (Clay) Clay HigginsGOP lawmaker vows to catch those responsible for string of arsons at black churches in Louisiana GOP lawmaker says border situation threatens US 'integrity' Nielsen testifies: Five things you need to know MORE (R-La.) told Hill.TV's "Rising" on Tuesday that the "integrity" of the U.S. is being threatened by the situation at the southern border.

"It doesn't take long to understand that our nation's very integrity is threatened — not because we don't have the most compassionate, generous immigration system in the world, we do, but because that system, the infrastructure thereof, is overwhelmed," Higgins, who serves on the House Homeland Security Committee, told hosts Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhat the Mueller report tells us about Putin, Russia and Trump's election Fox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel Anti-US trade war song going viral in China MORE and Republicans have cited a surge in migrants and confiscated drugs to argue there is a crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump in mid-February declared a national emergency to initiate construction of his long-promised border wall, after Congress denied him the funds in a 35-day standoff that resulted in the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

"Congress, myself and my colleagues, we have to do out part to provide those men and women who are tasked with securing our southern border with the infrastructure they've asked for, the funding that they need, the additional manpower they've requested, the enhanced physical barrier that they've requested — all of the above," Higgins said. 

His comments came a day before Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele NielsenKobach gave list of demands to White House for 'immigration czar' job: report Trump ICE director nominee called administration 'heartless' for forcing him out: report Acting DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report MORE is slated to leave the Trump administration.

Kevin McAleenan, the commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will lead the Department of Homeland Security on an acting basis.

"I have complete confidence in her successor, and that the president will make the right choices," Higgins said.

— Julia Manchester