Will it take more deaths or disaster for Washington to fix immigration and border security?

A national security and humanitarian crisis exists at the U.S.-Mexico border — but, for Democrats, it is not critical enough to join with Republicans to fix broken border control and immigration systems.

Instead of seeking compromise and solutions, Democrats seek to thwart the law and give more attention, aid and comfort to illegals than citizens. “Sanctuary cities” and providing social services have only encouraged illegal immigration, overburdened local governments, and prevented Americans from enjoying the benefits of services they pay for but cannot access.

We are at a near-systemwide meltdown at the southern border. As Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen NielsenKirstjen Michele Nielsen Trump's family separation policy has taken US to 'lowest depth possible,' says former immigration lawyer Four heated moments from House hearing on conditions at border facilities Chuck Todd on administration vacancies: 'Is this any way to run a government?' MORE reiterated on Fox News, everything is on the table to secure the border.

The statistics don’t lie. Despite the Democrats’ claims, this is not a “manufactured crisis."

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Late last year, DHS apprehended an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 migrants per month at the southern border.

Last month, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) apprehensions surpassed 100,000 – the highest monthly total in more than a decade. March 2019 apprehensions were 142 percent higher than in March 2018. On March 27, CBP officers saw the highest total daily apprehensions in more than a decade — 4,117 migrants caught at ports of entry in a single day.

So far this year, approximately100 large groups of migrants have arrived at our border. At the current rate, we are on track to apprehend 1 million migrants at the border this year.

Prior to 2013, one out of every 100 migrants sought asylum. Now, that number has skyrocketed to one out of every 10. President TrumpDonald John TrumpPompeo changes staff for Russia meeting after concerns raised about top negotiator's ties: report House unravels with rise of 'Les Enfants Terrible' Ben Carson: Trump is not a racist and his comments were not racist MORE has warned repeatedly that our border is overwhelmed. Our immigration system was not designed to handle this volume, and our weak borders are being exploited by human traffickers, drug smugglers and violent gangs like MS-13.

Obama administration border officials agree there is a crisis at the southern border. President Obama’s DHS secretary, Jeh Johnson, has said that “we are truly in a crisis.” One former Obama Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official said that the “stunning numbers” are causing a “legitimate crisis.”

Yet, congressional Democrats have been unwilling to work with President Trump to secure the border. The Democrats who have announced so far as 2020 presidential candidates continue to oppose any border wall, have voiced support for tearing down existing barriers, or have called for ICE to be abolished.

On Tuesday, 2020 presidential candidate and former Obama Housing and Urban Development secretary Julian CastroJulian CastroFundraising numbers highlight growing divide in 2020 race 2020 Democrats call Trump's tweets about female Democrats racist Julián Castro: 'Everybody knows that the president acts like a white supremacist' MORE (D-Texas) called for decriminalizing border crossings.

Now is the time for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to act, to close “catch and release” immigration loopholes, and to address the root causes of the crisis at the border. They also need to address the millions of illegals who have been here for decades, as well as the “Dreamers,” those who were brought here as children.

We need to fix a broken visa system, and we must improve the “E-Verify” program to allow needed foreign labor access to American employment as needed and wanted.

The main job of government is to prevent harm, not merely respond to it. Often, it seems that it takes a catastrophic event before the country unites to deal with something that could and should have been prevented.

We are near that stage now.

It’s time to put politics aside and to make 2019’s immigration crisis a priority, instead of the 2020 presidential election cycle.

Perhaps when Democrats come to love their country more than they hate Donald Trump, that will be the time when problems get solved and the nation is served.

But let’s not wait to unite through mourning after some terrible migrant-related tragedy. Let’s act now through duty, honor and patriotism to fix a broken immigration system that has been caused, tolerated and exacerbated by both political parties, by our leaders in Congress and White House administrations, for too long.

Bradley Blakeman was a deputy assistant to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2004. A principal of the 1600 Group, a strategic communications firm, he is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University and a contributor to Fox News and Fox Business.