July 18 (UPI) -- Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told a House panel Thursday he's been warning Congress for a year about an impending "breaking point" at the U.S.-Mexico border, but lawmakers won't pass needed immigration funding.
McAleenan made the remarks in testimony before the House oversight committee, which wanted clarification on the Trump administration's migrant family separation policy.
He said about 800,000 migrants have crossed into the United States since last October -- 300,000 of whom were children. He also said there would be an "immediate impact" if border agents were given the requested funding and tools to handle the crisis.
McAleenan also addressed concerns migrant children are living in squalid conditions -- without proper medical, running water and food -- saying sufficient medical care is available from medical professionals and border agents.
"I am confident that no law enforcement agency in the world is providing more critical life-savings care," he said.
McAleenan testified before a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.
Panel Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings blamed the Trump administration for separating thousands of migrant children, some as young as 2, from their parents.
"It is the Trump administration's own policies that are causing these problems," he said. "They all increased the number of people being held and unnecessarily detained ... The damage the Trump administration has inflicted and is continuing to inflict will affect these children for the rest of their lives."
Cumming cited statements by U.S. Customs and Border Protection that discussed removing children from their families as a deterrent to other prospective migrants.
"When we're dealing with children, it's not the deed, it's the memory," the Maryland Democrat added. "It's the memory that will haunt them until they die.
"Today's hearing is one more step in our committee's effort to determine the scope of this damage and begin to address it."
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, the panel's ranking Republican, said Congress must address loopholes and root causes of why so many migrants journey to the United States. He criticized Democrats for blocking funds for security and President Donald Trump's wall for months. Only recently did Congress approve $4.6 billion for border security.
"After months of calling this a fake crisis, Democrats have changed their tune," Jordan said.
Thursday's hearing followed a hearing in the Senate homeland committee, at which experts testified as to the harm children receive during detention. CBP is also facing a scandal over a Facebook group of current and former agents that made critical comments about Latin members of Congress. The agents said this week it's investigating 62 current and eight former employees for the posts.