McAleenan concerned border crisis just a "political issue" for some

McAleenan on the border crisis
McAleenan on the border crisis 02:08

On Capitol Hill Thursday, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan defended his efforts to fix the border crisis. Just 24 hours earlier, CBS News met with McAleenan in Texas. It was the first time news cameras were allowed inside the largest detention center for migrant families in the country.

Many of the migrants come from banks of the Rio Grande River. CBS News saw mothers with children. The massive migration is taxing border patrol agents.

"It's about a 260-mile stretch, about 15% of our border, but 40% of the traffic," McAleenan said.

It's the busiest sector and we walked up the same dusty road following the path of migrants, who in the summer heat are often battling fatigue and severe dehydration.

"This area has so many arrivals that our agents have improvised to make sure that frankly people who would want to turn themselves in, know the direction to go. It says don't get lost out here," McAleenan said.

Agents told us just a few weeks ago, they found three children who lost their lives in the deadly conditions.

"I'm very concerned that for some it's better as a political issue than a problem solution. We can't have that. We're talking about children at risk. We're talking about agents putting their lives at risk to rescue people," McAleenan said.

Acting DHS chief on immigration loopholes 02:31
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    Norah O'Donnell is the anchor and managing editor of the "CBS Evening News." She also contributes to "60 Minutes."