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PHOENIX -- U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) told Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that it was naive to not think lax border enforcement was part of the reason behind the recent flood of unaccompanied minors into the country.

Flake questioned Johnson on Wednesday during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Flake added he was disturbed that border patrol agents are being pulled away from their primary job of patrolling.

"How many agents are being pulled away from patrolling to processing the unaccompanied minors and others?" the junior senator said.

Johnson told Flake there was enough manpower for border enforcement duties.

Flake said President Obama needs to make clear that there are consequences to illegally entering the United States.

In the letter to the president, Flake and and Sen. John McCain highlighted lax enforcement of U.S. immigration law as a contributing factor to the increase in the number of unaccompanied children crossing the border.

Jim Cross, Reporter

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