Members of the GOP have insisted that President Obama’s $3.7 billion immediate spending demand to curtail the flow of children across the U.S. border is too costly.
Republicans want to pass legislation that would accelerate the deportation of unaccompanied minors. Since the end of 2013, more than 40,000 children from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have turned themselves over to officials at the border.
Senator John McCain, R-Arizona, insists that the best way to stop the flow of children is for them to be returned to their families in their homeland. He stated that it would discourage families and traffickers from sending children to the U.S. border.
While McCain agreed that many of the children are escaping danger and violence at home, he also claimed, “We cannot have an unending stream of children, whether it’d be from Central America or any place else, to come into our country with all of the strains and pressures that it puts on our capabilities.”
The legislation that Republicans want to introduce would allow Central American minors to be deported more quickly. Unaccompanied minors from any country would be able to have a hearing within seven days of their processing by the Human Services and the Department of Health and Human Services. An immigration judge would rule within three days whether the child could stay or would have to be deported.
The Obama administration has agreed to give support for laws that will speed up deportation proceedings, even though prominent congressional Democrats are against it.
Representative Mike McCaul, R-Texas, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, stated that Republicans are contemplating a limited emergency funding bill that would supply aid through the end of the fiscal year.
Representative Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky and House Appropriations Chairman, told reporters that the current bill was excessive, but did not comment on what funding level the committee seeks.
A new poll reported that there is broad public disapproval of both President Obama and Republican congressmen’s handling of the flow of unaccompanied minors at the southern border. In fact 58 percent of Americans, including 54 percent of Latinos, disapprove of Obama’s management of the situation.
66 percent disapprove of the GOP’s handle on the crisis of unaccompanied minors.
The administration’s attitude towards this crisis is also facing opposition from Democrats and immigrant rights organizations who are afraid that deporting the children will put them at risk of returning to dangerous conditions in their home countries.
– Colleen Moore
Sources: USA Today, The Washington Post
Photo: ABC News