Illegal immigrant children from noncontiguous countries cannot be turned around at the border or immediately deported. Approximately 60,000 iillegal aliens have crossed the Texas border so far this year — about one-third of them children. Congress has begun drafting bills to address the issue which some consider a humanitarian crisis, others an invasion, and some view the issue as a little bit of both.
President Barack Obama requested $3.7 billion from Congress to deal with the massive influx of illegal immigrants. The hotly debated request has sparked outrage from members on both sides of the political aisle and Americans in general. Those opposed to the substantial expenditure have cited fiscal woes facing legal residents, military layoffs, and the funding for veterans among their concerns. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, a recent protest in South Chicago questioned the president’s commitment to inner-city crime and poverty issues.
Both Republican and Democratic members of Congress has stated that President Obama’s $3.7 billion request is “too broad” and does not make securing the border a funding priority.
National Immigration Law Center attorney Kama Essaheb had this to say about the illegal immigration funding request:
“The administration’s in a tough spot. They have a crisis on their hands that’s getting a lot of publicity, and they need money to deal with that crisis. Congress controls the purse, and we’re seeing Congress basically using that power right now to try to put the administration in as bad as a position as possible. Here we have a humanitarian situation, children fleeing violence from a couple countries.”
The 2008 legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush pertaining to children from noncontiguous countries appear to be the main stumbling block to swiftly determining the deportation status of the illegal immigrant children Border Patrol agents are now struggling to house. President Bush approved the law to address mounting child sex trafficking concerns.
Liberals are quick to claim that President Obama’s hands are tied and that his predecessor created the delay issue by signing the law which had significant bi-partisan support. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is staunchly opposed to any change in the 2008 law. The group stated they would not sit by and allow the demonization of children or all their “legal rights” to be questioned.
Conservatives counter such arguments by pointing out that until President Obama announced his DREAM Act plans and related executive orders last year, dealing with tens of thousands of children coming across the border each month was not a problem.
Illegal Immigration Bills Recently Released By Congress
Expedited Family Reunification Act – Introduced By Arizona Republican Representative Matt Salmon
- The bill would amend the Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act of 2008. The Salmon amendment would alter the law so that all unaccompanied children would be returned home quickly without immigration court proceedings.
Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency Act — HUMANE — Introduced by Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn and Texas Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar
- This bill would also treat all illegal immigrant children the same, regardless or origin. If the child wishes to stay in America, he or she would have a hearing within a week of their arrival. A judge would have 72-hours to make a ruling in the deportation case. The legislation would also immediately send 40 immigration judges to the Texas border to expedite such proceedings for minors. Senator Harry Reid quickly dismissed the bi-partisan bill as being “too broad.”
Children Returning on an Expedited and Safe Timeline Act — CREST — Introduced by Arizona Republican Senator John McCain and Arizona Republican Representative Jeff Flake
- As with the other two bill, this legislation would also amend the 2008 law. The act would mandate that illegal immigrant children stay in the custody of either the Border Patrol or Health and Human Services agency. The McCain and Flake bill would increase the number of refugee applications by up to 5,000 each year for the countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The legislation also calls for more fund for processing immigration cases and adds 100 temporary immigration judges and 150 more immigration attorneys.
Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act — introduced by Utah Republican Representative Jason Chaffetz and House Judiciary Committee Chair and Virginia Republican Bob Goodlatte
- The bill would place all unaccompanied children into expedited removal proceedings unless the minors have a “legitimate credible fear of persecution” in their home nation. The bill would also tighten standards for seeking asylum. The legislation also gives Border Patrol agents access to federal lands and prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars for immigrations attorneys for illegal aliens. Additional and temporary immigration judges and ICE prosecutors are also a part of the bill.
Stop Obama’s Amnesty Act – introduced by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz
- The bill would prevent the expansion of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program of 2012, and permits some illegal immigrant minors to stay in the country.
Which illegal immigration bill would you like to see Congress pass?
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