With immigration reform appearing to be a distant dream, Barack Obama is requesting emergency measures to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis at the border. The president is requesting $2 billion in an emergency appropriation and new powers to deal with the large influx of children in shelters.
Janet Murguia once called Barack Obama the “deporter in chief.” The President of the National Council of La Raza explained that the president had deported more immigrants than any other president, and failed the country on getting immigration reform.
Of course, the controversial claims were only partially true, but now the president has to act fast before he’s called the “detainer in chief.”
There are an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied minors in shelters along the border with Mexico. Federal law prevents the government from dumping the kids on the streets of central America; instead it requires them to be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services.
From there, they go from shelter to shelter waiting to be reunited with their families, and eventually stand before an immigration court.
Now those facilities to process the kids are being overwhelmed and the need for immigration reform has never seemed higher.
But in lieu of immigration reform, the president is asking for money. He’s also asking that the Department of Homeland Security be given the power to “fast track” the children’s cases.
The fast track is meant to allow immigration officials quicker procedures to move the kids through screening and deportation. President Obama is also asking for harsher penalties against people who attempt to smuggle children.
As reported earlier by The Inquisitr, Nancy Pelosi has also weighed in on the children stuck at the border. She visited Brownsville, Texas, and toured the border patrol facility. She referred to the inhospitable conditions the children were held in as a “humanitarian situation.”
Although Representative Pelosi wants from action from Congress, she asserted that immigration reform had little hope of passing through the House.
On the other side of the aisle, Republicans have accused President Obama as the cause of the current situation. They’ve argued that the president’s immigration policies have left the impression that women and children would be allowed to stay in the U.S. if they can make it across the border.
Republican criticism will likely become more heated against the president.
Recent conservative advocate of immigration reform, Eric Cantor, was beaten by a tea party candidate just a few weeks ago. It sent a clear message that the far right would in no way support immigration reform, unless it involved a wall. If other Republicans want to keep their jobs, they may want to stay as far away from immigration policy as possible.
President Obama’s new request, which he will send to Congress in a letter next Monday, maybe a consolation prize in the immigration reform contest.
(Image Source: AP file photo)