News / USA

Despite Surge in Child Immigrants, US Immigration Reform Stalls

FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo shows children detainees sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.
FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo shows children detainees sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville,Texas.
Cindy Saine

A year after the United States Senate passed comprehensive immigration legislation, a leading Democratic advocate for reform says efforts to get similar laws passed in the House of Representatives have failed and he is giving up. 

Debate on the issue now focuses on a surge of unaccompanied children from Central America coming into the United States, with lawmakers from both parties blaming each other for the crisis.

Democratic Representative Luis Gutierrez has been trying for months to get House Republicans to sit down with Democrats to agree on immigration reform legislation. Republicans say they cannot trust President Barack Obama to enforce current laws, however, and have not allowed a vote.

Gutierrez this week took to the House floor, and said he is giving Republicans a red card.

"First of all your chance to play a role in how immigration and deportation policies are carried out this year is over. Having been given ample time and space to craft legislation, you failed,” he said.

Unlikely passage

Many analysts say there is little chance of immigration reform getting through this year. 

“I think especially for the rest of this year with the midterm elections coming up, the chances are incredibly slim of them actually taking action. But the topic is not going to go away and the debate is not going to go away by any means,” said Emily Ethridge, with the congressional news and analysis outlet CQ-Roll Call.

Now, however, congressional anger is flaring in response to a surge of 52,000 children from Central America who have made the journey through Mexico to illegally enter the United States. The children are coming from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and they are filling holding centers along the border with Mexico.  

Republicans blame President Obama for the flow, because of what they consider lenient immigration policies.

“It is for President Obama to make a public appearance to walk back his continued flouting of U.S. immigration and border security policy, and tell the world that the United States will protect its borders, while discouraging families from risking their lives and the lives of their children unnecessarily,” said Republican Representative Matt Salmon of Arizona.

In an interview with ABC News, President Obama said he has a message for parents in Central America: "do not send your children to the borders. If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may [or] may not make it.”

Human smugglers

Political analysts say desperate parents in the three violence-plagued Central American countries often pay smuggling rings to transport their children in buses or on top of trains to the U.S. Democratic and Republican lawmakers agree that human smugglers and drug cartels are spreading misinformation by saying the children will be given permission to stay.  

Democrats blamed House Republicans for the crisis because they have not allowed a vote on immigration reform.

“The fact is that if we had passed either the Senate or the House bill, there were resources for both border security, international cooperation and it would have outlined a path for clear legal migration to this country,” said Democratic Representative Joaquin Castro.

Both sides agree that the plight of children, many of them girls under the age of 13, arriving alone, exhausted and hungry at the U.S. border is a humanitarian crisis.

Emily Ethridge said Congress is likely to appropriate more money for the U.S. border control authorities to help the children.

“So the amount of money that the administration needs to find these children, apprehend them, put them in shelters, take care of them, put them through legal proceedings - they just need way more money.  And so Congress is definitely going to give more money for that," Ethridge said.

Unaccompanied children from Central America are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services, and given a court date to decide their fate. Many of the children end up being reunited with family members already in the United States, but some are deported.

 

You May Like

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land In French Port

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching 'Fortress Europe' More

Video Westgate Mall Attack Survivors Confront Painful Memories

On anniversary of terror attack, survivors discuss how they have coped with trauma they experienced that day More

New Hints That Dark Matter Exists

New evidence from International Space Station hints at existence of dark matter and dark energy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Way to go America from: Minnesota
July 03, 2014 9:51 AM
Amazingly we are suddenly hearing about violence in Honduras,Salvador... Where was the media to report that???How about to bring everybody from Syria,Irak,Nigeria,Congo....I believe there is a humanitarian crisis. One thing will fix the problem"E-verify".It is time for the government to stand up to these corporations.


by: Time2change from: Virginia
June 29, 2014 9:37 PM
As an immigrant who came here legally and became a naturalized citizen I believe that we need to make sure the politicians we elect enforce our laws and send illegals back to their countries. We have to start taking care of our own citizens. Children or not - if they came here illegally they need to go back to their home country.


by: David from: Chicago
June 28, 2014 12:11 PM
Many of the children end up being reunited with family members already in the United States, but some are deported.

____________________
This explains why they keep coming. The human traffickers are right when they tell the parents in Central America that if their kids manage to get into in the United States, they will be allowed to stay and the American welfare state will take care of their material needs. And the children will then later be able to bring their parents. It's a win/win proposition for the smugglers and the illegal immigrants. The tide will only increase so long as illegal immigration is rewarded.


by: Anonymous
June 28, 2014 10:27 AM
U.S. Constitution, Article 4 Section 4:
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, AND SHALL PROTECT EACH OF THEM AGAINST INVASION.
Instead of upholding his sworn oath to protect the states against this invasion, our rogue president is aiding and assisting the invaders, by ordering the Border Patrol to NOT do their duty, but instead, to stand aside as our borders are trampled and overrun. In fact, the Border Patrol's function has been inverted, and they have become the babysitters and bus service to the invaders, sending tens of thousands of criminal aliens into the American heartland. Many Border Patrol agents have contracted TB and other diseases from these unscreened invaders. When will this travesty end? When will our rogue president be forced to uphold his sworn oath to protect the states against invasion?


by: 1worldnow from: Earth
June 28, 2014 3:51 AM
This is just another pathetic look into the 'real world' of US politics. Why hasn't Hollywood done a reality show with politicians? One good thing is that America, the country I love dearly, will not turn it's back on children. For every issue plaguing the USA, Republicans blame the Democrats; change the channel and the Democrats blame the Republicans. Will someone please call the Capitol Building and tell these morons that America is failing......because of THEM!!!!

One thing the Repubs are correct about is that the laws are already there, ENFORCE THEM!!! The Repubs also know that Democs want to pass bills that will gaurantee votership, regardless of the consequences on our already fledgling economy. If the Democs pass the laws they want, then it won't be just Central Americans fleeing to the US! China will say "wow, the US has surpassed our population numbers in just under a month!"

This is how the Democ machine is spinning this issue. Remember when Arizona passed a law that allowed law enforcement to check immigration status, if suspected. In other words, a policeperson (PC!) can pull a car over and ask for proof of citizenship or immigration status? California protested, even refused to allow Arizona Tea or Arizona sports teams across the border. CNN/NBC/MSNBC/BBC/TNT/MTV/M-O-U-S-E!, whatever, except for FOX News (of course!) blasted away at the Arizona governor because she was a Republican bully! (Check this one, what I am about to tell you, it's there for all to read!) North Carolina passed the SAME EXACT law at the SAME time as Arizona, but not a single peep from any of the communist (oooops, I mean Democrat) sympathizing channels made any mention of NC passing the SAME EXACT law. Why, you ask? NC is mostly Democ and the governor is Democ. No thanks if this seemed to be pro-Repub, can't stand to watch Fox News, yuk, all that uppity white-bread, but Kelly is hotttt! They blast away at the Democs, even though that party is run by incompetence. Repubs wanted Mitt Romney for prezzie? So that means the Repub party is definitely finished! Mitt Romney? It would have made more sense to vote for Jon Stewart, than Mitt!!!!!! Yeah, I'm a Reagan-ite, but Repub-bashing Jon Stewart is hilariously awesome!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calaisi
X
Lisa Bryant
September 19, 2014 5:04 PM
The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video CERN Accelerator Back in Business

The long upgrade of the Large Hadron Collider is over. The scientific instrument responsible for the discovery of the Higgs boson -- the so-called "God particle" -- is being brought up to speed in time for this month's 60th anniversary of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, known by its French acronym CERN. Physicists hope the accelerator will help them uncover more secrets about the origins of the universe. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Russian Economy Reeling After New Western Sanctions

A new wave of Western sanctions is hitting Russia’s economy hard. State-owned energy firms continue to bleed profits and Russia’s national currency plunged to a new low this week after the U.S. and the European Union announced new sanctions to punish Russia's aggressive stance in eastern Ukraine. But as Mil Arcega reports, the sanctions could also prove costly for European and American companies.
Video

Video Belgian Researchers Discover Way to Block Cancer Metastasis

Cancer remains one of the deadliest diseases, despite many new methods to combat it. Modern medicine has treatments to prevent the growth of primary tumor cells. But most cancer deaths are caused by metastasis, the stage when primary tumor cells change and move to other parts of the body. A team of Belgian scientists says it has found a way to prevent that process. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Mogadishu's Flood of Foreign Workers Leaves Somalis Out of Work

Unemployment and conflict has forced many young Somalians out of the country in search of a better life. But a newfound stability in the once-lawless nation has created hope — and jobs — which, some say, are too often being filled by foreigners. Abdulaziz Billow reports from Mogadishu.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.
Video

Video NASA Picks Boeing, SpaceX to Carry Astronauts Into Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, has chosen Boeing and SpaceX companies to build the next generation of spacecraft that will carry U.S. astronauts to the International Space Station by the year 2017. The deal with private industry enables NASA to end its dependence on Russia to send space crews into low Earth orbit and back. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Future of Ukrainian Former President's Estate Uncertain

More than six months after Ukraine's former President Viktor Yanukovych fled revolution to Russia, authorities have yet to gain control of his palatial estate. Protesters occupy the grounds and opened it to tourists but they are also refusing to turn it over to the state. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Mezhigirya, just north of Kyiv.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid