News / USA

Republicans Blame Obama for Surge of Child Immigrants

Republicans Blame Obama for Surge of Child Immigrantsi
X
June 25, 2014 2:24 AM
A political battle is brewing in Washington over the dramatic surge of unaccompanied children who are crossing the southwest border into the United States. Republicans blame the Obama administration for what they describe as lenient and confusing immigration policies. VOA House Correspondent Cindy Saine has the story from Capitol Hill.
Cindy Saine
A political battle is brewing in Washington over the dramatic surge of unaccompanied children who are crossing the southwest border into the United States. Republicans blame the Obama administration for what they describe as lenient and confusing immigration policies, while Democrats say the children are fleeing extreme poverty and drug-related violence. The White House has dismissed suggestions to put troops on the border with Mexico.
 
So far this year, 52,000 unaccompanied children, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, have made the long journey across Mexico to cross the border into the United States. U.S. border patrol agents detain most of them and eventually place some of them with a relative or foster family in the U.S.
 
The Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Republican Michael McCaul, said the Obama administration should have seen this coming.
 
"The tragic fact is these children are making a dangerous journey based on misinformation and the false promise of amnesty," said McCaul.
 
McCaul, from Texas, said border states like his are completely overwhelmed by the influx of children, and he is calling on the president to take action.
 
"States should not need to protect what is in the federal government’s role under our Constitution. The president needs to immediately send the National Guard to the Southwest border to deal with this crisis," said McCaul.
 
The White House rejected putting guard troops on the border after announcing last week the federal government would open additional detention centers.
 
Democrats rejected blame for the situation, saying Central American children are also seeking refuge in other countries.
 
"It is irresponsible to attribute this crisis to one U.S. policy, or for that matter to one U.S. president," said Rep. Bennie Thompson, a Democrat.
 
Many of the children who come across alone are eventually released to the custody of relatives with instructions, pending court appearances. Some are deported.
 
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson calls it a humanitarian crisis.
 
"We are talking about large numbers of children without their parents who have arrived at our border, hungry, thirsty, exhausted, scared and vulnerable. How we treat the children, in particular, is a reflection of our laws and our values," said Johnson.
 
But some Republican lawmakers are frustrated, saying they have been calling for more fences and tougher security along the border.
 
"I have been there.  I know what I am talking about.  And we don't have a fence down there, and if did, we would not have five-year-old children coming across,” said Rep. Mike Rogers, a Republican.
 
Secretary Johnson explained that U.S. law has special provisions for unaccompanied minors.
 
"The law that was created in 2008 requires that we turn these kids over, if they are unaccompanied, to the Department of Health and Human Services within 72 hours, generally," said Johnson.
 
Johnson said the U.S. is working to get the message out to parents in Central America that their children face unacceptable risks coming to the United States and that there are no immigration permits waiting for them.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid