News / USA

US Lawmakers Press for Solution to Border Crisis

US Begins Deporting Undocumented Minors From Southern Borderi
X
July 16, 2014 4:05 AM
The United States has begun deporting some of the Central American children who have crossed the U.S. border from Mexico without documents, and many of them without parents. U.S. President Barack Obama pledged earlier this month to speed up the process of returning the children to their home countries, after the number of arrivals created a humanitarian crisis at the border with Mexico. The problem has sparked intense political debate in Washington. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Watch related video report from VOA's Zlatica Hoke.

Michael Bowman

Bipartisan support appears to be growing on Capitol Hill to promptly address a growing immigration crisis along the southern U.S. border. Senate lawmakers agree a surge of undocumented underage arrivals must end, but the precise remedy and funding required to achieve it remain a point of contention.

Bipartisanship and swift action are rarities in Congress, which is considering a request from President Barack Obama for nearly $4 billion to care for and process tens of thousands of undocumented minors, and to boost federal resources along the 3,200-kilometer U.S.-Mexico border.

Republicans control the House of Representatives and can block or delay votes in the Senate; but, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley, had this to say when asked if Congress should act before a month-long August recess.

“I hope so, because I think the humanitarian needs are great,” he said.

Urgency needed

That view is echoed by Democratic Senator Tom Carper, who says, “It is something we should do before the August recess.”

Both senators say a 2008 law signed by then-president George W. Bush assuring immigration hearings for most underage arrivals is untenable, given the sheer number of minors arriving from primarily Central American nations. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham agrees.

He says, “The 2008 law was designed to deal with children from China and other places that come here as sex slaves, to make sure we do not send them right back [to their countries of origin]. Clearly, the immigrants coming from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador are of the belief that if you can get here, you can stay.”

One proposal put forth by a Republican senator and a Democratic House member would drastically limit the time frame for an undocumented minor to make a case to remain in the United States as a refugee.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez fears such a change would cause untold numbers of new arrivals with legitimate immigration claims to be denied justice.

“You cannot, in 72 hours, make a case that your father got murdered in front of you," he said. "You cannot make a case that a gang told you, ‘Join us or die’ if you do not have the time to produce documents, affidavits, certificates, or whatnot.”

Directing dollars

Other points of disagreement concern precisely how much money should be spent for what purpose. Graham said funds are needed to address humanitarian needs at the border, but added that he will not vote to approve billions of dollars until policy concerns are addressed.

Carper fears no U.S. solution will work so long as violence and poverty remain endemic in Central America.

Carper said, “Why are parents [in Central America] willing to send 8-, 9-, 10-year-old unaccompanied children 1,500 miles into a foreign country? The reason why is the lives of those families in Honduras, many of them, are hell holes. And so they are voting with their feet.”

For now, Obama and members of his Cabinet are stressing that undocumented minors have no automatic right to remain in the United States, and hoping the message is heard in Central America. Administration critics say Obama is at least partly to blame for the border crisis, given his recently stated intention to do what he can to address America’s immigration challenges though executive action.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Not Again from: Canada
July 15, 2014 10:22 PM
The number one prioritty should be to re-join the children and parents; whereever they are located.
Crossing the border, is an breaks the laws, have the international protocols wrt reporting the individuals and having the country of origin pay the costs, if any, incurred by their citizens, from the consular services? Have the countries of origin provided the required help to their citizens? .....

In Response

by: Sue from: USA
July 19, 2014 9:40 AM
I disagree. The parents should be arrested for child abuse and neglect for endangering their childrens lives. We here in America have laws to protect our children not send them to be unsupervised by drug cartels where they are killed, raped and sold into slavery. These parents at all and just are looking for a way to stay here themselves and sponge off the system.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid