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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid