As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that the U.S. southern border is at its “breaking point,” Democrats said they are blocking the $4.5 billion needed to manage the border crisis until their immigration demands are met.
The Trump administration’s May 1 funding request sought $3.3 billion to process and temporarily house thousands of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC), plus $1.2 billion for border agencies to register, shelter, and transport the huge flow of migrants as they walk through the catch-and-release loopholes at the border.
“The border is at its breaking point — we need funds,” said acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan.
Republicans in the Senate are expected to push for passage of the legislation this month. But the package still needs approval from at least seven Democratic Senators, plus the House’s Democratic leadership.
“We’ve seen no willingness on the part of our Democratic colleagues to meet us halfway,” said Texas Sen. John Cornyn. The migration “is just getting worse and worse as Congress sits on its hands” instead of passing legal reforms to block the loopholes. Legislators “have been AWOL, and that is shameful.”
“They need to step up because even The New York Times said ‘Give Trump the money,’ ” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said at a June 11 press conference.
Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont said at a June 11 Judiciary Committee hearing that “We’re willing to put [up] the money,” but added “Now whether a supplemental gets done is up to the administration. If they continue to block bipartisan legislation, nothing happens. I hope the Republicans will finally realize we have to do this, Republicans and Democrats, together … We want long term solutions.”
Senators did not discuss President Donald Trump’s diplomatic deal with Mexico which promises to end the migration by preventing migrants from getting U.S. jobs to pay off their smuggling debts.
“In contrast, the political priorities set by Democrats would likely accelerate the movement of Central American populations into blue-collar Americans’ workplaces, schools, and neighborhoods,” Breitbart News noted. “The huge inflow — perhaps one million people in the 12 months up to October — provides an economic stimulus to cities run by Democratic mayors and to companies run by Democratic donors.”
Democrats are prioritizing the use of taxpayer funds to hire lawyers for the illegal immigrants in the United States who hire traffickers to accompany their children up to U.S. border agencies.
A 2008 law requires the government agencies to complete the traffickers’ contracts by relaying the UACs from the smugglers at the border up to the shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Once at the HHS shelters, the children and youths are next relayed to so-called “sponsors.” Many of the sponsors are the illegal-immigrant parents who hired the smugglers to accompany their UACs to the U.S. border.
“Most children are being released to parents, but parents are here unlawfully,” McAleenan noted, adding that he wants legal authority for his agencies to share information about the identity of the parent “sponsors.”
The requirement that taxpayer-funded lawyers be provided to the UAC migrants is included in a bill introduced on June 5 by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein. “This bill includes a key component of [Democrat] Sen. [Mazie] Hirono’s bill, which provides counsel for unaccompanied children,” Feinstein said at the June 11 hearing.
The Central American families are fleeing “violence, abuse, and poverty,” Feinstein claimed, despite many statements from many migrants that they are hoping to get low-wage U.S. jobs, send their children to American schools, and get healthcare treatments.
Hirono argued that taxpayers should also provide more funding to Central America. “We do need to get to the root cause … This is a long-term kind of commitment on our part … We’re not doing enough to get to the root cause.”
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