Friday, July 11, 2014

Obama, Senate Democrats clash over how to handle border crisis

The Hill reports:
A bipartisan 2008 bill intended to crack down on child trafficking has become a flashpoint in the debate over an emergency spending bill to address the immigration crisis in Texas.

President Obama has asked for $3.7 billion and increased authority to deal with 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who have streamed across the border illegally. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson warned Thursday the number could reach 90,000 by the end of September.

Unlike illegal immigrants from Mexico, these minors are guaranteed a court date by the trafficking law. They are often released to relatives to wait out their pending appeal, a process that results in only 1,800 per year being deported to their countries of origin.

Obama has asked Congress to amend the 2008 William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to let him send them home more quickly but has met with stiff resistance from senior Senate Democrats.