House Democratic leaders warned Wednesday that softening a 2008 immigration law to expedite deportations of children would sink any effort to provide emergency funding at the southern border.
House Speaker John Boehner R-Ohio, joining GOP leaders in the Senate, has insisted that new funding to address the border crisis be accompanied by changes to the six-year-old human trafficking law to make it easier to send migrant children back home.
But Rep. Xavier Becerra Calif., head of the House Democratic Caucus, suggested Wednesday that his troops aren’t ready to get on board. He accused Boehner and the Republicans of “making ultimatums” that would put a deal out of reach before Congress leaves for its five-week August recess.
“I hope Speaker Boehner changes his mind and decides that it’s time to do something,” Becerra said after a meeting of the caucus in the Capitol.
“There’s a big difference between getting things done and playing politics,” he added. “If the Republicans wish to pursue a political approach to this and shut down the opportunity to deal with this humanitarian crisis, then they should understand what they’re doing to those kids.”
Rep. Joe Crowley N.Y., vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, piled on, accusing GOP leaders of dawdling in the face of a crisis.
“This is an emergency. … It needs to be addressed. It deals with young people — children — who need to be adjudicated in the most humane way,” Crowley said. “The Republicans want to just, at this point, do nothing.”
Rep. Steny Hoyer Md., the Democratic whip, warned this week that Congress simply doesn’t have the time to tackle such a radioactive topic in the short period before the August break.
“If we want to change the law … that ought to be subject to a separate debate, [a] separate bill,” he said. “But nobody believes that we’re going to complete that debate in the next eight days.”
On Wednesday, a Republican working group, led by Rep. Kay Granger R-Texas, unveiled a set of legislative recommendations for addressing the border crisis. The provisions include changes to the 2008 law — the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act — making it easier to deport the unaccompanied Central American minors who have crossed the border in recent months.
The package would also send National Guard troops to help the agencies already working along the border, while providing additional funding for immigration judges to expedite the processing of the kids.
Granger said the proposals provide “common-sense, compassionate, but tough solutions” to the “immediate crisis.”
“Our focus has been to ensure the safety of the children and it has remained a top priority throughout this process,” she said in a statement.
Neither party is doing anything here. Throwing money at it and calling it good doesn’t make it good. The dems, in all honesty, don’t want these kids put out. And the kids need to be sent home to their families and barred from re-entry into the USA. Turn them around, send them back, and actually secure our border so there’s something left for our children someday.
Enforce the damn laws!
Enough is enough! We are $17 trillion in debt… that means we have no money! We can’t care for our own homeless or our Veterans, but we’re going to bow and scrape to a bunch of people – who are not all children – who came into this country illegally, crapping on the faces of the millions who did come here legally? Unacceptable. This bleeding heart BS is exactly why this country is in the state it is in, and it needs to stop.