Repub­li­cans draft $1.5B so­lu­tion to U.S. border cri­sis

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

of the 57,000 un­ac­com­pa­nied chil­dren who have ar­rived il­le­gally in the U.S. so far this year.

The law, known as the Wil­liam Wil­ber­force Traf­fick­ing Vic­tims Pro­tec­tion Reau­tho­riza­tion Act, was in­tended to pro­tect Cen­tral Amer­i­can chil­dren from hu­man traf­fick­ing, but crit­ics say it has be­come a foothold and in­cen­tive for Cen­tral Amer­i­can chil­dren com­ing to the U.S.

Pres­i­dent Obama and House Mi­nor­ity Leader Nancy Pelosi, Cal­i­for­nia Demo­crat, sup­ported chang­ing the law un­til abruptly re­vers­ing their stance af­ter hear­ing strong op­po­si­tion from the Con­gres­sional His­panic Cau­cus and pro-im­mi­gra­tion groups.

Mr. Boehner wrote to the pres­i­dent, press­ing him to re­store his sup­port for chang­ing the law.

“Frankly, it is dif­fi­cult to see how we can make progress on this is­sue with­out strong, pub­lic sup­port from the White House for much-needed re­forms, in­clud­ing changes to the 2008 law,” wrote the speaker.

Sig­nal­ing that the cri­sis wouldn’t end any time soon, the Pen­tagon an­nounced it will free­ing up ad­di­tional space for hous­ing up to 5,000 more of the un­ac­com­pa­nied alien chil­dren at mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties through the end of the year.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion turned to the mil­i­tary to house the chil­dren af­ter re­peat­edly en­coun­ter­ing op­po­si­tion in com­mu­ni­ties slated for shel­ter sites, in­clud­ing in Mary­land and Vir­ginia.

At least 90,000 chil­dren will be caught this year, and more than 140,000 will be ap­pre­hended in 2015, ac­cord­ing to a U.S. Cus­toms and Border Pro­tec­tion memo.

Un­til re­cently, just about 8,000 un­ac­com­pa­nied chil­dren per year at­tempted to cross the border.

Se­nate Democrats, mean­while, in­tro­duced a $2.7 bil­lion emer­gency ap­pro­pri­a­tions bill to re­dou­ble ef­forts to shel­ter and pro­vide im­mi­gra­tion hear­ings for the chil­dren while they are in the United States, with few mea­sures in­cluded to en­hance border se­cu­rity.

It headed for an al­most cer­tain stand­off with Repub­li­cans.

“It’s un­for­tu­nate that Democrats here in the Se­nate just want to vote to spend money,” said Sen. Marco Ru­bio, Florida Repub­li­can and a top ad­vo­cate for com­pre­hen­sive im­mi­gra­tion re­form.

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