Michigan Republican Rep. Candice Miller is calling on President Obama to dispatch the National Guard to the border to aid the U.S. Border Patrol, currently overwhelmed with the large influx of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children.
“Rather than carrying out their regular duties, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and agents are put in the position of providing basic child care,” Miller wrote in a letter to Obama released Monday. “This diversion away from normal patrol responsibilities will result in an increase of drugs and migrants illicitly crossing our border.”
According to Miller, the Vice Chair of the House Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security, the government needs to take immediate action.
“I strongly urge you to call upon the National Guard to assist our overwhelmed border agents in not only addressing the unfolding humanitarian crisis, but also to assist our agents in defending our border against the violent drug cartels who are increasing smuggling operations as a result of this crisis,” she wrote. “Vital to the success of the National Guard along the border is providing them authority to not only patrol the border but to also enforce our laws and assist in arresting those illegally crossing the border.”
She noted that DHS expects more than 60,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors to cross the border this year — more than 47,000 have already done so — and more than 127,000 in 2015.
The Michigan congresswoman went on to point to Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as part of the reason for the increase in unaccompanied children crossing the border.
“This increase of migrant children is due in large part to your decision on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. This decision to give children who have been brought to this country by their parents a special status was done without the consent of Congress and is not authorized by law. Furthermore, it has caused the rise of rumors throughout Central America that if parents send their children to United States they will be allowed to stay,” she wrote.
Miller also called on Obama to launch a public relations campaign to raise awareness about the fact that new arrivals are not eligible for protections under DACA and that children trying to cross alone could be victim to “exploitation, violence and death” along the way.
“This is what happens when the President acts with a pen and a phone without the consent of Congress and outside the rule of law,” she said in a statement Friday. “Not only are tens of thousands of children being put at risk of violence, sexual assault and death, but also our border becomes even less secure and gives the violent drug cartels free reign to operate with near impunity as our border security agents are overwhelmed with trying to protect the children flooding across our border. Our nation must now take action to stop this humanitarian crisis and defend our border.”