President Obama should take “immediate action” to relieve the humanitarian crisis at the southern border in part by declaring his deferred action policy does not apply to the minors there and begin enforcing America’s immigration laws, according to Republican senators Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).
In a resolution introduced Thursday, Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio — a member of the bipartisan Gang of Eight that pushed immigration reform legislation through the Senate last year — called on the Senate to press Obama to take five steps to reduce the flood of unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors crossing the southern border.
1)Publicly declare that his deferred action programs granting relief from immigration enforcement will not apply to unaccompanied migrant children currently arriving in the United States after illegally crossing our international borders;
(2)Publicly discourage people in Central America and elsewhere from sending their children on a dangerous journey through Mexico;
(3)Begin fully enforcing United States immigration laws;
(4)Ensure that all states affected by this surge in illegal immigration have the resources they need to address this ongoing crisis while ensuring that unaccompanied migrant children are treated humanely; and
(5)Work with Mexican and Central American officials to improve security at the Southern Border of Mexico.
“After years of ignoring the law and sending a very dangerous message to Central American families, sadly this humanitarian crisis is one of the president’s own making,” Cornyn said Tuesday.
Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been detained, many of them from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. While Democrats and the Obama administration have argued the children are coming due to violence and a misinformation campaign by human smugglers, Republicans say that the influx is due to the misconceptions about the president’s policy shielding childhood arrivals from deportation and his lack of immigration enforcement.
Border Patrol agents have testified that the vast majority of apprehended youths tell them that they have made the northward journey because they think they will be allowed to stay.
“Whereas, beginning in 2010, President Obama and the Secretary of Homeland Security announced a series of executive actions, public statements, and enforcement decisions that have created a misperception outside of the United States that children entering the United States without legal authorization will receive relief from immigration enforcement consequences,” the resolution reads in part.
“Whereas these executive actions and the continuing failures of President Obama and the Secretary of Homeland Security to adequately secure the international border between the United States and Mexico and enforce the immigration laws are a proximate and material cause of the growing humanitarian crisis along the international border between the United States and Mexico,” it adds.