The humanitarian crisis at the border is a “direct consequence of President Obama’s lawlessness,” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz argued Wednesday.
“Amnesty is unfolding before our very eyes,” Cruz said on the Senate floor. “And I would suggest the only response that will stop this humanitarian disaster is for President Obama to start enforcing the law, to stop promising amnesty, to stop refusing to enforce federal immigration law and finally to secure the borders.”
The Texas Republican highlighted an acute increase in the number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally from before President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program — which allows certain illegal immigrants who came to the country as youths to live and work in U.S., shielded from deportation — and after.
“In 2011, just three years ago, there were roughly 6,000 unaccompanied children apprehend trying to cross illegally into this country,” he said, “Then in 2012, in the summer of 2012, right before the election President Obama illegally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who were here illegally who had entered as children. The direct, predictable, foreseeable consequence of granting that amnesty is the number of children, unaccompanied children began to skyrocket.”
Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been detained illegally crossing the southwest border. The vast majority of the illegal immigrant children are from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Some 90,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors are expected to cross the border by the end of the year, and 145,000 by the end of next year.
According to Cruz the argument from the Obama administration — that violence in Central America is driving the illegal immigration — is a “red herring” as the sending of children is unique.
“What we are seeing here is particular, it is particularized toward children and the reason it is particularized to children because the president granted amnesty in a way that was particularized toward children,” he said.