On Thursday, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) said President Barack Obama’s temporary amnesty program for some illegal immigrant children has nothing to do with the increase in the number of illegal immigrant kids flooding across the border.
“I authored the DREAM Act; I’m proud of it,” Durbin said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the $3.7 billion the Obama administration has requested to deal with the crisis. Durbin also said that he urged Obama to sign the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and he was “proud that he did.” He said he was “not going to stand here and let people blame those two acts for what we’re facing today.”
“It had nothing to do with DACA,” Durbin said. He added that there were increases in the number of children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala who went to other neighboring countries after 2012, but Durbin did not mention that many of those children were en route to the United States.
The number of illegal immigrants that have crossed the border increased in the year after Obama unilaterally enacted DACA, which the White House said Obama will not rescind:
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “during the decade preceding fiscal year 2012, the federal government agency tasked with caring for unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally dealt with an average of 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year.” In fiscal year 2011, there were 6,560, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Yet, as the Monitor noted, the following year, when Obama enacted DACA, “the number jumped to 13,625,” and at least 50,000 have entered illegally since October of last year. Officials estimate at least 150,000-160,000 more will try next year.
Though White House officials have gone on a public relations campaign to tell Central Americans that they will not receive amnesty, many illegal immigrants have said they traveled to America believing the Obama administration would never deport them if they made it across the U.S.-Mexico border.