Boehner Not Optimistic About Border Bill

Boehner Not Optimistic About Border Bill

On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he was not optimistic that Congress can pass a bill before the August recess that deals with the border crisis. President Barack Obama has requested $3.7 billion to deal with the flood of illegal immigrant children that have been unlawfully entering the country.

“I would certainly hope so, but I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have,” Boehner said at a Thursday press conference. 

Nearly 57,000 illegal immigrant children have crossed the border since October of last year, and federal officials expect at least 150,000 more to do so in the next fiscal year. Nearly 75% of the illegal immigrant children are coming from Central America and, under a 2008 law, they cannot be immediately deported like those from Mexico and Canada.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have sponsored legislation that would change the 2008 law to make it easier to deport illegal immigrant children who are not from Mexico or Canada. But House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have said they would not approve the funding Obama requested if illegal immigrant children from Central America are not given more due process. Pelosi even said even illegal immigrants from Mexico should be treated like Central Americans are today and not be immediately deported. 

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has also said that Obama should not be given funding unless his temporary amnesty act for certain DREAMers, which he unilaterally enacted in 2012, is revoked for future illegal immigrant children. The White House has said that is “not going to happen.” The number of illegal immigrant children who have crossed the border spiked in the fiscal year after Obama enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, even though the murder rate in Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador declined during the same period.

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. The year after Obama enacted DACA, “the number jumped to 13,625.”

As Breitbart News reported, even 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” based on the Obama administration’s actions and words.