A headline from the Huffington Post sums up the debate in Washington: "For Border Crisis, Many Bills But No Clear Answer."
New legislation, however, isn't necessary. The Obama Administration already has the tools it needs to reverse the surge.
In "Why Republicans Should Not Pass Any Bill This Month," Conn Carroll of Townhall.com suggests Obama should demonstrate his willingness to quickly and humanely return the Central Americans to their home countries before Congress gives him additional funding to do so. As the Wall Street Journal reports in "Few Children Are Deported," Obama has so far failed to live up to his promise that most of the Surgers will have to go home.
Ah, but a rising narrative both inside the beltway and in the media is that Obama is handcuffed by a 2008 anti-trafficking law that requires him to treat unaccompanied minors from Central America differently than those from Mexico and Canada.
The 2008 Trafficking Law (sometimes called the "Wilberforce Act") has become a source of great debate in Washington. Jon Feere, the author of the CIS report cautions that the 2008 law has little to do with the surge of illegal immigration:
"It is important to remember that trafficking laws are not responsible for the current illegal immigration surge and any changes that might be made will likely have little impact. Amending them should not become a distraction from addressing the bigger problem of lax enforcement of existing immigration laws, which continue to encourage people to come to the United States illegally."
The 2008 law is not an obstacle to most enforcement. Yet, few have been required to leave.
Quick-Link Media Roundup
"Decades of lax policies have produced the latest wave of Central American migrants." by David Frum of The Atlantic. See also Roy's blog.
"Majority of Central Americans Asylum Claims Immediately Approved" - Press release from the House Judiciary Committee. See also "Report: 'Vast majority' of asylum claims granted" by Byron York of The Examiner.
According to a Guatemalan newspaper, the U.S. hands over 97 percent of border crossers over to relatives in the United States.
Rosemary Jenks of NumbersUSA and Daniel Horowitz of Red State are both quoted in this Breitbart story that House Republican Leadership is playing right into the hands of pro-amnesty McCain, Schumer, Graham, Obama, etc. by giving them a bill. See also "Alert: The Wilberforce Trap" by Mickey Kaus.
"Boehner and Reid face tough task of rounding up votes on border," by Alexander Bolton and Cristina Marcos of The Hill.
The Cueller/Cornyn "HUMANE Act" weakens existing law, according to analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies.
"Obama may be misreading 2008 deportation law, report shows" by Stephen Dinan of the Washington Times. The Administration has acknowledged that the current law gives them flexibility to send the Surgers home.
"Children trying to sneak into the U.S. aren't always alone" by Joshua Partlow of the Washington Post. The 2008 law only applies to "unaccompanied children."
JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Jul 24th 2017 @ 4:17pm EDT