Pres. Obama has sent a formal request to House Speaker John Boehner asking for $3.7 billion to help combat the ongoing border surge of illegal aliens along the Southwest border. Despite reports of the last few days, Pres. Obama did not request a policy change in the way that unaccompanied alien minors are processed if they come from a noncontiguous country. The requested funds would be used to beef up interior immigration enforcement, pay for the legal processing and potential removal of newly-arrived illegal aliens, and help relocate illegal aliens to the interior of the country.
In his request, Pres. Obama outlines several priorities:
- sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement, including air surveillance;
- expenses related to the repatriation and reintegration of migrants;
- associated transportation costs;
- additional immigration judge teams, immigration prosecutors, and immigration litigation attorneys to ensure cases are processed fairly and as quickly as possible;
- funding to address the root causes of migration;
- public diplomacy and international information programs;
- the operational costs of responding to the significant rise in apprehensions of unaccompanied children and adults traveling with children;
- and expenses associated with the appropriate care for those apprehended, consistent with Federal law, and the necessary medical response.
The Obama Administration has dodged questions on whether or not the recent influx of unaccompanied alien minors would be returned to their home countries. Under a human-trafficking law passed back in 2008, unaccompanied alien minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services. Unaccompanied alien minors from Canada and Mexico are returned to their home countries almost immediately. A change in that policy would help slow the border surge and send a strong message to the home countries of the illegal aliens.
The 2008 law, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, was written by then-Senator and current Vice President Joe Biden. The House version of the bill was introduced and passed by unanimous consent by the House and then the Senate all within a 24 hour period during a lame-duck session of Congress.
NumbersUSA has activated its 2 million members to urge Congress to make changing the law one of three conditions of approving Pres. Obama's emergency funding request. The other two conditions include blocking financial aid to foreign countries that don't agree to repatriate its citizens and for the remaining funds to be used by Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to secure the border and stop the surge.
Updated: Tue, Jul 22nd 2014 @ 12:20pm EDT