WASHINGTON – After weeks of varying explanations from the Administration, today U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced a resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that President Obama should take immediate action to mitigate the humanitarian crisis on the border involving unaccompanied migrant children, laying out five concrete steps the President should take in order to resolve the situation and prevent future crises.
“After years of ignoring the law and sending a very dangerous message to Central American families, sadly this humanitarian crisis is one of the President’s own making,” Cornyn said. “If the President took all these steps, not only would it help us resolve the current crisis, it would also help prevent a similar crisis from erupting in the future.”
Full text of the Senate resolution is attached. The resolution calls on the President to:
(1) Publicly declare that his deferred action programs granting relief from immigration enforcement will not apply to unaccompanied migrant children currently arriving in the United States after illegally crossing our international borders;
(2) Publicly discourage people in Central America and elsewhere from sending their children on a dangerous journey through Mexico;
(3) Begin fully enforcing United States immigration laws;
(4) Ensure that all states affected by this surge in illegal immigration have the resources they need to address this ongoing crisis while ensuring that unaccompanied migrant children are treated humanely; and
(5) Work with Mexican and Central American officials to improve security at the Southern Border of Mexico.
The Obama Administration Has Previously Attributed the Crisis to Drug- and Gang- Related Violence
· WH DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL DIRECTOR MUNOZ: “What's driving [t]his is what's happening in their home countries, in particular violence and fear, poor economic conditions and the desire to be reunited with parents in the United States.” (“Surge in unaccompanied minors spurs White House reaction,” CBS News, 6/2/2014)
· VP BIDEN: “But it’s clear we have to deal with the root causes…Many are driven by lack of physical security.” (Remarks to the Press with Q&A by Vice President Joe Biden, Office of the Vice President, 6/20/2014)
· DHS SEC. JOHNSON: “The majority of these children come from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, where gang and drug violence terrorize communities.” (“Open Letter to the Parents of Children Crossing Our Southwest Border,” Department of Homeland Security, 6/23/2014)
The Obama Administration Has Also Blamed the Smugglers
· WH DOMESTIC POLICY COUNCIL DIRECTOR MUNOZ: “Cecilia Muñoz…said the administration was moving to ‘push back’ on ‘misinformation that is being deliberately planted by criminal organizations, by smuggling networks, about what people can expect if they come to the United States.’” (“US Moves to Stop Surge of in Illegal Immigration,” New York Times, 6/20/2014)
· WH PRESS SECRETARY JOSH EARNEST: “…first of all that so much of what we’re seeing on the southern border is the result of a deliberate, misinformation campaign that is propagated by criminal syndicates in Central America.” (Press Briefing by Principle Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, The White House, 6/20/2014)
· DHS SEC. JOHNSON: “I believe…what is critical is we correct the record, we straighten the misperceptions. The smuggling organizations are creating a misinformation campaign that there is a ‘permiso,’ a sort of free pass.” (Remarks by Secy. Jeh Johnson Before the House Homeland Security Committee, 6/24/2014)
But the Administration’s Own Documents and Research Make Clear the President’s Failure to Enforce the Law is Behind the Increase
· INTERNAL DHS MEMO: “The main reason the subjects chose this particular time to migrate to the United States was to take advantage of the ‘new’ U.S. ‘Law’ that grants a ‘free pass’ or permit…being issued by the U.S. government to female adult OTMs [Other Than Mexicans] traveling with minors and to UACs [Unaccompanied Children].” (Internal DHS Memo, Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, 6/11/2014)
· DHS OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY DIRECTORATE: “Officers are certain that UACs are aware of the relative lack of consequences they will receive when apprehended at the U.S. border...this process appears to be exploited by illegal alien smugglers and family members in the United States who wish to reunite with separated children.” (Office of Science and Technology Directorate Study, Department of Homeland Security, 3/20/2014)
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