Washington, D.C. – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably already aware that nearly half a million young immigrants from Central America have flooded the Southern Border in Texas. Something must be done to deal with the crisis so President Obama has asked Congress for nearly $4 billion dollars in emergency funding.
Why they have come here is a matter of partisan debate. Conservatives blame the influx unaccompanied on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a policy that allows some young undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, though the policy only applies to young immigrants who have continuously resided in the U.S. since 2007. Meanwhile, Liberals blame the steady flow of minor immigrants on increasing violence in Central America and promises from smugglers who
Regardless of the partisan back and forth on why it’s happening, and how one feels about the issue, there is no debate over the fact that something must be done to deal with this crisis. President Obama is dealing with the crisis on two fronts according to the New York Times, and plans to ask Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to handle the crisis.
“We are taking steps to protect due process but also to remove these migrants more efficiently,” a White House official said Tuesday morning. “We are taking an aggressive approach on both sides of the border.”
So, how is the White House handling the crisis thus far? According to the New York Times, one White House official said Tuesday the administration is “taking steps to protect due process” while also trying to remove “these migrants more efficiently.”
Part of the funds he is asking for will be given to the Department of Health and Human Services to help take care of the immigrant children while they wait for their deportation hearings.
Another large swath of the funds will go to the Department of Homeland Security for aerial surveillance, increased border patrols and other enforcement efforts at the border. Some funding would go to the State Department to distribute to Central American governments in order to curtail drug and gang violence in their countries.
The President would also like Congress to give him increased power to fast-track some deportations and send the children home more quickly. Although, he has faced criticism for the high numbers of deportations is administration has carried out, officials for the White House said the deportation process moves to slowly to effectively deal with this crisis.
Congress is expected to approve the emergency funding as they would with a crisis, but they will likely want some say on how the funds are used, though what exactly their demands will be are unknown at this time. Some members of Congress have previously asked for funding to provide immigration attorneys to some of the minor immigrants who might be able to avoid deportation. And there is some talk that part of the funds should be used for the National Guard.
This crisis has reignited the debate over the country’s inefficient immigration laws and everyone from politicians, to activists to immigration attorneys are hoping it will compel lawmakers to finally take action.