U.S., Mexico must help Central America do more in stemming flow of unaccompanied minors into U.S.

McClatchy Washington BureauJuly 9, 2014 


The U.S. Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, Calif., on July 2, 2014.

MARK BOSTER — Los Angeles Times / MCT

The Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Wednesday urged the United States, Mexico, and Colombia to do more in aiding Central American countries in trying to stem the flow of unaccompanied minors into the U.S.

‘I believe that the U.S. – along with Mexico, Colombia and others – need to do a better job of helping Central American countries help themselves," said Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., the committee’s chair said . ‘How? In large part by helping them create a more nurturing environment for job creation. Restore the rule of law. Lower energy costs. Improve workforce skills and access to capital.’

Carper said Central American countries need to ‘improve the prospects for their young people so that more of them are willing – even eager – to stay home and help build their countries up.’

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the committee’s ranking Republican, said the best way to stop the influx of unaccompanied minors is to immediately return them to their country of origin.

‘That sends a greater signal because now you’ve wasted $3,000 on something somebody sold you a bill of goods on and it will really stop the flow,’ Coburn said Wednesday on ‘The Daily Rundown’ on MSNBC.

Coburn was more animated Tuesday night on CNN’s ‘Crossfire,’ saying ‘For $8 million, you can put them all on a first-class seat back to their homes. ‘A first-class seat, one way, to each of their homes.’

The Senate homeland security committee met as President Barack Obama traveled to Texas Wednesday to raise money for Democrats and talk about the economy. Republicans are chiding Obama for not visiting the state’s border with Mexico to highlight the immigration crisis.

Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help deal with the increasing number of unaccompanied children from Central America who are illegally crossing the southern border.

House Speaker John Boehner, speaking to reporters in Washington Wednesday, said Obama’s proposal is a Band-Aid and not a solution.

‘If we don’t secure the border, nothing’s going to change,’ Boehner said. ‘And if you look at the president’s request, it’s all more about continuing to deal with the problem. We’ve got to do something about sealing the border and ending this problem so that we can begin to more on with the bigger question of immigration reform.’

Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee, in an effort to appeal to African-American voters, is linking the immigration issue to Obama’s handling of issues impacting the African-Americans community.

The RNC issued an email media release Wednesday taking Obama for making his $3.7 billion emergency immigration funding request while gun violence claimed the lives of 16 people in Obama’s hometown Chicago over the weekend.

‘While black Americans confront a dire situation in Chicago, President Obama is missing in action,’ Orlando Watson, the RNC’s communications director for black media said in a statement. ‘Has the president slipped into a comfort zone where he feels insulated from any responsibility for black America?’




McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service