Sen. David Vitter Questions Obama Administration on How It Plans to Deal With Illegal Immigrants
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) is asking Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about Obama administration plans to temporarily house Central American children crossing the United States borders and how many could end up in Louisiana.
“This was an entirely foreseeable crisis,” Vitter said Thursday. “Our borders go unsecured and our president does everything in his power to prevent the Border Patrol from doing its job, so an influx of illegal immigrants should come as no surprise.”
“Now, instead of deportation like I’ve suggested, the administration wants to relocate the unaccompanied children, and they need to tell states what to expect.,” he added.
Johnson, appearing on Capitol Hill, said the administration wants more resources to deal with the crisis. Under a 2008 law, children from non-contiguous countries, such as Central America, are referred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement and assured due process and a hearing before they can be returned to their original countries.
The process is much quicker for children crossing the border from contiguous nations Mexico and Canada. Johnson said it’s important to stop the flow of children, many of whom endured long, harsh journeys, to get here.
“People in Central America need to see illegal migrants coming back,” Johnson said. “The children accompanied by their parents, and the unaccompanied adults. We’re doing it, and lessening the time it takes to happen. So, we’re asking for additional resources to turn those people around quicker.”
Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee that up to 90,000 unaccompanied children could cross the U.S. border by September. He said the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will run out of funding in August and Customs and Border Protection is running low in funds, as well.