Latest News:

Democratic National Convention: What to watch for at Biden’s nomination party -

Monday, August 17, 2020

Republicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election -

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Obama calls filibuster ‘Jim Crow relic,’ backs new Voting Rights Act bill -

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Donald Trump suggests delay to 2020 US presidential election -

Thursday, July 30, 2020

US teenager wins $3m playing computer game Fortnite -

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Dozens of mourners ‘killed by Boko Haram’ at a funeral in north Nigeria -

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Dan Coats, Trump’s top intel official, to depart White House -

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Donald Trump’s power dynamic with Nancy Pelosi will be on full display at the State of the Union -

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Pennsylvania poll: Clinton up by 9 points – -

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Your Ports!! – -

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

In shadow of Brexit, NATO considers Russian deterrence – -

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Italy vs Spain,England vs Iceland; Boston Red Sox vs Tampa Bay Rays – -

Monday, June 27, 2016

Foreign diplomats voicing alarm to U.S. officials about Trump – -

Monday, March 7, 2016

Trump grants press credentials to ‘pro-white’ radio show host – -

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Supreme Court rejects Arizona sheriff’s appeal on immigration – -

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hawking: Humans at risk of lethal ‘own goal’ – -

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

ObamaCare supporters see wall of resistance cracking in South – -

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Attaque revendiquée par l’EI au Bangladesh: un mort et 80 blessés -

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Russia says wants Syria elections, ready to help Free Syrian Army -

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hillary Clinton calls Republican’s impeachment vow ‘pathetic’ -

Saturday, October 24, 2015

White House will ask Congress for new powers to tackle immigration surge

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended on the border since October. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

The White House is preparing an emergency request to Congress for additional powers to enable the fast-track deportation of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who are crossing the US border illegally, a move that could bypass protections introduced by the the Bush administration.

President Barack Obama has called the surge of minors pouring across Mexico border and into the Rio Grande Valley a “humanitarian crisis” and has ordered officials to open emergency shelters on military bases and increase the number of border agents.

But in a significant toughening of the president’s stance, to be announced formally on Monday, the administration will request the authority to immediately repatriate children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador – the Central American countries from which most of the child migrants are travelling

A White House official told the Guardian the administration is planning to ask Congress to provide the department of homeland security with “additional authority to exercise discretion” in dealing with children from those countries. The request has been drafted in a letter to Congress that will be sent on Monday, the official said.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children have been apprehended on the border since October. Administration officials have been particularly alarmed by the increase in children, many of them girls, under the age of 13. Border officials have reported finding some children as young as four or five or travelling alone.

However, the the administration has been hampered by anti-trafficking laws passed under George W Bush, which set out strict protocols for handling unaccompanied minors, which in turn delay the deportation process.

Unlike migrants from Mexico and Canada, children from countries that do not have a direct border with the US, such as Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, must first be screened by a US border control agent, who cannot hold them for more than 72 hours before they are transferred to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

immigrant children
The White House will also ask Congress on Monday to increase penalties for people smugglers who target children . Photograph: Eric Gay/AP

The DHHS is required to “act in the best interest of the child”, which often means transferring the child into foster care or, more commonly, the custody of a family member or relative in the US. Estimates for the percentage of Central American unaccompanied migrants (not including Mexicans) who are united with US-based sponsors range from 65% to 90%.

Even then, such migrants are still in the removal process, and need to have their case heard by a judge, who has the discretion to deport them. The Obama administration is desperately trying to counter the perception that unaccompanied children who arrive in the US are guaranteed the opportunity to remain in the country.

The White House official said the letter to Congress would request “added flexibility” to deal with child migrants who, under current laws, cannot be immediately returned across the border. The change of rules the administration is seeking would effectively allow the secretary for homeland security, Jeh Johnson, to order that children from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador be treated the same as Mexicans, who are often sent back across the border soon after being detained.

The Guardian understands the children would still be screened for humanitarian claims. The administration also hopes to invest in repatriation centres in the children’s countries of origin, in order to smooth the process.

The White House will also ask Congress on Monday to increase penalties for people smugglers who target children and for additional resources to cope with the cost of sheltering thousands of children – as well as single-mothers with children, who have also been streaming across the border.

migrant texas detention center temporary shelter undocumented mgirant children
The Sacred Heart Catholic Church temporary migrant shelter in McAllen, Texas. Photograph: Stringer/Reuters

The additional funds being requested will be used to pay for more immigration judges, expanded detention facilities, where the children are housed and fed, and for an “aggressive deterrence strategy” in the Central American countries from which the migrants come. The White House official said the total sum being requested was “likely to be more than $2bn”, a figure first reported in the New York Times.

The child migrant crisis has become a major priority over the last month for the White House, not least because it has significant political repercussions for a president whose second-term ambition – passing comprehensive immigration reform – appears doomed.

Even prior to the current crisis, Republicans opponents of immigration reform in the House of Representatives argued Obama’s failure to robustly enforce immigration rules had served as a magnet for illegal immigrants and broken the trust required for bipartisan legislation. Immigrant rights groups, on the other hand, have labeled the president “deporter in chief”, for forcefully removing two million immigrants since coming to office in 2008 – more than any other president to date.

Republicans have been demanding tougher action against illegal immigrants before undertaking any reform and have seized on the child migrant crisis as evidence of a systemic failure in border control.

The chairman of the House judiciary committee, Bob Goodlatte, said on Thursday that if the Obama administration was serious about immigration enforcement, “they would not simply call the matter at the border today a humanitarian crisis, but would acknowledge that this is a serious national security issue, law enforcement issue, respect-for-the-rule of law issue.”

Ana Garcia de Hernandez
Ana Garcia de Hernandez, first lady of Honduras, speaks to the media about the immigration influx in the Rio Grande Valley along with US representative Henry Cuellar. Photograph: Joel Martinez/AP

There has been an increase in child migrants fleeing Central America for the US since at least 2009, but in recent months the numbers being detained at the border has spiked dramatically.

The US border patrol was used to detaining around 7,000 child migrants on the south-west border each year. Since October, at least 52,100 have been caught crossing the border; that number is expected to surpass 60,000 before the end of September. Most have come through the Rio Grande area, on the southernmost tip of Texas, which has seen a 178% increase on last year’s tally of children migrants.

This month, the Obama administration has begun focusing efforts in Central America to dissuade more families from sending their children on such perilous journeys. Earlier this month the White House announced a $250m package directed at the region, including funds for reintegrating returned migrants and tackling gang violence, an endemic problem considered to be behind many families’ deciding that their children should leave.

Vice-president Joe Biden traveled to Guatemala to convene an urgent meeting attended by leaders from El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico. Secretary of state John Kerry will meet with representatives of all four countries on Tuesday, in Panama.

Source: The Guardian

Comments are closed.

Yahoo! Status Checker by Techya