President Obama has asked Congress for roughly $4 billion to process the 52,000 Central American children who recently came across the Texas border. Not surprisingly, Republicans in Congress are having none of it. The GOP are claiming that the problem is due to Obama not protecting the border and, in some cases, saying Obama himself encouraged the children to come.
The breakdown of the budget request is – $1.8 billion to help care for the unaccompanied children, $1.1 billion for deportation, $433 million for border agent pay and additional facilities, and $64 million to hire additional immigration judges. The total request – so far – comes to $3.7 billion.
While Republicans show distrust that Obama will be vigilant on border protection, some Democrats have also opposed the plan while citing a concern for sending children back to the countries in Central America from which they fled.
Speaker John A. Boehner said the president’s plan failed to deploy the National Guard, an idea the White House said would not be effective. And Representative John Carter of Texas said he was wary of any measure that gave Mr. Obama too much autonomy…
Some Democrats, like Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, have expressed strong misgivings about any plan that would allow for unaccompanied children to be sent back home to dangerous situations.
It was probably too much to hope for a quick and reasonable compromise in response to this current border crisis. After all, Congress still can not pass an immigration bill after years of debate, why would this be any different?
Nonetheless, something is going to have to happen with these 52,000 children now in US custody. Keeping them in legal limbo is also quite expensive.