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Friday, October 28, 2016

Washington (AFP) – Senior U.S. Republicans expressed skepticism Sunday about President Barack Obama’s emergency funding request to stem the surge of children from Central America, saying it doesn’t focus enough on border security.

U.S. authorities have detained some 57,000 unaccompanied minors since October, twice the number from the same period a year ago, sparking a political firestorm about how best to deal with the influx.

Obama has requested $3.7 billion to help ease an “urgent humanitarian situation” largely affecting youths from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fleeing poverty and crime back home.

But Republicans, led by Texas Governor Rick Perry whose state borders Mexico and has felt the impact of the crisis firsthand, said Sunday the proposal doesn’t go far enough and that he would not be encouraging his congressional delegation to pass the legislation.

“As I look at that piece of legislation, it is a very large amount of money. As you analyze it, very little of it is for border security,” Perry said in an interview with Fox News Sunday.

The failed 2012 Republican presidential candidate urged Obama to position National Guard troops along the border in “a show of force.”

“That’s the message that gets sent back very quickly to Central America,” he said.

Perry contended that, in fact, Obama didn’t have to “have this big amount of money” but could instruct the Defense Department with a simple phone call to direct 1,000 troops to the border.

Senator John McCain, from the neighboring state of Arizona that is also affected by the influx, told CNN’s State of the Union talk show that much more funding — about $6 billion — was needed to secure America’s borders.

“Every nation has the requirement to secure its borders. Our borders are not secure, no matter what they say.”

McCain advocated sending children back home, saying it would send a message to families and keep them from paying human traffickers to smuggle their offspring to the United States on a perilous overland trek across Mexico.

“There has to be a halt to this. That’s what we want. And the best way to do that is for planeloads of these young people to be returning to their country of origin,” he said.

Congressman Mike McCaul of Texas, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also signaled that the president’s request would face an uphill battle.

“Our view as House Republicans, is look, we’re not going to write a blank check for $4 billion,” he said, also on Fox News Sunday. “It will be a more targeted approach.”

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder meanwhile acknowledged in an interview with ABC’s This Week program that America’s immigration laws are “broken.”

“It’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform,” he said in remarks taped Friday.

With its funding request, the Obama administration is looking to beef up border security with aerial surveillance, improve housing for the undocumented arrivals and speed up their deportations.

The appropriation would go to several U.S. government agencies, funding an increase in the number of immigration judges, asylum officers and border agents; an expansion in court capacity; and the addition of detention facilities, officials said.

AFP Photo/Saul Loeb

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  • Dominick Vila

    Their opposition to President Obama’s request for additional funding has nothing to do with border security. Let’s face it, the latest influx of women and children from Central America are going straight to our ports of entry, where they ask our border patrol officers and immigration officials for asylum. They are not jumping fences or crawling into the USA through tunnels, they are doing what Cubans have done since Reagan implemented the wet foot-dry foot policy. Moreover, the arrival of the newcomers, in addition to obvious humanitarian concerns and our traditions on this subject, do not involve illegal entry. There is nothing illegal with asking for asylum and being granted that privilege in accordance with U.S. laws. We did not hesitate to grant asylum to the East Germans who managed to escape the brutality of the Soviet Union. We have granted asylum to Chinese dissidents, We have granted asylum to almost every person escaping dictatorships, famine, abuse and exploitation coming from every corner of the world. The only thing that is different this time is that the latest asylum seekers are brown skinned indigenous people and speak Spanish. The actions and comments being made by the far right are reminiscent of the excuses used during the Third Reich and the days of South African apartheid. Shame on those determined to embarrass the United States in the eyes of the world, those who ignore our traditions and values, and those whose inhumanity and lack of compassion are the exact opposite to white Jesus said and did.

  • Joseph Kelsall

    Well stated Dominick. All of those demanding extra immigration patrol are , in fact, immigrants themselves or the descendents of immigrants. The ironical paradox astounds me. Ignorance and poverty breed intolerance and rednecks.

  • Jambi

    I’m sure Perry wants the national guard armed with rockets, rifles, and nuclear weapons to defend our border from these (surrendering) invading marauders!… Hey, Gov. “Good Hair” (and new distinguished glasses)…They’re women and children …Not Pancho Villa!!!

    • mah101

      Perry is commander in chief of the Texas national guard. He doesn’t need anyone else to authorize sending troops to the border.

      But this isn’t a border security issue. These are children and women arriving at the border and asking for asylum. Try not to confuse the issues of border security, illegal immigrants, and these central american refugees. Under the current law we are required to hold them in the US and grant them a hearing.

  • jmprint

    I really have a problem when they scream out our borders are not secure. My question is why NOW, why not 7 years ago, why not 10 years ago or 20, but it is because President Obama is an easy target for the right. And they really don’t know how to do anything else.

    • S.J. Jolly

      Would the Right be happy with even a Berlin Wall-style barrier along the border? No. What they really want is a nation-wide, all out “rat hunt” for illegal immigrants, where even native born citizens dare not leave home without proof of citizenship, least they find themselves on a bus heading south of the border!

      • jmprint

        Yes, that’s them alright.

      • Bill

        Nobody could make the GOP happy no matter what they do, fix the border but we won’t give you any money to do it with, same old worn out GOP policy.

        • mah101

          I think since the GOP predicates all its positions on anger and dissatisfaction, your statement that “Nobody could make the GOP happy” is true regardless of the issue.

          • wilsonsandy2

            This is a crisis that obama pepetuated. and he is here to destroy our country. you can blame GOP all you want but what obama is doing behind the scenes is frightening. We have never seen so many coming across the border before. Its no longer a party problem it is obama the communist who is here to take down america.

          • mah101

            Let me put this bluntly. You seemingly lack any understanding of some issues central to this discussion. Let me give you a few questions to explore that will help you participate more effectively in our national dialog. Be as specific as possible, and use contextualized examples freely. Cite your sources.

            1) Just what is it that the President has done that caused or perpetuated this crisis, other than executing the duly enacted laws of this country?

            2) What actions of this administration frighten you, and how is it that they differ from the actions of any other previous executive, thus leading to this fear?

            3) What is the difference between legal immigration, illegal immigration, and the current situation of children seeking refugee status?

            4) What law requires that these individuals seeking refugee status be granted a hearing?

            5) How many judges are currently available to hold such hearings, and how long is the backlog?

            6) If you advocate not following the law and just send them back without a hearing, how do you: a) justify defying black-letter law in order to do what you want, b) reconcile such a perspective with the structure of a representative democracy such as ours, and c) sleep at night?

            7) If you DO advocate ignoring the law, how is it that you support your moral outrage against the President whom you and others claim is intent on ignoring the law? In other words, please explain your hypocrisy and the cognitive dissonance that follows.

            8) What is communism? Using no fewer than three examples (I’ll make it as easy as possible for you), show how the President’s actions are consistent with transitioning our representative democracy in line with the economic and social foundations of communism. Bonus points for explaining the differences between communism, socialism, and social democrat. Further bonus points for exploring the economic and social differences between Marx, Engels, Lenin, Stalin, and the modern social democrats of Europe (and – gasp – Canada).

            After researching these issues and satisfactorily answering these questions, please be prepared to engage in a mutual dialog of ideas to explore the problems of immigration that are central to the article upon which we are commenting.

          • Sand_Cat

            Well said. I trust you realize you won’t be getting an answer.

          • mah101

            Nothing but crickets…

          • Sand_Cat

            What alien whispered all this info in your ear? Oh, oh, how could we have missed the president’s obvious intent to destroy the country?

          • Independent1

            You are aware that these children are coming to the border now because of a law that George Bush signed, right? Yup! George signed a law in 2008 which said that any minors who applied for asylum from countries other than Canada or Mexico, had to be given a hearing on their application for asylum. Obama had nothing to do with the law that is encouraging these kids to come to our border.

            You are aware too are you not that Obama has rounded up and deported more troublesome illegal aliens than any previous president?? Far more than any previous GOP president. Is that what you’re referring to as behind the scenes?

            You are aware too that Obama continued re-enforcement of border security that Bush started and has gotten the border more secured than at any previous time in American history. So secure that at one point, there were far more illegals leaving the country than entering. Is that what you meant by behind the scenes?

            Maybe you should do some research before you make posts you can’t substantiate.

          • Allan Richardson

            Try loosening your tinfoil hat a bit, you won’t get so many migraines.

      • Dominick Vila

        David Duke was clear on what his ultimate goal is: send all African Americans back to Africa, and all Hispanics-Latinos to Mexico. No ambiguity there.
        His disciples proudly display car stickers calling to take America back…to the good ole days when the only minorities allowed to mingle with the privileged were servants and farm hands.

      • Allan Richardson

        Just as happened to the character played by Cheech Marin in the 1980s comedy “Born in East L. A.”

    • Dominick Vila

      Especially when we consider that the influx of illegal immigrants is at an all time low, that the number of deportations are at an all time high, and that the newcomers are not entering the USA illegally. The Central American newcomers are going straight to our Southern border immigration checkpoints, where they ask the border patrol officers and immigration officials for asylum based on President Bush’s 2008 immigration law to that effect.
      The reasons for the latest furor include political opportunism and racism. Period.
      Has anyone heard right wingers complaining about illegal immigration through our Northern border or about the fact that thousands of people are entering our country via international airports and ports with tourist or student visas and never leave?

      • jmprint

        No they don’t because the they are parrots, only repeat what they are told from the leaders of the TP Cruz & company. They can’t think for themselves and the definitely do not care for facts.

  • Blueberry Hill

    The putrid TP/GOPigs are doing just what we thought they would. They blame Obama, when it is actually they themselves, who will not fix the border or help with the influx of women and children, not from Mexico, but escaping horrific conditions farther south. So, Mr. President, do the best you can with your executive authorities, and if you just need to let these people just absorb into society, it is on the ignorant Republibaggers.


  • charles king

    I think it is about time the President Obama start kicking some butts and move on and give those children some welfare and security. This is America and we stand for doing the Right thing. Democracy is about the People, all the People and while you talking to Congress tell them to get off their sorry A**** and start fixing up America like we did for Europe after the second world war. I think we have Plutocracts in this country Who? are trying to sell the country off to anyone with enough money. Thank You are the magic words i my book. I Love Ya All. Mr> C. E. KING

  • herchato

    Nothing changing with the republicans, whatever the president wants the republicans are against.

  • S.J. Jolly

    “Perry contended that, … with a simple phone call to direct 1,000 troops to the border.” There are presently some 20,000 Border Patrol and ICE agents patrolling the 1937 miles of US – Mexico border. 1000 National Guard or US Army troops added to the mix would amount to only 1 additional guard per every 2 miles of border, and they certainly could not be left in place 7/24 indefinitely, like fence posts!

  • James Bowen

    Congress would be correct to reject this funding request as it stands. Most of this request goes toward welfare and legal services for the alien children. The laws needs to be changed so that they may be deported immediately, and all funding should be directed to that purpose.

    • mah101

      Why should they be deported immediately? Why don’t people arriving at our border and asking for asylum deserve a compassionate ear and a legal hearing?

      • James Bowen

        Because we can’t afford to bring them all in. These kids know what they are doing. They are exploiting our system. They know our interior immigration enforcement is a joke and accurately believe that if they can get in they can stay.

        • mah101

          First, the US is not broke – we are still the richest nation in the world and we have plenty of money – all we need is an honest discussion about revenue.

          Second, I reject the idea that someone showing up at my door asking for help should be turned away. That’s not how I live my life, and I’m saddened at the cynicism of those who would deny even a modicum of attention to those in need.

          • James Bowen

            We do not have unlimited resources and we are already overpopulated as it is. Just look at our unemployment situation, the strains on water supplies, the ridiculous “development” sprawl in urban areas, etc. We cannot afford to take in everyone who wants to come here.

          • mah101

            The problem is ours at this point. They are already here. So, what is the solution? Ultimately, it is to resolve the conditions that led them to the US and that requires one of two things: a) help solve the problems in Central America, and b) reduce the incentive to come to the US. Both of those require legislative action, not border patrol.

            Oh, and China has four times our population in the same space as the US. I’m not saying that that is ideal, but overpopulating the US is not really the major concern when were talking about 300 million US citizens versus thousands of Central American refugee children.

            And ultimately, I return to my initial question. Why don’t THESE PEOPLE deserve a hearing?

          • James Bowen

            China would be an absolutely miserable place to live. That is precisely what I don’t want to happen here. Our population growth is almost wholly due to immigration–that is why these kids should not even be considered to be allowed in. Our population growth is unsustainable, so immigration levels need to be slashed and we need to have absolutely zero tolerance for unauthorized immigration such as we are facing with these kids.

          • mah101

            Actually, I’d disagree with you as China is hardly a miserable place to live – quite nice actually.

            Our population growth is not very rapid (well below world average and by all measures less than 1%). That hardly seems a valid reason to turn people away who come here seeking help.

            I think we’re just going to have to agree to disagree. In the meantime, I hope you won’t mind that I continue to advocate for a compassionate solution rather than a blanket statement of “send them all back”.

          • James Bowen

            I’m sorry, but I don’t think living among an enormous population density with open air toilets and horrible pollution and where much of the population lives on subsistence agriculture is the type of place I want this country to be. Our population growth is rapid enough that we are adding 30 million every ten years–absolute numbers matter big time. In other words, we are adding a France to our population every two decades, and it is because of immigration. This has got to stop, and that means having a very strict immigration policy.

          • mah101

            Have you been to China lately, James?

          • James Bowen

            No, but I do know that a substantial portion of their population are poor peasant subsistence farmers. Much of their urban population are poorly-paid factory workers. Their middle class is about 300 million, but out of 1.4 billion that is pretty miserable.

          • mah101

            James, I’ve spent a lot of time there and there certainly are problems – as they well know. But I think the characterization of it as a miserable place to live is misleading and incorrect. Actually it’s quite an interesting, lovely, and vibrant country.

          • James Bowen

            You are very correct about that. However, it is also an overpopulated mess. They had the one-child policy for a reason.

          • Sand_Cat

            To be fair, much of China is among the most polluted places on earth. I can sympathize with Mr. Bowen’s concern about that, but even if we took all of these people without question, they would not be the ones doing the polluting; our wasteful consumer culture and our horrible habits are the source of that. The poor – which is what most of these people will likely turn out to be, even if they are allowed to stay – will simply suffer the consequences while the rest of us reap the benefits while they last.
            We made the mess in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, at least, and we owe people fleeing that more than a ride back to it.

          • James Bowen

            We did some nasty things there, but to suggest that we are completely responsible for the mess they are in is not true. They must take responsibility for their countries–we cannot do it for them. We need to send these people back.

            I do agree that our wasteful mass consumption habits are a major threat to our well-being.

          • stcroixcarp

            Tell that to the Koch brothers, If the uber-rich and corporations would pay their fair share of taxes, money wouldn’t be an issue. And it isn’t now.

          • James Bowen

            I’m not talking just about money. I am talking also about natural resources, long-term sustainability (which the U.S. population already exceeds), quality of life, etc.

          • stcroixcarp

            I agree that we cannot keep on exploiting our resources as if they were infinite. I am all for cutting carbon emissions, developing renewable energy, and encouraging people to use birth control,. We cannot continue practices like fracking that uses billions of gallons of pure water and contaminates it with unknown chemicals. Maybe we will have to give up driving so many personal vehicles and go to public transportation. We cannot sustain an economy that so blatantly favors the rich and starve the rest of us. But here and now we have a humanitarian crisis here and now on our doorstep basically caused by our own policies of exploitation in Central America. Have you ever heard of Iran/Contra, School of the Americas? Well, buddy, we are reaping the whirlwind now. We need to take care of those kids. No matter how damn much it costs. It is our responsibility.

          • James Bowen

            No, it is not our responsibility. We did do some nasty stuff in Central America, but what we did had nothing to do with exploiting their resources. It was more like using them as pawns in a proxy war against Communists or perceived Communists. These people need to take responsibility for their own country and their own kids. Taking them in will send the message and have the effect that we are a relief valve for them. Sending them back will put pressure on them to do something to provide for their people. I agree with everything else you say here though.

          • stcroixcarp

            Talk about the conservative harping about responsibility. It seems to be ok to mess up existing cultures, fund and train death squads, corporately colonize our neighbors, but not claim responsibility for the consequences.! Humanity and civilization cannot afford you. You cost us too much of our souls.

          • James Bowen

            No nation in history has a sqeaky clean record. What happened in Central America was not one of our finest moments. However, it is done. There is nothing that can be done to reverse it. All we can do now is learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. Taking in people we cannot afford to take in, especially when our own workforce is so hard-pressed right now, is going to make the situation worse, not better.

            Also, we are not solely to blame for the problems of Central America. The chaos in those countries predates our involvement in them.

        • stcroixcarp

          We can’t afford $4 billion to save the lives of women and kids, but it was fine to spend a trillion dollars on a damn unfunded war in Iraq that killed over 4,000 American service men and women, wounded another 40,000, and left 2.5 million Iraqi civilians as refugees in their own land.? Jimmy, your priorities are all screwed up..

          • James Bowen

            I was opposed to the Iraq war. This is not about saving their lives any more than it is about saving the lives of the other deeply impoverished 5 billion people in the world. We already do the world a great service by making up for the food deficits of other countries with our surplus. If we continue our immigration-driven population growth, we will erase that surplus. Where will those people get their food then? Mars?

    • Sand_Cat

      Yes, why don’t you take them back to Mars?

      • James Bowen

        You think we can import food from other planets then?

  • David

    I think we should send McCain back to the mean streets of his birth place where he can get his old high job as a taco cart condiment boy back. In. Fact I wouldn’t mind if that un-American piece of crap flew himself there. Having crashed 4 government issued planes before he even got to Vietnam-Nam doesn’t speak well of his abilities. Flame-out McNasty

  • ExRadioGuy15

    The GOP are heartless and Fascist bastards…so, the fact that they’re “skeptical” about the additional funds request shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, or, at the very least, a surprise to anyone who possesses sanity and intelligence…

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: The doing nothing and obstructionists group of clowns that representative only 45% of the American voters due to their State gerrymandering lack Common sense and Decency. It seems less important to House of Republicans as they continue their shameful steath racial animusconduct toward President Barack Obama for trying to do his job. These House clowns don’t want to solve the basic policy problem we face, which will require accepting uncomfortable trade-offs, when continuing to do doing nothing — allowing the status quo to fester — is politically easier. They say $3.7 billion is too much but had no problem flushing $26 billion down the toilet when they closed our Government,then paid-off federal employees for keeping them home! Some of us Americans share Martin Luther King’s dream that this President will be judged by thecontent of his character to take responsible action and not by the color of his skin! In closing everyone has to understand that although we have shared international community Humanitarian moral responsibility to deal with REFUGEESwith other South American countries, but we are not and cannot be THE policemanor social welfare agency for the World. And anyone that disagrees, no problem, just put up your own money! But we are sick and tired these disgraceful “doing nothing” republican hypocrites (nation press: no more false equivalents)! There will be some voting surprises for them in November!

  • Tomron Wallen

    How is it possible that the GOP dissenters don’t recognize the ridiculous non sequitor they are parroting (fix the border), and aren’t embarrassed by their lack of understanding of the current immediate problem? It’s a mystery! When mothers and children, and unaccompanied children are arriving and asking to be taken to the very border security personnel the dissenters are talking about the lack of, what the hell would beefing up the border do? That’s a totally different problem, having to do with the total immigration policy debate which the GOP refuses to enter (except to bitch about it). We have many tens of thousands of people who require immediate care and processing according to the law, and that’s exactly what the President is asking for funds to implement.

  • wilsonsandy2

    STOP IT!!!!!!!!!

    • mah101

      Won’t you please help stop the senseless abuse of the caps lock key? Please give today, operators are standing by.

    • Sand_Cat

      I guess by your statements those of us here who disagree with your delusions are not Americans, and are not on “America’s side,” whereever that might be. But I needn’t have even written that; isn’t it obvious?

  • Carol Jeanneret

    Republicans harp and harp about President Obama not doing anything. They whine and moan about how much they care about immigrants. But THEY ARE THE ONES THAT DO NOTHING!!! Republicans come up with some of the stupidest reasons why they can not give the President what he asks for and they treat the American people like idiots! Let’s call their hateful, greedy, idiotic actions exactly what they are! These morons do not have a heart, they are full of greed, hate and obstruction! We need to get these boneheads OUT OF OFFICE!!!

  • Mark

    The security we really need is a manhood test for the GOP. If this is really about border security, then McCain, Perry, and their GOP comrades should suit up, grab their AK-47’s, and get on out there. With the understanding of course that some of the drug smugglers they’d also encounter would probably shoot back at our heroes (with better accuracy.) Otherwise, man up and tell the truth….the reason you’re all against it is because “the black guy is for it!”