Obama Seeks Brisk Passage of Border Children Funding Bill: Would Subsidize Schooling, Health Care, Lawyers for Illegal Immigrants

immigration-overload
Women from Honduras traveling with their children are stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Services agents after crossing the Rio Grande near McAllen, Texas. About 90 Hondurans a day cross illegally into the U.S. from Mexico. (associated press) Photo by: Rodolfo Gonzalez

For the Washington TimesStephen Dinan reports: President Obama’s new border spending request will pay for schooling, health care and lawyers for the unaccompanied illegal immigrant children surging across the border, officials told Congress on Thursday as they pleaded for quick action on the $3.7 billion package.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Congress must approve the money this month, saying that if nothing is done before lawmakers leave for a monthlong August vacation, one of his agencies will have to cut its other immigration enforcement in order to hold and transport the children.

But Mr. Johnson and other officials faced bipartisan complaints that Mr. Obama’s plan is “incomplete.” Democrats said it fails to compensate local communities who are having to face the problem, while Republicans said Mr. Obama needs to spell out details of how he wants to change the law to make sure the children can be quickly deported.

“He needs to work with us to get the right policy into effect — not just throw money at the problem,” Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the top Republican in the Senate, said on the chamber floor.

The Obama administration has been struggling for months to gain a handle on the surge of children and families crossing the border, and the president this week finally submitted an emergency spending request to Congress.

It would provide more money to social workers to house the children, add immigration judges to try to speed up cases so that those who are going to be deported can be sent home sooner and boost funding for immigration agents who are handling the surge at the border as well as detaining, processing and transporting the children.

Some of the $1.8 billion intended for the Health and Human Services Department will provide for education and extraordinary health care for children in desperate need, and both the HHS money and funding for the Justice Department will go to pay for legal representation for the children, officials told the Senate Appropriations Committee….(read more)

Washington Times



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