Obama Administration's Futile Response to Illegal Immigrant Minors

By:  Warren Mass
Obama Administration's Futile Response to Illegal Immigrant Minors

On June 2, the White House issued a presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish an interagency “Unified Coordination Group.” The group will be created, stated President Obama, in “response to the influx of unaccompanied alien children across the southwest border.”

The present Secretary of Homeland Security is Jeh Johnson.

The memorandum states that the “the influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) across the southwest border of the United States has resulted in an urgent humanitarian situation requiring a unified and coordinated Federal response.” 

A Reuters article on May 29 cited Obama administration estimates that 60,000 children unaccompanied by parents or relatives will pour into the United States this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011.

Secretary Johnson told Reuters in an interview that the shortage of housing for these unaccompanied children, some of whom are as young as three, has become so acute that an emergency shelter has been opened at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, which can accommodate 1,000 of them.

"This is a humanitarian crisis and it requires a humanitarian response," Reuters quoted Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) in an interview. Mikulski likened the flood of unaccompanied children to the “boat people” of past exodus movements.

Alabama’s two senators were among the most vocal in raising additional question about not only the “Unified Coordination Group,” but the underlying problems leading to this humanitarian crisis.

Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) the ranking member on the Appropriations Committee, said, “The need is there, you know the humanitarian aspect of it, but we’re challenged on money.”

Jeff Sessions, Alabama’s other senator and ranking member of the Senate’s Budget Committee, was much more outspoken in his assessment of the unaccompanied alien children crisis. In fact, Sessions’ statement about the crisis was prominently posted on his Senate webpage on June 3. It read, in part: 

The rising crisis at the border is the direct and predictable result of actions taken by President Obama. He and his Administration have announced to the world that they will not enforce America’s immigration laws, and have emphasized in particular that foreign youth will be exempted from these laws. The world has heard the President’s call, and illegal immigrants are pouring across the border in pursuit of his promised amnesty. President Obama is responsible for this calamity, and only by declaring to the world that our border is no longer open — and that the law will be restored — can this emergency be stopped.

Sessions listed both humanitarian and budgetary reasons for holding the Obama administration responsible for creating the crisis in the first place — then spending large amounts of money to remedy its symptoms, writing:

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