Republicans call for secure U.S. border amid child immigrant influx

WASHINGTON Sun Jun 22, 2014 2:58pm EDT

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican lawmakers on Sunday stepped up calls to secure the U.S. border with Mexico before proceeding with changes to the country's immigration policies, linking the issue to a recent surge of illegal children.

Republican U.S. Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, who chairs the Homeland Security Committee, described "nothing less than refugee camps" in his state where a flood of children has been arriving illegally.

"I believe the failed border security strategy has resulted in this and I believe the message is if you came to the United States, you can stay, and that encourages," McCaul said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

From October to June 15, 52,000 unaccompanied children arrived on the U.S. border with Mexico, according to the Department of Homeland Security. President Barack Obama has called the issue an urgent humanitarian crisis.

Republicans have blamed the influx of children on Obama's 2012 decision to give temporary relief from deportation to some young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

The Obama administration has sought to stem the flow of migrant children by investing in speedier deportation decisions as well as committing millions of dollars to improve security in Guatemala and offering help to youth in El Salvador who are vulnerable to organized crime. [ID:nL2N0P1117]

Many unaccompanied children are believed to be escaping drug-fueled conflicts in Central America as well as rejoining family members who have already gone to the United States.

"There's a humanitarian disaster ... It's because you have a beacon, forgiveness, and you don't have a secure border," Republican Senator Rand Paul told "Meet the Press."

"I am for immigration reform but I insist that we secure the border first."

The U.S. Senate passed an immigration bill last year, but the measure has stalled in the House of Representatives where Republicans remain deeply split over what to do about the more than 11 million undocumented U.S. residents.

Many Republicans want to await the outcome of November's elections before revisiting the issue.

A candidate with the small-government Tea Party movement defeated Majority Leader Eric Cantor as a nominee for his House seat, in part by attacking him for his openness to legal status for some children brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, newly elected to replace Cantor as the No. 2 Republican in the House, said on "Fox News Sunday" that the U.S. borders must be secure before Congress considers immigration reform and he ruled out a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

"I don't believe there should be citizenship," McCarthy said. "Until we secure the borders, because the borders are not secure, we're not enforcing the laws. And I think that's a reasonable position. Until that's secure, you can't have an immigration debate."

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Eric Beech; Editing by Jim Loney and Andrea Ricci)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see
Comments (3)
kea808 wrote:
Yes, speak up about how we should stop the children from crossing. Nothing said about the tons of drugs that crossover on a daily basis. Why do republicans have such a hard time prioritizing?

Jun 22, 2014 3:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
morbas wrote:
Republican obstrucionism ‘modus operandi’, demand an impossible action to precurse any congressional action.

The power base of the Tea-GOP is in projecting primary dictation of the lock step GOP authority. Implementation of an oligarch ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) dictate. Within great revolutions (Tea Party), little protection is ever offered from a subversive power grab. As the spirited of cause is blinded by the power of monetized propaganda. What is needed is an awaking of the people. We must resolve to vote in numbers and with resolve to ferret out this corporate republic subversion, fueled and dependent on unreasoned unconscionable hate.

Liberalism is the foundation the USA Constitution!

Jun 22, 2014 6:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
REnninga wrote:
“….You forget that Democrats want drugs, love drugs, hope to legalize all drugs. Drugs make your hellish man-made utopia tolerable. I hope you’re in California, because today Obama has started flying multiple planeloads of these illegals to your state”

These up to 52,000 ‘unaccompanied minors’ (translation: CHILDREN) have been apprehended entering the United States in Texas, Arizona and New Mexico, and a few hundred of them are being sent to other Immigration & Customs Enforcement centers in California for processing, reunification with their parents or guardians and deportation to their home countries.

So now you tell us, what would YOU prefer see happen to these children? Should they just be shot dead at the border? Should they be rounded-up and gassed, and their bodies disposed in crematoria?

You see, in the Democrat’s “hellish man-made utopia” that you reference, basic humanity and compassion toward our fellow human beings is the approach. It’s also “The American Way”, and also in keeping with the beliefs of most Republicans and Independents, too. Compassion and humanity are not partisan.

Sorry about that. Too bad for you.

Jun 22, 2014 9:21pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.