Arizona governor feels immigrant kids' pain, blames White House

NOGALES Arizona Wed Jun 25, 2014 8:01pm EDT

1 of 4. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer speaks to the media at the Nogales Border Patrol Station in Nogales, Arizona June 25, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Nancy Wiechec

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NOGALES Arizona (Reuters) - Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer said on Wednesday that as a mother it broke her heart to see the plight of illegal immigrant children, and that she blamed the federal government for failing to send a message that the U.S. border was closed.

Brewer, who has often clashed with the Obama administration over illegal immigration, made the remarks after touring a Border Patrol processing facility for new arrivals in Nogales, Arizona, with U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.

More than 47,000 unaccompanied minors are thought to have entered the United States illegally between October and May, nearly twice as many as the year before, many of them fleeing poverty and gang violence in Central American countries.

"As a mother it breaks your heart to see the situation the children are in. And more so, that parents themselves put their children in harm's way," Brewer told reporters.

She said the center processed about 140 children every day, and that there were currently several pregnant girls there. Many would be released to illegal immigrant parents and later "blend" into society, the governor said.

"This crisis that America is facing is because we have not sent a strong message to these counties that our borders are closed. ... We need the federal government to step up and secure the border."

The surge in young arrivals has crowded facilities in Texas and led to efforts to move some to other states.

Brewer, whose administration in Arizona has taken a tough line on immigration, has slammed as "dangerous and unconscionable" a policy that in one instance saw hundreds of migrants detained in Texas released at Arizona bus stations.

President Barack Obama has called the flood of illegal immigrant children an urgent humanitarian crisis. It comes as a number of U.S. groups push for policy reform to allow the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States to obtain a pathway to citizenship.

Many Republicans complain the federal government is not doing enough to secure the southern border, and they blame the surge 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.

Johnson said that did not apply to children arriving from Central America, and that if they were apprehended at the border, they were considered a "priority" for deportation proceedings.

"We will stem the tide and find a solution to this problem, but until we do, we will deal with their kids in a safe, lawful and humane way," he said.

(Reporting by Paul Ingram; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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Comments (4)
4825 wrote:
Well Governor, your blame of the Obama administration is directed exactly where the blame should lie. The administration’s lack of border control and extremely poor policies have the country on a steep downward track in many areas, this being just one. We will continue to see the issues that we have seen so often recently until we get these liberals out of office. Vote every liberal democrat out of office, I am.

Jun 25, 2014 8:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
astroz wrote:
Johnson said a recently as a month ago that he was reviewing the idea that DHS wouldn’t deport anyone here illegally except known fellons! He made it clear that if you can touch foot on U.S. soil you’re safe. He and the amnesty talkers created this nightmare. Yet another reminder that citizens must stay engaged in this epic batte for our interests to be protected. The two best tools I have found for citizens to have impact is to call your reps often at the Capital Switchboard (202 224-3121…I keep it in my cell and call as often as several times weekly). The second is to stay informed with…their action alerts help citizens and their 3 million members know when and whom to contact with easy to use pre-written faxes…very effective. We can all complain about the daily outrages with immigration, but until ALL citizens get engaged, we remain in a dangerous position. If even half of those proclaiming opposition to the insanity coming from DC got into this fight, it would have been over years ago. Don’t get mad…get involved.

Jun 26, 2014 11:23am EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:
Republican blames White House

sounds pretty typical to me. Nothing constructive from the GOP yet. btw; where’s the Immigration bill from the House? *crickets*

Jun 26, 2014 1:32pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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