Bad Boehner Border Bill Blocked

Published on August 1st, 2014

Joe Guzzardi
August 1, 2014

Earlier this week, House Republican leaders cancelled a vote on HR 5230, their pared down $659 million emergency funding response to the Central American alien border invasion that’s overwhelmed immigration officials and local communities. HR 5230 is a bad bill that would do nothing to end the alien flow.

Desperate to pass something to prove to its constituents during their five-week recess that the House is viable, Speaker John Boehner promised to offer a new bill. Boehner’s gesture is symbolic. The Senate, which also failed to pass a border bill, wouldn’t approve House legislation under any circumstances and, even if it did, the President Obama would veto it.

Congress’ inability to compromise, much less pass legislation, reflects America’s growing immigration concerns. Nearly 80 percent of Americans including 64 percent of Hispanics want Central Americans returned, and not as some legislators prefer, granted refugee status that would give them permanent United States residency. Any diluted legislation that doesn’t identify deportation as its main goal will be a tough sell back home. Most House Republicans want to include language that would expeditiously deport aliens, prevent Obama from granting deferred action status to any or all the 12 million aliens currently living in the United States and change a 2008 anti-trafficking law that would remove guaranteed due process for Central American children and teenagers.

Months ago, the Central American surge first captured national headlines. Countless references have been made to the 2008 law which President Obama and Congress insist severely limit their ability to deport the aliens. The truth, however, is that there’s nothing in the William Wilberforce Sex Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act to prevent aliens immediate removal, assuming the political will on both sides of the aisle existed. Instead, Congress has fed Americans a diet of smoke and mirrors which insures that few if any aliens will be returned.

Here are two reasons why President Obama could act swiftly if he wasn’t so determined to keep the borders open. First, the children aren’t being trafficked. They’re being delivered, mostly by coyotes and at their own request, to the railroad where they voluntarily boarded. Once inside the United States, they willfully surrender to the closest Border Patrol agent.

Second, by federal definition “unaccompanied minors” don’t include children who have parents or legal guardians living in the U.S. According to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, nearly 90 percent of aliens who have arrived since October have been turned over to their families.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the 2008 bill’s co-author, said that Obama has the flexibility under an “exceptional circumstances” provision that allows him to expedite Central Americans removal. Feinstein correctly argues that huge waves of aliens represent extraordinary circumstances.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi charged House Republican with “meanness” for failing to pass a bill that would allow the border lunacy to not only continue but accelerate. Meanwhile, at the cost of $74,000 daily, taxpayers are funding lavish housing near San Antonio to shelter more than 532 aliens. Called “suites,” the facilities include soccer fields, basketball courts, unlimited buffets, flat screen televisions medical screening, and six sets of clothes including shoes and socks.

With Congress deadlocked and Obama defiantly refusing to enforce existing immigration laws, shameless federal largess to opulently lodge aliens who have knowingly broken U.S. immigration laws will continue unabated. Yet 1.6 million American kids are homeless and 50 million Americans live below the $23,492 poverty line for a family of four, 13 million more than when Obama took office. In Obama’s White House, Americans evidently just don’t count.


Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been nationally syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]

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