Republican State Representative Wants Migrant Children Quickly Returned Home
If a bill from Arizona Rep. Matt Salmon passes, it will give the U.S. Customs and Border Protection the authority to immediately return all unaccompanied children crossing the border to their home countries in Central America. Salmon addresses a provision in a 2008 human trafficking law requiring U.S. Border Patrol agents to give custody of children to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
With thousands of children from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras entering the U.S. without authorization, Obama is asking Congress for $2 billion to pay for additional immigration judges needed for these new cases. Obama also urges lawmakers to revisit and review the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to determine accelerated deportations.
"I think the first step to fix it is to give our CBP guys the authority to immediately repatriate them back to their countries," said Salmon, who is also chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere and a member of the working group that U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, assembled to address the crisis. "Then, we are going to have to have communications with Mexico and work with them to secure Mexico's southern border."
Salmon also mentioned that the U.S. use some money from the anti-crime Merida Initiative, a U.S. -Mexican partnership, to help Mexico strengthen its southern security and crack down on human smugglers who are trafficking the children.
"There are a lot of dollars that we are giving out in foreign aid, and I think we need to redirect some of it," he said. "If the President is asking for $2 billion, I think we have to find it within the system and reshuffle things."