Congress: Demand Policy Changes Before Border Funds Are Released

Congress Must Demand Policy Changes In Exchange for Releasing Border Funds to ObamaPresident Obama’s emergency funding request is fatally flawed because it is not accompanied by critical policy changes that address the core of the immigration crisis our nation is now facing. Without those critical policy changes, the president’s request is merely a temporary Band-Aid to ease the chaos. It is not a serious proposal to end the crisis.

According to Dan Stein, president of FAIR, “The crisis is one of the president’s own making. Under the guise of ‘prosecutorial discretion,’ President Obama has blatantly refused to enforce our immigration laws, ordering immigration agents to essentially ignore all illegal aliens who have not been convicted of violent crimes.”

Removals of illegal alien minors have dropped nearly 80% during his administration. Even President Obama’s former director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) unapologetically declared that the chances of the average illegal being deported are “close to zero.”

To make matters worse, President Obama has circumvented Congress and adopted administrative amnesty programs that shield illegal aliens from deportation. The largest of these is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which grants deferred action to essentially any illegal alien who qualifies for the DREAM Act—a bill that Congress has repeatedly rejected.

“These policies have sent a clear message around the world: if you come, you can stay. And not surprisingly, the number of illegal alien minors entering the United States quickly soared. By the time the 2014 fiscal year comes to a close the number of illegal alien minors apprehended at the border is expected to quadruple from 2012,” Stein said.

The problem has been exacerbated by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, known as the TVPRA. That law — authored in the Senate by now Vice President Joe Biden, and long advocated by Senator Dianne Feinstein — requires the government to place illegal alien minors from Central America in formal removal proceedings instead of quickly returning them to their home, as the law allows with respect to minors from Mexico. The process takes years, and more often results in the illegal alien minors staying in the U.S. rather than being removed to their home countries.

Now, President Obama is asking Congress to pick up the pieces of these disastrous policies. Under the emergency supplemental request of $3.7 billion, about half of the money ($1.8 billion) will actually go to care for the illegal alien minors as they stay in the U.S., rather than expediting the removal of those with no valid claim for admission.

According to the president’s supplemental request, $879 million will go to increase detention space—another policy which the president and amnesty advocates have fought for years; $365 million will go to the Border Patrol to process and care for the illegal alien minors; $45 million is allocated for new immigration judges; and $15 million will go to providing the illegal aliens attorneys.  Incredibly, none of the money will go to adding Border Patrol or ICE agents, who are being pulled off the job to process and care for illegal alien minors. And the president is not requesting funding to deploy the National Guard to the border so that Border Patrol and ICE agents can return to their jobs of protecting our country.

While the additional funding – if implemented as promised – might help ease the chaos, it will not solve the crisis. With immigration courts already facing a backlog of over 360,000 cases, speeding up the process will only go so far. What must be addressed are the underlying policies that have created this crisis in the first place. In addition to providing additional funding, Congress must:         

  • Change the process: Amend TVPRA to allow the government to treat illegal alien minors from Central America the same way it treats minors from Mexico;
  • Secure the border: Require and fund the deployment of the National Guard so that Border Patrol and ICE agents can do their jobs and protect our country;
  • End administrative amnesties: Significantly restrict the Obama Administration from using policies that shield illegal aliens from removal, such as deferred action, parole-in-place, etc.

“Only if Congress implements all of these measures, will we begin to see a real solution to this border crisis. If it does not, Congress will simply be flushing money down the drain and we can expect the president to submit yet another ‘emergency’ funding request in a matter of months,” Stein concluded.


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Content written by Federation for American Immigration Reform staff.


  1. avatar

    I was watching the senate hearing yesterday on illegal minors entering the US and I had to laugh. The HHS Secretary was asked if it would be ok for members of congress to visit these detention facilities holding the 60,000+ ‘children’ (who are mainly teenagers and older). Her response was steeped in irony: She said that this would be fine but stressed the importance of making advance reservations or notifications before their visits.

    So… 50,000, or 500,000 (or a million?) minors we know nothing at all about enter the country illegally (whenever and wherever) – that’s fine with her. But if a few members of congress, arguably our most important individuals and representatives, request to merely visit and inspect taxpayer-funded detention centers for these illegals… no, they need a reservation. Amazing.

  2. avatar

    THIS IS AN INTENTIONAL ACT by this PRESIDENT!! This partly has to do with Congress not giving him what he wants and he does NOT care about hurting taxpayers and the poor here. I pray they can find a way to IMPEACH him. The money should only be for closing the border and airplanes to fly them right back to where they came from. I don’t believe they walked from their country all the way here, that’s a LIE. Their clothes are too clean first off. These people get here and start marching and fighting back for more and more once they get here. They caught 6 boys that were part of MS-16 gangs because they wrote graphiti on bathroom walls at one facility I heard on news today from Townhall employee. Next they will be bringing the parents. This is an attempt for Latinos to take over this country and Obama is working with them to do it! Black people should be outraged at what is happening and voicing their outrage!,,

  3. avatar

    Great! Reunite the families and send them ALL back together! Now! I am sick of my tax dollars being wasted on this catastrophe Obama created. Has anyone told these aliens they are going back? Has anyone informed the stranded train riders that were derailed to go back home?
    Add to the bill……use local law enforcement, state and city to enforce laws against illegals!

  4. avatar

    This money obama is asking for will do NOTHING to solve the problem. What needs to be done is the money should go to pay National Guard to close the border and then rent airplanes to return ALL the illegal aliens to their respective country. We have people coming in from the Middle East as well as Central America. Our country is in such serious danger with the open border and if these people are so anxious to come to America they should take the large amount of money paid to the coyotes and go through legal channels. It would be cheaper and much safer for all. The money obama has asked for will go to his friends in the various departments mentioned above but the problem will just get worse as he created this chaos and he wants it to continue so he can declare martial law when the violence starts (which will occur over the illegals being shipped all over the country). He has already sent Federal troops to CA.

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  6. avatar

    While the recommended policy changes would certainly help solve the problem if properly enforced, there is substantial evidence to suggest that DHS under President Obama would not do so. Also, any immigration bill with these changes in it could be amended in conference to include any or all of the provisions in S. 744. A less risky alternative would be to defund DACA and the other prosecutorial discretion policies currently in effect in DHS and using that money to fund additional detention beds. This could be done in the FY 2015 DHS appropriations bill currently under consideration in Congress. In addition, Congress should investigate why DHS is not taking other common-sense steps to stem the tide, such as correctly applying the statutory definition of “unaccompanied alien child,” which excludes any minor with a parent or legal guardian in the US (legally or not) who is available to provide care and physical custody. This means that minors who come here to live with a parent or legal guardian, as well as those whose parents or legal guardians arrived here in the current surge, are excluded and thus are required by law to be placed in expedited removal proceedings and mandatory ICE detention without transfer to HHS after 72 hours. The recently leaked 6/4/14 memo from the ICE-HSI Office of Intelligence indicates that the vast majority of minors being categorized by the Border Patrol as “unaccompanied” are being released to parents or legal guardians in the US, in apparent violation of the statutory definition. The leaked memo also reveals what appears to be a totally bogus process for determining whether an unaccompanied minor has a credible fear of persecution, with the four questions on CBP Form 93 easily gamed and not even close to meeting the statutory definition of “credible fear of persecution.” In addition, as the sponsor of TVPRA, Sen. Feinstein, recently remarked, TVPRA“already provides the administration with flexibility to accelerate the judicial process in times of crisis. The administration should use that flexibility to speed up the system while still treating these children humanely, with compassion and respect.” DHS should thus use the flexibility in the law to speed up the judicial process. In addition, TVPRA allows DHS to maintain custody of an unaccompanied minor for more than 72 hours in “exceptional circumstances.” Since the current situation obviously qualifies, DHS should be maintaining custody until the judicial process has been completed.

  7. avatar

    The house should not allocate 1 penny to help this. If the liberals want this, let them use the PAC money. Hell Obama is on a FundRaiser tour with US Taxpayers money. Let them use that instead of using TaxPayers money.

    I would load them all up on a bus and take them to a border and say, go home.

  8. avatar

    Immigration, in its current state, has nothing to do with the present administration or those in Congress, even though they have perpetuated the problem which began in 1917. Immigration is directly related to foreign policy.

    Throughout the 20th century immigration policy was generally one of restriction. However, during a national crisis, the link between foreign-policy and immigration becomes very apparent. With the spread of communism in Europe, World Wars I & II and the Cuban crisis’s, the government loosened immigration restrictions and even stimulated migration from Mexico and other Latin American countries.

    1. In 1917 the government formalized a migration practice with Mexico.

    2. In 1942 the US put pressure on the Mexican government to accept and formalize the practice of migrant workers coming into the United States on a temporary basis, with the the United States government as the employer.

    3. 1960, Pres. Kennedy put the full force of the government behind those fleeing from Cuba.

    4. In 1965, Pres. Johnson signed the new immigration act, with no limits established on migration and kept the flow of immigrants open from Mexico.

    5. In 1980, Pres. Carter re-iterated the openness to the acceptance of Cuban immigrants and kept the doors open for immigrants from other Latin American countries. (Other examples include the Haitian crises, the boat people from Viet Nam and those fleeing from Nicaragua and El Salvador.)

    and the list goes on.

    The issue with all of the policy decisions; there was, and is, no exit strategy!.

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  10. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    Great points, FAIR.

    I have never seen more public and media attention on the perils of bad immigration policy. The country seems more concerned about our runaway immigration crisis than ever; it’s all out in the open. Washington needs to get with it now because the American public is becoming wide awake and this has become a mainstream political issue. The images of kids warehoused in detention centers have really struck a cord.

  11. avatar

    There are 50,000 “kids” here. They will, in 2 months, need to go to school. Where will they go? They will need 25-50 additional schools, costing $50,000,000 or more each. If in your community, this is going to cause YOUR PROPERTY TAXES to be raised. You will be paying 2x, 3x current rates to school illegals. Good idea, right?

    • avatar

      You know when it will home ? When you see people’s kids arriving home with lice, scabies, TB, etc. Sadly people will only speak up when it affects them personally

  12. avatar

    This is an invasion without them firing a shot. They show a lot of pictures of poor helpless children? Most of them look like young adults with a few young children thrown in for effect. He wants almost 4 billion to help as a temporary fix. That money should be better spent helping American citizens who are losing their American dream through no fault of their own. Where do they think we are going to get this money? They keep printing money and raising taxes to cover it. The American citizen can not keep footing the bills for every country in the world while Americans are losing everything they have worked for. Welfare is running rampant. Where are these illegals going to find work? They won’t they will go into the welfare system where they have better medical than most Americans can afford (health, dental and vision) while Americans especially veterans and seniors can’t even see a doctor and have no dental or vision. Send all the illegals home make them go through the same process to become a citizen. Learn the language prove you have a means to support yourself and family just like my grandparents did.

  13. avatar
    DIana Reichardt on

    There is no need fro additional “detention areas”/ We need to ship them home, their home. Not ours! Definitely need to strengthen our borders and expand the border patrols. It is time to clean up this mess, not time to spend more money to keep them.

  14. avatar
    arnlof sweigeir ft on

    I do disagree…. President Obama admin…a flaw?….actually Fair”s gov relations is a flaw for satating a fact that is not true…..this admin did not create the constitution nor All these laws to Ne accountable for…… By hvgg

  15. avatar
    arnlof sweigeir on

    I do disagree…. President Obama admin…a flaw?….actually Fair”s gov relations is a flaw for satating a fact that is not true…..this admin did not create the constitution nor All these laws to Ne accountable for……

  16. avatar

    This President can not be trusted. He needs to be held accountable for every penny. And the first thing that has to be done is to close the borders. How many terrorists are coming across and we know these children are carrying diseases and bugs. SEND THEM ALL HOME to their Country’s Embassies and let them be responsible for them.
    If you haven’t figured it out yet, Obama is trying to destroy America from within. It is blatantly obvious. when he does not uphold our laws. Why can he not be held for treason for breaking our laws or be impeached? This has got to stop and our Politicians seem to be worthless to help.

    • avatar
      arnlof sweigeir ft on

      Pam what u still need to figure out is who u are……everything g u say is not true and u r non rational…….u repeat what most ignorant people r DRI en by republican propaganda….. U appear to be obsolete….

      • avatar

        arnlof sweigeir ft——Pam wrote the truth….in plain, properly spelled English…..your post, on the other hand is a mess. Did you not go to or finish school? Perhaps your town has an adult education program. Look into it.

        • avatar
          arnlof sweigeir ft on

          Pamela u r in the same group and apparently u never finished HS either and on the top of it u react like a primitive ape…. like a 10th orld Citizen………..even an illegal is more educated than u and handles the English language better…… I can assure you ….there are illegals that are better and we’ll mannered ones than u……nand co trip utr more than u do……..the truth is that ur r already obsolete and u do not even know it…….what is a mess is hour intellect and lice style…It shows..jcjcj jjccjcjjcc

          • avatar
            Snarky Repulbican on

            Arnlof should be banned from posting here until he learns to type and learns proper English. He also needs to stick to the issues and not personally attack those he disagrees with. However, his posts are always good for a laugh.

  17. avatar

    Yes, absolutely. Changes are needed to the Obama Administration’s immigration policies, or lack thereof, prior to any monies being appropriated for this immigration crisis. Most especially, and first and foremost, the border must be secured with a three fence system, monitoring, especially in an era when we have drones in our skies, and no more amnesties … no for children, not for those joining our military without first becoming citizens and taking the oath of citizenship, and learning English. Are we supposed to provide translators on the field of battle? NO! Ridiculous situation thinking of a battle where many armed and trained personnel cannot understand commands given in one language. And finally, use some of this money to send those poor children home to their parents. They have been used as pawns, are riddled with diseases which will move across this country like wildfire. One more suggestion, Impeach the traitor for this conspiracy regarding Immigration Reform, and all the other scandals plaguing our government.

    • avatar

      I totally agree. This is so out of hand . And these children need to go home to their parent’s. I am sure they are scared and confused as to why they where more or less abandoned in a forgien country. I’m sure all they want is to go home to their parents

      • avatar
        arnlof sweigeir on

        U r out of hand….. Everybody points out the Obama admin as there has been no past and this admin fought all wars…..And governed since the beginnings of time……….ignorance is a bliss…

      • avatar

        85% of the children have their families living in US, no room in the law for them to immigrate legally.That is why the president acknowledge that the existing immigration rules which tears family apart is a broken system it’s time to create a law that reunite family so this kids can come legally and their family will pay the bills. Their main motive is to reunite with their family many die in the journey trying to do just that.
        The earlier Congress gets it’s act together the better. How can both party agree that the system is broken and republican is
        still asking the president to enforce the broken existing law? Who does that? If it ain’t broken don’t fix it. It is broken fix it and stop waisting time.

        • avatar

          Ola, our immigration laws aren’t flawed; they aren’t broken. It’s the enforcement of our immigration laws that’s broken. If we had secured our borders and taken steps to re-patriate illegal aliens (I don’t use the PC euphemism for them), we wouldn’t have this problem now.

          A lot of this problem can be laid squarely in the lap of certain businesses and agricultual companies, who saw a neat way to save money on labor costs and have helped keep aliens hidden. Sorry about the children; it’s not their fault. They must, in any case, be re-united with their parents, so send their parents back to Mexico/Guatemala/Honduras, etc. to join them.

          As for fixing the border problem, I’ve heard some of our legislators recommending that we stop all foreign aid to Mexico until their government takes measures to help stop the illegal entries. Excellent idea. I find it hard to believe that thousands of children from Guatemala and Honduras can travel the full length of Mexico without being noticed by government officials.

          Another thing I would recommend is that we shut down all LEGAL immigration from Mexico while illegal entries continue. There are many people from all over the world waiting to enter the U.S. legally, and with this influx of illegal aliens, an unfair proportion of Mexicans is being allowed into the country.

          I don’t even understand why this immigration thing is an issue. Most Americans should be saying, “What? Allow lawbreakers into the country, ahead of others who are waiting patiently to enter according to the law? Award citizenship to them, give their kids free college educations and other benefits that even most of us native-born Americans don’t have?
          “Are you out of your mind?!!”