Crapo, Risch urge Obama to stem flow of Central American children to border

Posted by Dan Popkey on July 1, 2014 

Former Idaho Sen. Steve Symms, left, talks with Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, as Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, laughs at a reception marking Risch's entry into the Senate in 2009. CREDIT: Jay Premack/MCT

JAY PREMACK — Jay Premack/MCT

Following up a bipartisan letter, the Idaho Republicans also rip the president.

Idaho GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch released a letter Tuesday calling on President Obama to personally intervene with Central American leaders to stop thousands of unaccompanied children arriving at the Texas border with the expectation they'll be allowed extended stays in the U.S.

"The present situation begs your personal efforts to clarify U.S. immigration laws and to spur action from leaders of the primary sending countries," says the June 26 letter signed by 42 senators from both parties.

The letter says Obama should convey to leaders in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras "the urgent imperative for them to dispel the misunderstanding of our laws and to take action against those who are spreading such misinformation."

"Bad actors" profiting from the confusion include human smugglers, the senators write. Parents and children also misunderstand U.S. law, says the letter. Some of the children are fleeing violence in their home countries.

Citing the failure of the House to take up a Senate-passed immigration reform bill, Obama said Monday he would use executive authority to deal with immigration.

In Tuesday's news release announcing last week's letter, Crapo and Risch blasted Obama with criticism absent from the bipartisan letter.

"The current crisis at our border is a direct consequence of the Administration's dangerous, piecemeal approach to reforming our broken immigration system," Crapo said.

"The president and his administration have turned a blind eye to the crisis at our nation's border for far too long at the expense of American citizens," Risch said. "It is time to enforce the laws we currently have in place."

The news release follows:

Crapo, Risch Urge President to Make Clear Immigration Laws Will Be Enforced

Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are calling on the Administration to take immediate action to stem the flow of the thousands of unaccompanied children crossing the southern border into the U.S. illegally. The Idaho lawmakers, joined by a bipartisan coalition of 39 senators, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to exercise the influence of his office to dispel misinformation regarding U.S. immigration policies and firmly enforce the law along our nation’s borders.

“The current crisis at our border is a direct consequence of the Administration’s dangerous, piecemeal approach to reforming our broken immigration system,” said Crapo. “Backdoor executive orders have the potential to spread misrepresentations of current immigration policies—a situation we are unfortunately seeing play out at the border. The President must send a clear signal to those seeking to enter the country illegally that the U.S. will uphold our immigration laws to the fullest extent. We simply do not have the resources to deal with this recent surge.”

"No one should be rewarded for breaking the law," said Risch. "The president and his administration have turned a blind eye to the crisis at our nation's border for far too long at the expense of American citizens. It is time to enforce the laws we currently have in place."

“We urge you to use the resources at your disposal to personally make clear to those seeking entry to the U.S. illicitly that they will not receive special treatment when it comes to enforcing our immigration laws. Based on reports from unaccompanied children and federal officials, we respectfully recommend that you specifically convey that those unaccompanied children now entering the U.S. will not be eligible for deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA). The present situation begs your personal efforts to clarify U.S. immigration laws and to spur action from leaders of the primary sending countries,” the senators wrote.

 

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