Difference between revisions of "2014 illegal immigration surge"

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==Actions taken==
 
==Actions taken==
 
===National Guard deployment===
 
===National Guard deployment===
[[File:Rick Perry by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg|right|200px|thumb|Rick Perry has been at the center of the controversy since writing a letter to Obama in 2012.]][[Texas Governor|Governor of]] [[Texas]] [[Rick Perry]] first brought attention to the immigration problem in May 2012, explaining that "there is a surge of unaccompanied illegal minors entering the United States." Again, he wrote a letter to Obama about the issue on July 10, 2014. In the letter, he insisted the president attack the core of the problem, stating, "Securing our border will provide an immediate reduction in the number of illegal immigrants entering our country, which is the source of this current crisis.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/rick-perry-barack-obama-border-108776.html#ixzz38EdLOTgB ''Politico'', "Rick Perry writes again to Barack Obama on border," July 10, 2014]</ref>
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[[File:Rick Perry by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg|right|150px|thumb|Rick Perry has been at the center of the controversy since writing a letter to Obama in 2012.]][[Texas Governor|Governor of]] [[Texas]] [[Rick Perry]] first brought attention to the immigration problem in May 2012, explaining that "there is a surge of unaccompanied illegal minors entering the United States." Again, he wrote a letter to Obama about the issue on July 10, 2014. In the letter, he insisted the president attack the core of the problem, stating, "Securing our border will provide an immediate reduction in the number of illegal immigrants entering our country, which is the source of this current crisis.<ref>[http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/rick-perry-barack-obama-border-108776.html#ixzz38EdLOTgB ''Politico'', "Rick Perry writes again to Barack Obama on border," July 10, 2014]</ref>
  
 
On July 21, 2014, Perry used his executive power as governor to call upon the National Guard to assist border patrol in guarding the United States border against illegal immigration. Since Perry activated the National Guard, the state will be charged for their services. Perry additionally requested 3,000 more border patrol agents along the Texas-Mexico border. He named the move Operation Strong Safety, claiming, "The price of inaction is too high."<ref>[http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/politics/perry-national-guard-border/index.html ''CNN'', "Perry sending National Guard troops to border," July 21, 2014]</ref>
 
On July 21, 2014, Perry used his executive power as governor to call upon the National Guard to assist border patrol in guarding the United States border against illegal immigration. Since Perry activated the National Guard, the state will be charged for their services. Perry additionally requested 3,000 more border patrol agents along the Texas-Mexico border. He named the move Operation Strong Safety, claiming, "The price of inaction is too high."<ref>[http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/21/politics/perry-national-guard-border/index.html ''CNN'', "Perry sending National Guard troops to border," July 21, 2014]</ref>

Revision as of 14:21, 23 July 2014


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Immigration
2014 illegal immigration surge
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A surge in illegal immigration from Central America, due in part to a 2008 law aimed at helping victims of human trafficking. The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act delayed the deportation of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in order to protect them from traffickers.[1] Other factors argued by lawmakers included increased gang violence in Central America, as well as claims that the administration has been enforced immigration laws too lightly.[2] As of June 2014, it was estimated that 52,000 unaccompanied minors have entered into the program since October 2013. The process can take months or even years for the children to be given asylum or be reunited with their families.[1]

Attempts at amending the law

White House attempts

Detention center increase

On June 20, 2014, President Barack Obama released a plan to increase the amount of detention centers, use more ankle bracelets to track immigrants waiting for hearings and shift more immigration judges to southern Texas in order to speed up the hearings process.[2] The same day, Vice President Joe Biden met with the leaders of Central American countries to discuss plans to slow the surge. While the White House announced it would provide Guatemala with $40 million to mitigate gang violence and $25 million to El Salvador to start youth programs for those pressured by gang violence, Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina suggested, "I proposed to the Vice-President the possibility of considering temporary work programs, which would allow (Guatemalans) to go for a time and return." An unnamed U.S. official claimed that the administration's message to those seeking entry into the U.S. legally was increasing, "'Don't come.' And if you think you're coming and once you're here you won't be returned, that's not the case. You're not going to be able to stay."[3]

Democratic lawmakers showed concern over the administration's response to what Obama called a "humanitarian crisis." A spokesperson for Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) insisted Gutierrez, "does not support the idea of putting children and families fleeing violence in detention while they await our courts to catch up to the current crisis."[2] On the other hand, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) argued in a letter to Obama that the National Guard could assume the duty of handling undocumented children crossing the border freeing up Border Patrol to focus on guarding the boundary. He stated in his letter, "While we understand that many of these individuals are coming to this country to escape violence and hardship in their home country, the current climate along the border and our enforcement policies are only encouraging them to risk their lives and those of their children."[2]

Executive order

Having failed to get legislation through Congress, Obama stated on June 30, 2014, that he would use the power of the executive order to achieve his intended goals on immigration if action were not taken. He insisted, "While I will continue to push House Republicans to drop the excuses and act — and I hope their constituents will, too — America cannot wait forever for them to act."[4] On July 19, 2014, Rep. Gutierrez announced at a speech in Los Angeles, California, that he believed Obama would sign an executive order in the coming months that would grant legal status to millions of immigrants.[5]

Funding increase request

On July 9, 2014, Obama requested a $3.7 billion budget increase in order to carry out the administration's plan to create new detention centers and speed up the hearings process. A spokesman for Boehner suggested, "The speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas — which this proposal does not address."[6] However, in a closed meeting with House republicans, Boehner urged action on the bill prior to the August recess.[7]

Democratic attempts

On June 24, 2014, democratic lawmakers introduced the Vulnerable Immigrant Voice Act, which would provide lawyers to undocumented and unaccompanied minors and the mentally handicapped during their immigration hearings. Unaccompanied minors can make one of three arguments to stay in the United States after crossing the border illegally. According to The Hill, they "can either claim asylum; claim a special status if they're under 21 and have been abused, neglected or abandoned by one or both parents; or seek a visa if they are victims of serious crimes." However, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), co-sponsor of the bill, claimed, "Some of the children who have come to this country may not have a valid legal basis to remain, but some will. Yet, it is virtually impossible for a child to assert a valid claim under immigration law in the absence of legal representation."[8]

Actions taken

National Guard deployment

Rick Perry has been at the center of the controversy since writing a letter to Obama in 2012.
Governor of Texas Rick Perry first brought attention to the immigration problem in May 2012, explaining that "there is a surge of unaccompanied illegal minors entering the United States." Again, he wrote a letter to Obama about the issue on July 10, 2014. In the letter, he insisted the president attack the core of the problem, stating, "Securing our border will provide an immediate reduction in the number of illegal immigrants entering our country, which is the source of this current crisis.[9]

On July 21, 2014, Perry used his executive power as governor to call upon the National Guard to assist border patrol in guarding the United States border against illegal immigration. Since Perry activated the National Guard, the state will be charged for their services. Perry additionally requested 3,000 more border patrol agents along the Texas-Mexico border. He named the move Operation Strong Safety, claiming, "The price of inaction is too high."[10]

State governors

Multiple state governors voiced their displeasure with the handling of the unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border into the United States. The reasons varied from the childrens' health and safety, border security, the cost to states of caring for them and having them transported by the federal government to their states without notification. The most notable comments were:[11]

  • The governors of Utah, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Alabama, North Carolina and Wisconsin wrote letters to President Obama urging the administration to speed up the deportation process for the children or else the administrations actions, "will send a message that will encourage a much larger movement towards our southern border."
  • Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant (R) wrote a letter stating he would do everything in his power to stop the federal government from transporting the illegal immigrants to the state. He also blamed the weak enforcement of border policies for the "serious threat of violence and abuse at the hands of human traffickers" that the many immigrants faced in getting to the United States.
  • Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) argued that the administration was putting the unaccompanied minors into potentially dangerous situations, claiming, "During the call, it was confirmed what I have long suspected – the Obama administration has specifically chosen to avoid its due diligence and is releasing Unaccompanied Alien Children into the care and custody of so-called ‘sponsors’ — individuals about whom the administration does not check immigration or deportation status."
  • New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) stated that it "is a 100% federal issue," and it needed to be addressed in by Congress.
  • The Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland and Delaware governors all offered some type of assistance in helping ease the situation.

Recent news

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See also

References