clear
Friday August 28th, 2015 1:26AM

Obama official says immigrant kids draining funds

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Homeland Security agency responsible for removing immigrants who are in the country illegally will run out of money by mid-August unless Congress approves President Barack Obama's emergency request for $3.7 billion to help deal with a flood of child immigrants crossing the border illegally without their parents, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says.<br /> <br /> Additionally, Customs and Border Protection, whose 20,000-plus Border Patrol agents are responsible for arresting illegal border crossers, will be out of money by mid-September at the "current burn rate," Johnson told the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday as he defended the president's emergency budget request.<br /> <br /> Johnson said if Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol run out of money, the Homeland Security Department "would need to divert significant funds from other critical programs just to maintain operations."<br /> <br /> While Johnson, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and other administration officials made their pitch for the extra money, outlines of a possible compromise to more quickly deport minors arriving from Central America emerged Thursday. More than 57,000 child immigrants, mostly from Central America, have been caught crossing the Mexican border since Oct. 1.<br /> <br /> Republicans demanded speedier deportations for Central American immigrant children, which the White House initially had supported but left out of its emergency spending proposal after complaints from immigrant advocates and some Democrats. On Thursday, the top House and Senate Democrats pointedly left the door open to faster deportations.<br /> <br /> "It's not a deal-breaker," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said. "Let them have their face-saver. But let us have the resources to do what we have to do." Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill later clarified that any changes "must ensure due process for these children."<br /> <br /> In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said: "I'm not going to block anything. Let's see what comes to the floor."<br /> <br /> Johnson said that "discretion" to be able to more swiftly return Central American children to their home countries would help Homeland Security curb the flow of minors.<br /> <br /> At issue is a law approved in 2008. Passed to give protection to sex trafficking victims, it requires court hearings for young migrants who arrive in this country from "noncontiguous" countries - anywhere other than Mexico or Canada.<br /> <br /> But opposition arose Thursday from key Democratic senators, suggesting looming battles before any deal can be struck.<br /> <br /> "I can assure you that I will fight tooth and nail changes in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act," Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said at a hearing on the situation, referring to the law Republicans want to change.<br /> <br /> Reid and Pelosi made their comments as House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., both said they didn't want to give Obama a "blank check" to deal with the crisis of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children arriving at the Texas border, many fleeing gangs and drawn by rumors they would be able to stay in the U.S. Boehner and McConnell indicated policy changes would be necessary to win their support.<br /> <br /> "We want to make sure we actually get the right tools to help fix the problem," McConnell said. Obama "needs to work with us to get the right policy into effect."<br /> <br /> Proponents of speedier deportations say an effective way to stem the tide of young immigrants crossing the border would be to send them back home right away, to show their parents that the trip north was wasted.<br /> <br /> Because of enormous backlogs in the immigration court system, the result in the current crisis is that minors streaming in from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala are released to relatives or others in the U.S. with notices to appear at long-distant court hearings that many of them never will attend.<br /> <br /> Republicans want the government to have the authority to treat Central American kids the same way as children from Mexico, who can be removed quickly unless they convince Border Patrol that they have a fear of return that merits additional screening.<br /> <br /> "I think clearly we would probably want the language similar to what we have with Mexico," Boehner said.<br /> <br /> White House officials have said they support such changes and indicated last week that they would be offering them along with the emergency spending request. But immigration advocates objected strongly, saying children would be denied legal protections, and the White House has not yet made a formal proposal.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Judge denies motions to move, delay Tsarnaev trial
Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev asked a federal appeals court Wednesday to overturn a judge's decision to not move his upcoming trial out of state.
10:02PM ( 7 months ago )
High court to adopt electronic filing of cases
The Supreme Court is belatedly developing an electronic filing system similar to those used in courts around the country, Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday in his annual end-of-year report.
7:57PM ( 7 months ago )
Storm brings snow, cold to West for New Year's
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
5:19PM ( 7 months ago )
U.S. News
Grass fire impacts rush hour traffic on 985
Rush hour traffic on I-985 was slowed by a grass fire Wednesay afternoon with one lane closed while firefighters fought the blaze.
10:19PM ( 7 months ago )
Hall County conviction, sentencing to be reviewed by SCOGA
The State Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a Hall County man when they reconvene in January.
2:37PM ( 7 months ago )
Local/State News
Committee leaves transportation funding to lawmakers
Georgia will have to cover a $1 billion to $1.5 billion transportation funding gap to stay economically competitive, a committee of lawmakers is warning in a report issued Tuesday.
5:36AM ( 7 months ago )
US off war footing at year's end, but wars go on
Taking America off a permanent war footing is proving harder than President Barack Obama may have suggested.
6:13PM ( 7 months ago )
GOP leader regrets talk to white supremacists; party leaders rally around him
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
6:08PM ( 7 months ago )
Politics
Democratic financial woes threaten party-building before presidential election year
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Democratic National Committee barely has more cash than it does IOUs, and it is being outraised month after month by its Republican competitor.Its $24 million debt from the 2012...
6:11PM ( 7 hours ago )
Health official: States should post local vaccination info
How many kids are vaccinated at your child's school? Federal health officials think you should be able to easily find out.
By The Associated Press
4:55PM ( 8 hours ago )
US stocks end sharply higher; Dow up 369
U.S. stocks are closing sharply higher after China's main stock index logged its biggest gain in eight weeks. A report also showed that the U.S. economy expanded at a much faster pace than previously estimated.
By The Associated Press
4:33PM ( 8 hours ago )
Settlement reached in lawsuit over decade-old Gulf oil leak
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Environmental groups and a New Orleans company that failed to end a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico have reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit over the slow-motion s...
12:32PM ( 12 hours ago )
The Latest: Kentucky clerk again refuses to grant license
MOREHEAD, Ky. (AP) — The latest in the refusal of a Kentucky county clerk to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples (all times local):___12 p.m.A Kentucky county clerk temporarily closed her offi...
12:07PM ( 13 hours ago )