Georgia's 9th District congressman says the recent deaths of migrant children trying to enter the U.S. from Mexico are "tragedies, (a) loss of innocent life,“ but the by-product of laws that reward choices that endanger people.
"Every parent’s heart shudders when we learn of the deaths of seven- and eight-year-old children," Doug Collins said in a news release issued this week. "This month’s tragedies require us to search out what contributed to this loss of innocent life and how we can prioritize safety at the southern border. The dangers presented by the hostile terrain surrounding much of our border with Mexico and the coyotes and traffickers who victimize men, women, and children in those areas are well documented. Despite this, America’s own legal loopholes put adults in a difficult situation by incentivizing them to risk their own safety and the safety of children on these dangerous treks."
The Gainesville Republican added that Customs and Border Protection officers and agents "should and do" deliver medical and humanitarian care to those in their custody, and they should be commended for doing this faithfully, even as each day stretches their resources further.
“It remains Congress’ responsibility to ensure that our laws support the CBP in their work and promote immigration processes that are fair, efficient and compassionate," he concluded. "People seeking to enter the United States should have every reason to believe that their best hope of entry is the safe, legal route. Unfortunately, several of our laws currently reward choices that endanger people and children in particular. This reality is confusing, disturbing and unacceptable."
Collins says the new year brings with it the chance for lawmakers to "improve our statutes so that they better reflect the value of all human life instead of incentivizing adults to put young lives at risk—I hope we come together to take that opportunity.”