House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will travel to the southern border of the U.S. on Saturday to be briefed by Customs and Border Protection on the flood of unaccompanied minors entering the country.
The California Democrat will also meet with a group of children held at the South Texas Detention Facility.
“The humanitarian crisis unfolding across our nation’s southern border demands Congress come together and find thoughtful, compassionate and bipartisan solutions,” Pelosi said. “We must ensure our laws are fully enforced, so that due process is provided to unaccompanied children and the safety and well-being of unaccompanied children is protected. We must also work to address the root causes of the problem.”
Immigration activists plan to occupy House office buildings on Friday to protest GOP positions on illegal immigration…
The House is not in session on Friday, however, and most lawmakers have returned to their home districts for the July 4 recess.
The group accuses Republicans of using “harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric,” and says the party is using the large influx of child immigrants coming from Central American countries as an excuse not to act on immigration reform.
The group is pushing for the Obama administration to expand a 2012 program that allows some children brought to the country illegally to be deprioritized for deportation.
While illegal immigration typically dominates debates over immigration policy, the issue of legal immigration came to the forefront in the recent Virginia Republican primary when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor was soundly defeated by Tea Party favorite Dave Brat. Brat highlighted Cantor’s support for expanding visas for skilled immigrants in his blistering charge that Cantor is soft on immigration. Brat’s case may have been a fairly easy one to make, as new Gallup polling finds fewer than one in four Americans favor increased immigration.
Analyzing statistics from the Census Bureau, the report found that native-born U.S. citizens have struggled to compete with both illegal and legal immigrants for more than a decade.
“The findings show that employment growth has been weak over the last 14 years and has not kept pace with population growth and new immigration,” the report said. “Among the working-age (16 to 65), what employment growth there has been has entirely gone to immigrants (legal and illegal).”…
According to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, there are 17 million fewer working-age natives with a job than there were in 2000. That year there were 131.9 million people in the working age population who were employed. The number has only grown by 5.6 million since, despite the addition of 25.7 million workers due to population growth.
“In short, natives accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the number of potential workers, but none of the growth in the number of actual workers,” the report said.
The Obama administration is “not bluffing” in its intent to take executive action on immigration policy if House Republicans don’t act soon, top Democratic leaders warned Thursday…
“We’re at the end of the line,” Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said Thursday during a press briefing in the Capitol. “We’re not bluffing by setting a legislative deadline for them to act…
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat in the upper chamber, said Boehner and other Republican critics of Obama’s executive actions have “a very good antidote” for their fears: “Put a bill on the floor.”
“He’s, like, shooting his parents and then throwing himself on the mercy of the court as an orphan,” Schumer said. “Pass a bill, and that won’t happen.
During an interview with MSNBC’s Chuck Todd, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained that the Obama administration was getting impatient with Congress.
“[W]e’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress,” he explained. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.”
Spratte, who was speaking with CNSNews.com as a representative of the [Border Patrol] union, further said “we don’t have control of the border,” and if the Obama administration claims it is not in effect giving amnesty to the illegals, then “don’t believe them.”
Also, by allowing so many young illegal aliens to be released into this country, “the U.S. government has become a part of the smuggling business,” he said.
“This is Washington’s problem to fix. This administration has made it pretty clear they’re not going to deport people, with things like the DREAM Act and all that,” Spratte told CNSNews.com during an interview on June 22 in McAllen, Texas, currently the busiest zone of the Rio Grande Valley Sector of the U.S.-Mexico border…
More than 52,000 children have entered the country illegal in recent months, many of them coming into the U.S. through South Texas. Former Zapata County Sheriff Gonzales, who now works as a consult with law enforcement agencies along the Texas border, says space is running out to house the children and adults that are coming across.
“The local governments are being overwhelmed because of the possibilities for diseases. There are people that are being apprehended that are coming in with warrants for murders or prior convictions for child abuse, and these are the guys that are coming in the same groups with 12 year olds and 5 year olds,” says Zapata. “They’re looking at some centers in the valley… abandoned buildings where they’re going to put fences inside the buildings to create detention cells and just throw people in there. “…
“That tells you that when you’ve got kids coming in from some of these countries where they don’t have great health systems, we gotta watch out,” says Cuellar. “I’ve talked to border patrol down in McAllen. They’ve seen TB; they’ve seen chicken pox; they’ve seen scabies. And according to Border Patrol, 4 or 5 of their agents have tested positive for those diseases.”
Earlier this week, Vickers took a photo of a man on her front porch. She said the man had a Tango Blast tattoo.
Tango Blast is the largest and one of the most dangerous gangs operating in the state, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
“I sometimes have to take a step back and realize the jeopardy that could happen out here,” Vickers said.
It’s not just gang members that worry Vickers. Border Patrol agents arrested a wanted murderer near Falfurrias and sex offenders in the Rio Grande Valley last weekend.
“They’re everywhere,” Vickers said.
The current crisis is actually an argument for comprehensive immigration reform. But Goodlatte — who once cried about the breakup of families — is now reduced to arguing that the crisis is the fault of Obama’s failure to enforce the law. Goodlatte’s demand (which is being echoed by other, dumber Republicans) that Obama stop de-prioritizing the deportation of the DREAMers really means: Deport more children. When journalist Jorge Ramos confronted Goodlatte directly on whether this is really what he wants, the Republican refused to answer directly. But the two main GOP positions — no legalization, plus opposition to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (relief for the DREAMers) — add up inescapably to “get the hell out” as the de facto GOP response to the broader crisis.
This is the course Republicans have chosen — they’ve opted to be the party of maximum deportations. Now Democrats and advocates will increase the pressure on Obama to do something ambitious to ease deportations in any way he can. Whatever he does end up doing will almost certainly fall well short of what they want. But determining the true limits on what can be done to mitigate this crisis is now on him.
The “fundamental hang-up,” Rubio said, was that House Republicans wanted assurances that border security would be in place before legalization occurred — a demand that would never fly in the Democratic-led Senate.
“Every time I would bring that up during the negotiations, people would say, ‘He’s trying to back out of the deal’ or ‘he’s trying to blow the deal up’ and it wasn’t the case,” Rubio said during an interview. “It’s because I could see, having been in communications with the House, where they were headed on it, how strongly they felt about it.”
“Unless we can get to a point where [House Republicans] believed — and the majority of the American people believed — that the enforcement was going to happen, it was going to be very difficult to address the issue of those who are here illegally,” he said. “I knew that before, I warned about it during, and it’s only proven true since.”…
“Our biggest mistake was that we believed Republicans wanted to change course after the 2012 election,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, who has been working on the issue in Washington for more than two decades. “I don’t believe we will make that mistake again.”