Tension between the administration and congressional Democrats is becoming more common. Many Democrats are still fuming about last year’s troubled rollout of Obamacare. The party has been on the defensive over the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner trade swap. The recent veterans health care scandal left many angry. And with Obama’s poll numbers tanking, many plainly fear that all the bad news will make it harder to maintain control of the Senate in the fall elections.
When it comes to the border, the intraparty dispute centers on a law signed in the final days of George W. Bush’s presidency that is meant to shield immigrant children from trafficking. But it’s led to an unintended effect: Because of backlogs in the immigration court system, unaccompanied children from countries other than Mexico or Canada – who are guaranteed their day in court under that law – can end up staying in the U.S. for years as they wait for a hearing.
Republicans are pushing for a change in the 2008 law and say that will be a key condition of any emergency funding to to respond to the border crisis. Leading congressional Democrats are opposed to revising the law, diminishing the prospects of an aid package emerging from Capitol Hill soon.