In the last 48 hours, the simmering conflicts in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip exploded and have justifiably dominated the headlines. The crisis on the southern border, however, remains a pressing issue with no resolution in sight.
President Barack Obama’s commitment to speed up the deportations of the waves of immigrants crossing the border is meeting with resistance from some Democrats in Congress who worry about American officials breaking up families with ties to the U.S. Democrats have also expressed concerns about a Republican plan to amend a 2008 human trafficking law, which some say has increased the number of minors from noncontiguous nations crossing the border.
“As Congress struggles to agree on emergency funding in response to the crisis, Democrats are taking the White House to task any chance they get,” Politico reported on Friday.
Republicans in the House, meanwhile, are balking at passing the president’s requested $3.7 billion supplemental package aimed at speeding up the asylum hearing process and accelerating deportations. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said on Thursday that he hopes Congress can approve additional funding for the border crisis before the August recess, but Republicans believe the president’s request is excessive.
“I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have,” Boehner said when asked by reporters if a supplemental funding package could be passed before the end of the month.
Via The Huffington Post:
Democrats have called for Congress to appropriate the full amount, but Republicans argue it’s too much, either saying they shouldn’t allocate any money or, more commonly, that they should allocate far less than requested. The House Appropriations Committee is still working on its proposal for how much funding to give the president, based on recommendations by a working group of Republican members commissioned by Boehner.
With Congress stalled, the president is set to meet with the leaders of the Central American nations from where most of this wave of immigrants are emanating next week.
POTUS & VPOTUS to host leaders from Guatemala, Honduras & El Salvador at WH next Friday to discuss unaccompanied minors crossing US border
— Major Garrett (@MajorCBS) July 18, 2014
— Ed O'Keefe (@edatpost) July 18, 2014
Obama has been warning citizens of these nations not to send their children north since the start of this crisis. American officials have taken further steps, including creative initiatives like sponsoring the creation of the hit Spanish-language song La Bestia, in which the singer warns of the dangers of attempting the to make the trek north to the US-Mexico border. These strategies have not been successful at reducing the number of those attempting to cross the border.
No doubt, Obama and the presidents of these countries will discuss further steps aimed at stemming the flow of illegal immigrants into the United States.