John Boehner, the speaker of the House of Representatives, says that an anti-trafficking law from 2008 that stops minors from Central America from being quickly deported is being abused and needs to be amended to stop thousands more undocumented immigrants from crossing the US border.
“I don’t know how Congress can send more money to the border to begin to mitigate the problem if you don’t do something about the ’08 law that’s being abused, and it is being abused,” Boehner told reporters yesterday. He added that he cannot imagine that Republicans in the House of Representatives will be willing to give their support to the authorization of funds to cope with the immigration crisis without looking at changes to the law they see as crucial in preventing people from sending their children to the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Boehner has been dismayed by the increasing resistance on the part of Democrats to amending the law in recent days. “I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have,” he admits about the likelihood of approval being given to President Obama’s funding request of $3.7bn to deal with the immigration crisis.
Bob Menendez, the Senate foreign relations committee chairman, is one of the Democrats who have refused to contemplate changing the law. “I understand the desire to accelerate the process, but accelerating without due process is not acceptable. There is a reason why that law was passed,” he explained.