South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has blamed President Obama for the crisis playing out on the US border but nonetheless declared that the House of Representatives needs to fix the nation’s broken immigration system next year if it wants to have any chance of winning the 2016 presidential election.
“I blame Obama for this moment,” Graham sniped on Meet the Press on NBC on Sunday. “Our chances in 2016 are very low [without immigration reform]. The House should lead.” Graham added that immigration laws passed six years ago need to be altered before he will give his support to the recent request by the president for a further $3.7bn to assist with the immigration crisis at the US border with Mexico, where tens of thousands of minors and others from Central America have recently been crossing into the United States to flee widespread violence and poverty in their own countries.
The 2008 law, which was intended to put the brakes on human trafficking, prevented minors entering the United States illegally from non-bordering nations from being sent home straight away. The House of Representatives, which is controlled by the Republicans, has already signaled that it is unwilling to agree to the extra funding.
Graham’s comments echo those made by Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz on Fox News Sunday, who largely blamed Obama’s executive memo from 2012 for the border crisis and declared that the promise of amnesty for undocumented immigrants was also to blame.