The news that President Obama wants over $2 billion to cope with the flood of unaccompanied minors entering the US from the southern border has been greeted with a sigh of relief by overworked border patrol agents and those who care for the youngsters; however, the president’s plan to ask Congress to give the Department of Homeland Security more authority to speed up the youngsters’ deportation has caused alarm among immigrant children’s advocates.
Former Customs and Border Protection officials say that this is a crucial step in stopping the flow of minors crossing the US border; however, immigrant advocates say that the US government will be denying the youngsters due process protections and could be sending them back into dangerous situations.
“We’re extremely concerned that the administration is continuing to refuse to see this as a refugee issue and that they are really taking drastic steps to roll back a long tradition of child welfare-friendly policies in this country,” claims the Women’s Refugee Commission’s director of migrant rights and justice program, Michelle Brane. Brane believes that the US government is abdicating its national and international leadership and responsibilities when it comes to issues of protection.
The move was backed by Mike McCaul, the House Homeland Security Committee chairman, who says that in his opinion the flow of immigrants is not going to end unless the message of deterrence gets through and it becomes apparent that the youngsters cannot remain in the United States.