House Immigration Proposal a Step in Right Direction
President Obama Should Show More Leadership in Deterring Travel to U.S. Border by Young Central Americans
"We need a solution that will plug our porous border and swiftly process and deport those who have come here against the law..."
Washington, D.C. - Activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are calling on President Obama to send a strong message to the leaders and the parents in Central American countries that their dangerous efforts to enter America illegally will not succeed.
The Project 21 activists also are expressing cautious approval of a plan in the House of Representatives next week to deal with the humanitarian crisis on the border.
"President Obama's request for $3.7 billion in taxpayer money will simply manage the humanitarian crisis he created on our southern border. We need a solution that will plug our porous border and swiftly process and deport those who have come here against the law as it is written," said Project 21's Derryck Green.
The proposal put forward by House leaders provides approximately $1.5 billion in new funding and is to be paid for by cuts from existing spending allocations. A key element of the bill is changing the current law, passed in 2008, so young illegal immigrants from Central America and elsewhere are treated the same as those from Mexico and Canada. This will permit the U.S. Border Patrol to return these illegal aliens to their own countries more promptly by allowing it to immediately repatriate illegal aliens who wish to return. Those who do not voluntarily return will be given a hearing within a week to determine if they are likely to present a serious claim that they will be persecuted if returned to their own countries. Without a change in the law, Central American illegal immigrants will stay in the U.S., often for years, awaiting a full judicial review of their status.
Both President Obama and the Secretary of Homeland Security have in the past endorsed changes to the 2008 law so that Central Americans and Mexicans are treated the same under the law.
Legislation expected to be offered by Senate liberals who control that chamber may cost a pricier $2.7 billion and contains no policy changes.
"It's great to see the House of Representatives taking a leadership role in the current border crisis. This appropriation should be used for shoring up border security, taking care of the immediate humanitarian needs of these children and for their transportation back home," said Project 21's Christopher Arps. "President Obama also needs to exercise some leadership, in between all of the fundraisers he's been hosting, to send a strong message to the leaders and the parents in these Central American countries that their children are making a dangerous and illegal journey all for naught. America is rightly described as a country made up of immigrants, and I wholeheartedly encourage legal immigration."
Project 21's Green, who regularly comments on the state of the American economy for the National Center for Public Policy Research, said: "Amnesty advocates claim illegal immigrant workers contribute to our economy, but the current crisis presents an entirely different situation that turns that claim on its head. It's now all about children who will, unless we change our policies in a manner such as what is proposed in the House of Representatives, become reliant on American taxpayers for education, health care and other social services. Unless Obama plans to use his pen and phone to curtail the enforcement of child labor laws as well, the influx of young illegal immigrants is a complete drain with no recognizable short-term gains for hardworking, law-abiding taxpayers."
According to a story by Seung Min Kim and Jake Sherman in Politico, the House proposal is expected to "allow access for Customs and Border Protection officials onto federal lands... detaining families apprehended at the border and processing their cases within five to seven days"; "boost the number of immigration court judges available to address asylum and credible fear claims, deploy the National Guard to the border to help care for the unaccompanied children, and bolster measures to disrupt transnational criminal organizations."
It also "includes tougher penalties for human smugglers" and has additional strategizing mechanisms for strengthening border security, and it recommends an "'aggressive' messaging campaign in both the United States and abroad to advise against traveling to the United States illegally and to 'dispel immigration myths.'"
Some House conservatives have expressed reservations about the House proposal, fearing it could lead to a conference committee on S. 744, the Senate-passed immigration bill often referred to as the "Gang of 8" bill, which is opposed by most conservatives.
In 2014, Project 21 members have already been interviewed or cited by the media over 800 times -- including TVOne, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fox News Channel, Westwood One, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, SiriusXM satellite radio and 50,000-watt talk radio stations such as WBZ-Boston and KDKA-Pittsburgh -- on issues that include civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).
Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated.