Most unescorted migrants face ouster

Share with others:

Print Email Read Later

WASHINGTON — The White House said Mon­day that most un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors flood­ing into the United States from Cen­tral Amer­ica will not be al­lowed to stay, as the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­pares to ask Con­gress for $2 bil­lion to ad­dress the bor­der cri­sis.

White House spokes­man Josh Ear­nest said most of the bor­der-cross­ers would not qual­ify to re­main in this coun­try. Those who pos­si­bly could get U.S. asy­lum are chil­dren who have been vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse. Minors who fled be­cause of gang-re­lated vi­o­lence could have a harder time qual­i­fy­ing, ac­cord­ing to im­mi­gra­tion ex­perts.

The strong warn­ing came as the White House is ex­pected to­day to lay out what it wants in emer­gency fund­ing from the U.S. Con­gress to deal with the flood of chil­dren. The money would go to­ward more de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties to house the chil­dren and ad­di­tional im­mi­gra­tion judges and asy­lum of­fi­cials to ex­pe­dite hear­ings. A Justice Depart­ment of­fi­cial said the aim is to hire 30 more im­mi­gra­tion judges to help tackle the case load.

The spend­ing bill could face some rough go­ing in Con­gress, how­ever. Ala­bama Sen. Rich­ard Shelby, se­nior Re­pub­li­can on the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, told re­port­ers that any mea­sure should be paid for with cuts to other gov­ern­ment pro­grams. “Ab­so­lutely, it ought to be off­set,” he said, add­ing that money could be taken from the fund­ing for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama's land­mark health care law, a move that likely would be op­posed by the White House and con­gres­sio­nal Dem­o­crats.

More than 52,000 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors from Guate­mala, El Sal­va­dor and Hon­duras have been caught try­ing to sneak over the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der since Oc­to­ber, dou­ble the num­ber from the same pe­riod the year be­fore. Thou­sands more have been ap­pre­hended with par­ents or other adults. Many are flee­ing ex­treme pov­erty, gangs and drug vi­o­lence, as well as re­spond­ing to ru­mors spread by smug­glers that chil­dren who reach the U.S. bor­der will be al­lowed to stay.

Sep­a­rately, the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to ask Con­gress to al­ter a 2008 law on hu­man traf­fick­ing to speed up de­por­ta­tions. Some of Mr. Obama's La­tino al­lies op­pose this be­cause they see the chil­dren as vic­tims.

Mr. Obama is due to visit Texas this week to raise money for Demo­cratic can­di­dates run­ning in No­vem­ber con­gres­sio­nal elec­tions, but the White House said he would not visit the bor­der — a sign that of­fi­cials do not see a po­lit­i­cal up­side.

While White House of­fi­cials an­tic­i­pate some Re­pub­li­can crit­i­cism over the re­quest, one se­nior House GOP aide, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said the mea­sure could at­tract less op­po­si­tion than some pre­vi­ous ap­peals.?

Create a free PG account.
Already have an account?

You have 2 remaining free articles this month

Try unlimited digital access

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here

You’ve reached the limit of free articles this month.

To continue unlimited reading

If you are an existing subscriber,
link your account for free access. Start here