On Border Quagmire, Obama Passes the Buck to Congress

Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, July 9, 2014

President Obama on Wednesday asked for Congress to give him “flexibility” to deport illegal immigrants from Central America more quickly, saying the solution to the surge of families and children trying to jump the border now lies with Congress, not him.

On a trip to Texas Wednesday, he again argued there was no need for him to visit the border himself to see the problem firsthand, saying his aides are giving him enough information. And he accused those who are pressing him for a personal visit of trying to politicize the issue.

He also said he would be “happy to consider” deploying the National Guard to the border to help out if it could earn the support of some Republicans for his new $3.7 billion supplemental spending request for 2014, which he submitted earlier this week. But the president said Congress must act either way.

“This should not be hard to at least get the supplemental done. The question is, are we more interested in politics, or are we more interested in solving the problem?” Mr. Obama said in Dallas, several hundred miles from the border, where he had traveled to raise money for Democrats ahead of November’s elections.

He did carve out time for a meeting with Texas Gov. Rick Perry and others, and emerged to say he and the Republican governor–who had pleaded for a border visit–were actually in agreement on the steps that need to be taken.

“Five hundred miles south of here, in the Rio Grande Valley, there is a humanitarian crisis unfolding that has been created by bad public policy, in particular the failure to secure the border,” Mr. Perry said in his own statement after the meeting. “Securing the border is attainable, and the president needs to commit the resources necessary to get this done.”


Testifying to Congress earlier in the day, administration officials said only about half of all juveniles show up for their deportation hearings in the U.S., meaning the rest of them disappear into the shadows with the more than 11 million illegal immigrants already here. Months into the crisis, the government still doesn’t have a specific breakdown for unaccompanied minors specifically.

Mark H. Greenberg, acting assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, said the department has a policy that bans social workers from asking the legal status of parents who come to claim their children in the U.S. That means many of the children are turned over to illegal immigrants, who themselves have an incentive not to bring their children back for deportation hearings.


Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican, said of 20,805 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador who were caught at the border in 2013, only 1,669 were sent home–fewer than one in 10.

He said that message has gotten back to those countries and explains the increasing flow.

“If you were one of these children, and you were there in one of these countries, wouldn’t you think your odds are pretty good?” Mr. McCain fumed.

The Justice Department has said it will try to send more judges to the border to process the cases involving the children faster–though officials said that will take away from working on other cases in the interior of the U.S., which means other deportations may slow.

Still, Thomas S. Winkowski, a top official at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said ICE agents have seen some signs of early successes in deterrence by opening more detention facilities to hold families who have come across the border. In the past, almost all of those families from Central America were released in the often futile hope they would return for deportation hearings.

“We’re already seeing people saying, ‘I didn’t realize I was going to detention; I thought I was going to be released,’” Mr. Winkowski said.

In his remarks Wednesday, Mr. Obama said Congress should change a 2008 law that says children from countries other than Mexico and Canada must be turned over to social workers rather than quickly deported, which is what happens to those from contiguous countries. Mr. Obama said he wants “flexibility” so he can decide in which cases deportations should be speeded up.


The surge has forced several policy and rhetorical reversals from Mr. Obama. For years, he had said the border was finally secured–but his push for additional border security in his new spending package amounts to an admission that wasn’t true.

And while he said violence in Central America is driving children and families from those countries, he acknowledged that their understanding of U.S. immigration policy–even if it’s incorrect–is drawing them here.

On Wednesday the president said the surge is not a short-term problem, but he sought to push responsibility onto Congress, saying he’s taken all the steps he can on his own and that it’s up to lawmakers to pass the spending bill to boost resources.

But many on Capitol Hill say it is the president’s own slow response and his previous nondeportation policies that have made the problem worse.


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  • r j p

    His administration claims that half of young illegals show up to their deportation hearings.

    Why should they show up when they can just come to Chicago.

    • Oil Can Harry

      Even illegal invaders may be afraid to live in Chimpcongo under Rahm Emmanuel aka “Africa In Our Midst”.

  • MekongDelta69

    The ONLY people NoBama will deport are Whites.

    (See story of Ukranian woman a few days ago on AmRen, for just one example of too many to list here.)

    • propagandaoftruth

      She was shackled.

      He should have called out the guard months ago. Heck, if that long legged mac daddy calls out the guard he’ll use it to get those undocumented democrats to those facilities and then straight to your neighborhood!

    • Paleoconn

      There’s the Romeike family too, from Germany. A home-schooled family of six Christian Whites, destined to never be on the dole or avail themselves of any government handouts. This administration and the pseudo-con Repulsican administration that preceded it with the loathsome Bushlet at the helm, none of these big-government accidental presidents are interested in a such a family that has its act together. They want clients. Especially if they’re non-White.

  • Blogger Viking Bitch nailed it with her analysis of an article showing that many of the children are being sexually trafficked. She calls it “cheap poon,” in her politically incorrect writing style.

    I’ve read that child porn and child prostitution are pandemic in Mexico and those young Mexican males who stream across the border want some and they want it cheap. They’ll rape if they have to, but they’re just as happy with kiddie hookers.

    Few in the policy area are talking about this issue because they don’t want it known. it would send even more of us ballistic if the word got out. I can tell you there are some arrogant white and Mexican power elites where I live in south Texas who are always on the lookout for the cheap stuff, kids included. Spread the word.

    • That’s probably why Obama doesn’t want any critical (to him) Congressmen or media in the hovels. They’d see that they’re open air brothels.

  • Greg Thomas

    Only half show up to their hearings? Since that number is inflated, you can bet less than 10% show up to their hearings.

  • dd121

    Obama’s response to everything: “Eyes don’t knows nuffin”.

  • Alexandra1973

    Would Obama show up to his deportation hearing should we actually have one?

    • r j p

      He would be too busy fund-raising, golfing, playing basketball poorly, throwing a baseball like a 12 year old girl in his mommy jeans, or getting a happy-ending from Reggie Love.

  • John Hancock

    The Kenyan doesn’t care what Congress does or says. He will do whatever he wants. Congress and the courts won’t stand up to him. He is just one more third-world dictator.

    • Or, maybe there’s an obvious reason why does not need to care.

      Just about all Federal law enforcement and the entire Federal military is under his control.

      If the people with guns are and remain loyal to him, no judicial pronouncement or no words on paper will matter to him.

      It has turned out to be the biggest flaw in the 1787 Constitution’s notion of separating executive from legislative power. Giving one person that much power…turns out it wasn’t such a good idea.

      • M&S

        Giving one person that much power…turns out it wasn’t such a good idea.

        Vs. electing 500 kings and telling them that all they have to do to stay on the throne is sign off on the policies of those Special Interests who fund their campaigns specifically -because- they are buyable?
        These big budget banquets and closed door meetings that define candidacy sponsorship are not there to test the mettle of a politician before backing him on the basis of his intelligent management strategies or innovative ideas. They are used solely to judge how readily he will prostitute him/herself to gain what only those who pay can provide him.
        Another term.

        See, that’s the problem with republican democracy: It’s like taking water to a piece of metal vs. water to a rock. If you want to break that metal, you have to oxidize through it’s entire surface. If you want to break the rock, all’s you have to do is worm your way into one of many cracks in the composite and then you can bust apart any commonality from within.

        Why do we have two parties? To provide for separate perspectives? Ha! It’s because parties inspire the competitive spirit and butthurt vindictiveness in the human ego and thus cyclical partisanship to get even for the last time a majority did things which the minority resents- good, bad or indifferent.

        If there is little difference in the greed and stupidity with which left and right spend money to please their sponsors while ignoring the pleas and leaving unresolved the questions of their constituents, why do we have a bicamberal system?
        Because it doubles the amount of bureauacracy by which MOST LEGISLATIVE WORK is done ‘in committee’ and those who sit on those committees, testify before them and provide critical advisement to know-nothing fill-seaters who are there solely because they are popularist politicians (read: moderates willing to go whichever way the wind blows in being loved by all) all are owned by those self same special interests.

        And then there is the opposite as the simplest of devils by design as the rebel psychologies whom we call outliers in the squeeze chart of public opinion who will disagree with something simply because too many of the majority think it’s cool.
        Elected by-design (usually too stupid to be able to view things dispassionately) they exist within the political system specifically to be occasional voting block breakers when their counter to a given, sensible, idea can have money and signatures built around it to despoil all the hard work of others.
        Which is easy enough when you realize that the key to winning over a rebel is making sure that they think the idea they have is all their’s as an expression of their own personal ego trip from hell.

        Lastly you have the stacked terms which means that, at any one time, as much as a quart of your jackdaws are ‘in the weeds’ needing a buy-back save depending on whatever prior soul selling stupidity they have agreed to that made those who previously voted for them _really mad_.

        When you have to have a majority, of immoral, power mad, fools who only want ‘a chance to do what they came to DC to accomplish’ and will like gamblers, will sell children to keep doing the opposite until that day, all’s you have to accomplish is asking a few at any given time to abandon their morals and the naturally divisive proclivity of the rest will give you the total you need anyway.

        Compromise = Corruption.

        Cooperation = Conspiracy.

        This is the truth of representative democracy.
        Because so long as Americans only pay attention to politics rather than the hard cultural issues behind the bills they represent, once every 2-4 years, there is no hope of generating a continuity effect by which everyone feels directly responsible for the eventuated policy by the ABILITY to keep applying their own decisions towards the desired outcome.
        Why herd cats when you can blame someone else for doing a bad job of it?

        In this, it’s becoming ever more clear to me that the truth of democracy is that it’s nature is that of a psyop tactic intended specifically to undermine the cultural integrity of a people. Why do you think we insist on exporting it, along with capitalism, to every nation we overrun?

        It’s certainly not because it empowers people. Good grief, why would you want to do that when a mean population IQ of 100 means half are below the level at which an adult should even function?
        No, democracy as we know it exists for just the opposite reason: because it -fragments power itself- THROUGH the profit-fear-poplarist filter of the elected as electorate.
        The dumber and more morally corrupt, the better.
        We do not get the best government that money can buy or even the system that we deserve. We get the system which is intended to take power away from the few who are smart enough to look into things and perceive what the nature of the issues in question are really about. And put it into the hands of those who enjoy believing that they have choice because they are presented with canned answers to a carefully crafted situational lie.
        By design.

  • LHathaway

    “he accused those who are pressing him for a personal visit of trying to politicize the issue”.

    Good thinking! Obama’s appearance at the border would scare them away. . .

    Tonight the news is funny. To men, anyway.

    • Alexandra1973

      I’m thinking Obama may be following the advice that says “if you can’t stand the heat stay out of the kitchen.” How much you want to bet that if he did visit the border, he’d be heckled big-time?