There is a humanitarian crisis underway that deserves a firm, fast response. Now is not the time to take advantage of the suffering of minors detained in federal facilities or waste time looking for those responsible.
There is no point in blaming ex-President Ronald Reagan for destabilizing Central America years ago. Or in blaming George W. Bush for establishing a reasonable system that requires a judge to oversee the deportation proceedings of a minor to a country that does not border the U.S.
We should also not put all the responsibility on President Obama’s shoulders. While it is true that immigration has been a complicated issue for the White House from the beginning, weak is something Obama has not been when it comes to deportations. That reality is much stronger than any claim that the president encouraged the children’s immigration by taking executive action and deferring deportations for the Dreamers.
It is time to take action, channeling the resources needed to tackle the crisis.
This does not mean that it is time for those who earlier rejected immigration reform in the House of Representatives to now say that they will support it when border security is guaranteed, pointing to the children.
Obama’s proposal would use more than $1.8 billion to secure the border and process detainees for possible deportation.
However, that is not enough for many. For example, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) wants to revive the failed multi-million-dollar bill to put an actual and a virtual fence on the border, while his colleague Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) claims that if Obama takes this crisis seriously, “he could do what Woodrow Wilson did” and invade Mexico to control the border. How absurd!
The Americans and the minors involved in this crisis deserve concrete, quick action. This is not immigration reform; the House of Representatives does not need to take its time and then give an ideological and inflexible answer, more intended to politically damage the White House than to help the children.