It Was George W. Bush Who Allowed More Undocumented Kids In, Obama Who Wants Them Quickly Deported
It was a 2002 law that was reauthorized in 2008 that provided special care for children coming into the United States from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, while more quickly deporting Mexican children, giving them fewer protections. This was a humane move by George W. Bush. President Obama, accused by the right of allowing porous borders, is the one who wants to clamp down on the Central American kids now, treating them the way we’ve been treating those from Mexico.
Under a 2002 human trafficking law signed by former President George Bush and reauthorized again in 2008 with additional protections, Mexican unaccompanied children apprehended crossing the border are automatically returned without formal deportation proceedings because the two countries share a border. But unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala cannot be sent back without going through the deportation process, since that law ensured that America wouldn’t send kids back to a dangerous situation. (Honduras, for example, has experiences increased gang violence in 40 percent of its territory, while violence against females is surging in Guatemala.) Authorities must instead process these children and determine whether they have credible proof that they cannot return to their countries of origin. Central American children are given basic care like medical screenings in processing centers before being placed with relatives or foster care until they can appear in front of immigration judges.
On Monday, President Obama plans to send a letter asking Congress to authorize $2 billion to speed up the deportation proceedings of unaccompanied children. More details of the plan will be sussed out when Congress comes back from its Fourth of July recess.
These undocumented children (I refuse to call them “illegal”) should be regarded as refugees, not criminals. And President Obama, who gets criticized by the right for being too lenient, is the one whose crackdown on the undocumented has resulted in more deportations than in the previous administration.