July 8th, 2014
07:21 PM ET
5 months ago

Coburn: Obama's border funding 'wrong approach,' offers first class seat home to every child

(CNN) – Sen. Tom Coburn said Tuesday he opposes President Barack Obama's request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the influx of unaccompanied minors across the southwest border.

"That's $60,000 per child we will spend, in emergency money," the Oklahoma Republican said on CNN's "Crossfire."

"That shows how incompetent [the government] is."

Coburn said providing additional resources for detention spaces and immigration attorneys to the minors is the "wrong approach."

"We can put them all on a first class seat to their homes, that's $8 million,' he added.

Obama seeks emergency immigration funds, more authority

Instead, Coburn said Congress could in two weeks repeal the law that allows juveniles from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to stay and apply for asylum instead of facing immediate deportation like Mexican citizens do.

To stem the tide of minors crossing the border, Coburn suggested, "the best signal to slow this down is send them home."

Coburn blamed the whole situation on a laxity of immigration enforcement by the Obama administration.

"You know what is in the craw of Americans? It is not immigration. They don't see our government enforcing our laws," Coburn said.

Sen. Ben Cardin, a Democrat from Maryland, pushed back on the idea that the immigrants were being given a free pass into the United States.

"They're not being given an opportunity to come to America," he said.

"They're desperate and they're families are making decisions. They're bad decisions. They shouldn't be sending their children here. It's extremely dangerous."

More from Crossfire: Could legalizing marijuana become 'tragedy'?

82 shot in Chicago? That's an outrage


Filed under: 2014 • Crossfire • Immigration • President Obama • Tom Coburn
soundoff (167 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    @Smith The fencing systems they have in place now cost roughly $1 million per mile? How much will your Wall cost? It sounds like the price tag will be quite expensive to cover at least 2000 miles of terrain. How long will it take to build such megalithic structure? What do we do about the folks still climbing the fence in places where your Wall hasn't been built yet?

    Your solutions are unrealistic. It would take a years to build your Wall, at cost of tens of billions if not hundreds. Not barrier will be perfect, and you're demanding perfection. Perfection will never happen in the real world, only in fantasies like yours.

    July 9, 2014 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  2. tom l

    "The fencing systems they have in place now cost roughly $1 million per mile"

    =======

    And now you understand my complete disdain for the US Govt. Only the govt would spend 1 million dollars per mile. If this was a corporation and there were bids for a wall like this something tells me the bids would come in far far lower than what they are gouging the US Govt for.

    And what a strawman built by Rudy. smith is not asking for perfection. Not once has he said any wall would be "perfect". The question is, will it be immeasurably better than what we have now if we truly had a fence/wall? What do you think, Rudy? Do you think it would be better than today? Or do you think it would have no bearing on the "situation"?

    Also, would you like to apologize to all of those that you said when this crisis finally came to light and admit that you were wrong?? I distinctly remember you, once again, defending the administration and saying that there was nothing irregular today as compared to in the past and mocking people like Donna and Fair when they brought it up? And I believe that Sniffit then chimed in something about the right being uncomfortable with brown people but what's surprising about that?

    July 9, 2014 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  3. Marty

    Keep them going north. Canada is a really nice place.

    July 9, 2014 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  4. Cam

    These kids are being used pawns by the Obama administration. We are about to see their media dogs roll out their desperate situations. Even if the house repealed the portion of the law on Central American children there is no way the Senate would pass it. Its the same old cat and mouse games. By the way the $3.7B Obama wants almost $2.9 is just to handle appropriate care and transportation of the children. So the border security thing is a bunch of baloney as usual. Smoke and mirrors from the most TRANSPARENT administration. I have already contacted my reps and told them no money unless to repeal and deport.

    July 9, 2014 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  5. Boomer in Mo

    First, you have to determine where "home" is for unaccompanied children. They may have little idea themselves, or won't tell. And does Coburn plan to fly the kids back to Central America and then just turn them loose in the airport? Most of them are going to be from villages scattered all over the countryside, not conveniently living next door to the airport.

    July 9, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Remember when everyone, I'm sure back at the time the gang was loudest, about how president Bush was out of touch when he flee over New Orleans after Katrina but now the gang is perfectly fine with president Obama going to fundraisers instead of personally checking out the border crisis, errrrrrr "situation"? That was awesome."

    Oh, hey, tom I. Still taking "gang" stuff, huh?

    July 9, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. Rudy NYC

    Gunderson

    Aw, So,
    It seems these border jumpers are coached to lie when they get here. Senator Cornin, (Texas) asked a 13 year old where his parents were. The 13 year old said, they're dead. Now does anybody believe that?
    -----------------------–
    It seems more like Sen. Coburn doesn't want us to remember that he voted for the Re-authorization Act back in 2008. In fact, it seems that a whole lot of Republicans have voted FOR things that make it attractive for people to come while, Democrats have mostly voted against these measures. Wow. I'm just fit to be tied.

    July 9, 2014 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  8. tom l

    "Remember when everyone, I'm sure back at the time the gang was loudest, about how president Bush was out of touch when he flee over New Orleans after Katrina but now the gang is perfectly fine with president Obama going to fundraisers instead of personally checking out the border crisis, errrrrrr "situation"? That was awesome."

    Oh, hey, tom I. Still taking "gang" stuff, huh?
    =====

    Oh yes. More belligerent, ruder and angrier than ever. It's almost like it's the gang 2.0 now. :) It's awesome. I mean, who else would paint people like smith, Yolanda and me as right wingers? So, yes indeed, the gang is alive and well! It's cool, too, because I have been threatened with violence from one gang member and then told by another gang member who never, ever calls people names that "my neck is red, son". Good times by all, indeed.

    How is life in Minnesota? I hope it's not nearly as hot there as it is here in Atlanta. Wow the summers can be brutal here.

    July 9, 2014 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. arial frost

    The Assimilation of immigrants should be done gradually – a few immigrants from diverse locations – slowly – and from
    various intellectual factions – to create a motley of backgrounds.....and must be educated, learn English and
    understand Constitutional Concepts....within a mandatory framework or returned to their own country!

    July 9, 2014 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Boomer in Mo says:
    July 9, 2014 09:54 am at 9:54 am
    First, you have to determine where “home” is for unaccompanied children. They may have little idea themselves, or won’t tell. And does Coburn plan to fly the kids back to Central America and then just turn them loose in the airport? Most of them are going to be from villages scattered all over the countryside, not conveniently living next door to the airport.

    Boomer they could care less what happens to those kids.

    July 9, 2014 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  11. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    From the article:
    "You know what is in the craw of Americans? It is not immigration. They don't see our government enforcing our laws," Coburn said. "
    AND:
    "Instead, Coburn said Congress could in two weeks repeal the law that allows juveniles from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to stay and apply for asylum instead of facing immediate deportation like Mexican citizens do."
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Seems to me that these 'Mericuns with the crap in their craw are confused idiots, right up there with their esteemed Senator Coburn..
    Additionally hasn't President Obama deported more illegals than any of his predecessors?
    The solution lies somewhere, but the blame for a problem that has plagued this country for decades is being missplaced.
    Congress needs to get off their collective arses and earn the paycheck they've been stealing from the American people for the past 6 1/2 years.

    July 9, 2014 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    @Smith The fencing systems they have in place now cost roughly $1 million per mile? How much will your Wall cost? It sounds like the price tag will be quite expensive to cover at least 2000 miles of terrain. How long will it take to build such megalithic structure? What do we do about the folks still climbing the fence in places where your Wall hasn't been built yet?

    Your solutions are unrealistic. It would take a years to build your Wall, at cost of tens of billions if not hundreds. Not barrier will be perfect, and you're demanding perfection. Perfection will never happen in the real world, only in fantasies like yours.
    ------------
    Tens, if not hundreds of billions, you say? Using your numbers of 2,000 miles at $1 million per mile, that totals out to $2 Billion. You're not very good at math.

    And instead of kibbitzing everyone else's proposals, why don't you opine on what YOU would do? Answer – you got NOTHING.

    July 9, 2014 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Oh, hey, tom I. Still taking "gang" stuff, huh?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Turf wars and fingerpointing per usual.
    Yawn.
    Let it go tom l.

    July 9, 2014 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    Lynda/Minnesota says:
    July 9, 2014 09:58 am at 9:58 am
    “Remember when everyone, I’m sure back at the time the gang was loudest, about how president Bush was out of touch when he flee over New Orleans after Katrina but now the gang is perfectly fine with president Obama going to fundraisers instead of personally checking out the border crisis, errrrrrr “situation”? That was awesome.”

    Oh, hey, tom I. Still taking “gang” stuff, huh?

    Mr. Look at me I know everything. Poor guy needs a hug. 😣 As far as President Obama going to the border, I'm completely against it. Personally I'm against him stepping one foot in TX. As far as Bush he can thank his barrel necked mama for her words. Something along the lines of "those people are fine they're used to living like that" when referring to the Katrina victims or as the right wing MSM referred to them, refugees.

    Bush is still adored by the right even after starting two unnecessary wars, crashing the economy and millions losing their jobs, but President Obama was supposed to stroll into office, snap his fingers and everything was supposed to be all sunshine and unicorns immediately even WITH the GOP vowing to do nothing and then following through with their threat while the MSM sticks their collective fingers in their ears and pretends they don't know what they're up to.

    July 9, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  15. smith

    @Rudy-Lying about my comments shows a weak rebuttal. I said, "hopping over the fence". I never said I saw videos of people hopping over a wall. Btw, saying that the comparison of climbing a fence to a wall means nothing because they are just words has to be the dumbest rebuttal I have ever heard (Dumb, Dumb, Dumb).

    July 9, 2014 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  16. Sniffit

    "We can put them all on a first class seat to their homes, that's $8 million,"

    LOL. Right, because all it takes is herding them onto a plane and flying them back to their countries of origin with signs, scribbled in crayon on the back of Denny's placemats, taped to their chest and backs identifying them to make it easier for their parents to find them. It doesn't involve paying anyone to manage it, no doctors to assure these children's health and wellbeing, no need for concerning ourselves about whether there would be anyone there to greet the child or take responsibility for it, no need for translators so we can communicate with the children, no reason to pay attention to any of our own deportation laws and regulations or international law or silly concerns like basic human rights, decency and dignity. Heck, why pay for first class? Let's just stick 'em in crates and ship them back on flatbed trailers like the brown, foreign, sub-human animals they are, right RWNJs? Coburn is consistently, unrelentingly stupid and unswervingly racist in terms of the underpinnings of his positions and statements on issues like this. He is a pig, plain and simple.

    July 9, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda Minnesota
    Apparently though, Congress is unwilling to address this issue
    -----------------------------------------------------
    THIS Right-wing led Congress is wiling to leave as many issues unaddressed as possible.
    Economic issues, budgetary issues, immigration issues.
    They've been ripping us off collecting paychecks that they haven't earned since THIS POTUS came into office.
    I can only surmise that it is all with the mal-intentioned hope that something blows up, falls apart, or devolves into complete chaos the blame for which can then be directly placed on inaction by THIS administration.
    Too transparent and so, so un-American, at least the America that I pledged allegiance to.
    No way in hell should these Right wing maggots be allowed back into the White House.

    July 9, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Your solutions are unrealistic. It would take a years to build your Wall, at cost of tens of billions if not hundreds. Not barrier will be perfect, and you're demanding perfection. Perfection will never happen in the real world, only in fantasies like yours.
    ----
    Tens, if not hundreds of billions, you say? Using your numbers of 2,000 miles at $1 million per mile, that totals out to $2 Billion. You're not very good at math.

    And instead of kibbitzing everyone else's proposals, why don't you opine on what YOU would do? Answer – you got NOTHING.
    ==================================================
    I said existing fencing costs $1 million per mile. I was estimating the cost of smith's high tech Wall.

    Before I can tell you what I would do, I must first knock you folks down off of your high horses, and bring you folks back to Earth and reality. More needs to be done that simply build smith's high tech Wall.

    July 9, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Sniffit

    "“Remember when everyone, I’m sure back at the time the gang was loudest, about how president Bush was out of touch when he flee over New Orleans after Katrina but now the gang is perfectly fine with president Obama going to fundraisers instead of personally checking out the border crisis, errrrrrr “situation”? That was awesome.”"

    DSM-IV needs an entry for something like False Equivalence Syndrome...principle symptomology a delusional inability to recognize when things aren't similar. Your analogies are so consistently broken it's like a comedy show.

    July 9, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  20. sonny chapman

    ENFORCE THE LAWS-To all Conservatives screaming that, if Fed. & Local Law Enforcement were to swoop down on all construction sites & agricultural industry using Illegal Immigrants, they hue & cry from these Million Dollar operations would be deafening. All those screaming AMNESTY FOR LAWBREAKERS should look at the real cause of Immigration Crisis-LOW WAGES.

    July 9, 2014 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  21. The REAL Truth...

    “This is a piece of legislation we’re very proud to sign,” said White House spokesman, Tony Fratto to reporters on Dec. 23, 2008, as the president (Bush) put his pen to the "Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008".

    This legislation, enacted quietly during the transition to the Obama administration, is at the root of the calamitous flow of unaccompanied minors to our southern border. Originally pushed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as well as by evangelical groups to combat sex trafficking, the bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin.

    Instead, it required that they be given an opportunity to appear at an "immigration hearing" and "consult with an advocate", and it recommended that they have access to counsel. It also required that they be turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the agency was directed to place the minor “in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child” and to explore reuniting those children with family members.

    There you have it TP/GOP folks... it's Dubya's fault! :)

    July 9, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  22. Lynda/Minnesota

    Ah, well ... such is life on the ticker, tom.

    "How is life in Minnesota? I hope it's not nearly as hot there as it is here in Atlanta. Wow the summers can be brutal here."

    The weather here in Minnesota ... is delightful. I'm getting some much needed cleaning done now that the in-laws are on their way back to NY. Next up: house painting.

    July 9, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  23. Sniffit

    "Instead, Coburn said Congress could in two weeks repeal the law that allows juveniles from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to stay and apply for asylum instead of facing immediate deportation like Mexican citizens do. "

    Haha...PLEASE...for the love of all that is holy and right in the universe...PLEASE PROCEED. I dare you. It'll be the trigger to start your Demographic Armageddon.

    July 9, 2014 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Fair is Fair
    And instead of kibbitzing everyone else's proposals, why don't you opine on what YOU would do? Answer – you got NOTHING.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    He actually did Fair and was promptly accused by tom l of doing what the Democrats would do.
    You piggy-backing off of someone else's comnent to predictably slam your boy Rudy and do some kibitzing of your own is typically hypocritical of you hilarious to many of us.

    July 9, 2014 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Your analogies are so consistently broken it's like a comedy show
    -----------------------------------------------------
    Except that it stopped being funny eons and eras ago.
    Somebody call Nielsen and pull the plug.

    July 9, 2014 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7