(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.
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."
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