O'Malley: U.S. shouldn't send immigrant children back to 'certain death'
July 11th, 2014
07:50 PM ET
4 months ago

O'Malley: U.S. shouldn't send immigrant children back to 'certain death'

(CNN) - Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley advocated for sympathy for the surge of young Central American immigrants flooding the U.S. southern border, arguing that to turn the children away without due process would be un-American given what violence awaits in their home countries.

"We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death," he told reporters Friday at a National Governors Association meeting in Nashville.

A potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, O'Malley's comments break from those made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at a CNN town hall event last month.

Clinton is seen as the prohibitive Democratic frontrunner in 2016, should she decide to jump in the race.

She told moderator CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the United States needs to “send a clear message, just because your child gets across the border doesn’t mean your child gets to stay.”

“They should be sent back as soon as it can be determined who responsible adults in their families are, because there are concerns whether all of them should be sent back," Clinton said. "But I think all of them who can be should be reunited with their families."

The pro-GOP opposition research shop, America Rising, pounced on O'Malley's split with Clinton on immigration, posting audio of his comments to its website and highlighting the two Democrats differing stances on the heated issue.

The Obama administration has asked Congress for nearly $4 billion in emergency funds to help speed up the processing of the child immigrants. But Republicans immediately raised concerns, especially over cost of the measure. And the fact that midterm elections are less than four months away doesn't help.

O'Malley said the children deserve due process under U.S. law.

"They should have their ability to make their case for protection and asylum in the United States," he said.

"I believe that it is contrary to everything that we stand for as a people to try to summarily send back to death, whether it's in famine; death whether it's in the middle of the ocean; death whether it's in a war torn area or death in a place where gangs are the greatest threat to stability and the rule of law and Democratic institutions in this hemisphere."

CNN's Steve Brusk contributed to this report.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Immigration • Martin O'Malley • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. lenny

    finally...someone in leadership who has the courage to articulate what is morally right instead of what is politically correct or pandering to American self-interest.

    July 12, 2014 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  2. lenny

    mercy triumphs over judgement

    July 12, 2014 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  3. Hugo

    You're right O'Malley, we should send you, Holder and Obama.

    July 12, 2014 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  4. danicalifornia

    CNN has seen so many angry people posting this past week at what is happening to this country and the costs associated with it and how the government needs to send these "ILLEGALS", 80% of them are uneducated, non-speaking 16-17 year old males (they hide the truth). CNN doesn't like the fact that most Americans are fed up so this column's comment section is trying to portray the Republicans in a bad light. The truth is the Obama administration instigated this, originally promised to change the 2008 law, then reneged on it and is like the Mafia, threatening to do more damage (by not securing the border and flooding American cities who are going to bare the brunt of this) if he doesn't get his money. Close the border, amend the 2008 law and make it retroactive and send all the illegals back. But we don't even know where any of them that have already been released are located. So can you understand why America is angry. CNN – stop the propaganda.

    July 12, 2014 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. rs

    Tommy G
    What is UNAMERICAN is not securing our borders to protect this country Obama! What is UNAMERICAN is not doing a damn thing to STOP THIS INVASION Obama!
    ______________
    Well, Tommy lets do a little math shall we?
    Wall- medium security (meaning people can still breach it) costs $1 million PER MILE on flat ground. The border is not flat and extend more than 3,000 miles. Much of it is very remote, and there are no roads. Now, Texas is a special problem- the border is the Rio Grande River- which both side by treaty use. How do you wall off a river?
    Mind you if we do that- we still won't end illegal immigration- people can still take buses, planes, and even trains across the border at things call "border crossings". Meanwhile, fences need guards, and we have the most border guards than at any time in history.

    Meanwhile the GOP won't even pay to enforce their law now.... think they'll pay for a structure that even if it can be built will take years, and years, and years?

    It isn't that it's UNAMERICAN, its that it isn't possible or affordable, or even sensible.

    July 12, 2014 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. alex

    Yeah – Boehner said, "our first priority is to make sure these children are safe and delivered back to their families." Neo-cons are so short sided they can't even comprehend how that statement contradicts itself. Everyone in the world except these republicans understand that these children are trying to escape violence and death. At least O'Malley gets it!

    July 12, 2014 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Yes Alex – EVERYONE knows they are trying to escape violence & death. There are many other countries in this world under much desperate need due to starvation, terrorists, etc. How many national stories do we see about these South American countries. NADA – that's because other people are suffering much more. In fact, Honduras has blatantly said they WILL NOT TAKE THEM BACK. Their own country doesn't want them – why should we? Every one will end up costing the U S money we can't afford. Welfare, food stamps, public housing, medical care & the list goes on. We are turning into a 3rd world country.

    July 12, 2014 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  8. jp

    Yeah – lets let them ALL in!! Please all you 3rd world countries send us all of your unwanted. We have no deficit, no unemployment, no one on food stamps, no one on welfare, not enough illegals bleeding our medical system dry. Go ahead to the front of the line for all our freebies. You will get the medical care our veterans aren't getting Even Honduras won't take them back – they have refused. We are not getting the brightest & best as our wonderful has said. I will change the face of America – the one time Obuma didn't lie!

    July 12, 2014 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  9. Sam

    Martin O'Malley is wrong. This was caused by the Obama and his administration whether you like it or not. These children need to be sent back to their countries, period. These children will cost Americans millions of dollars, in schooling and health care and housing. As children they need to be with their parent not matter what.

    July 12, 2014 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Tommy G

    rs
    Tommy G
    What is UNAMERICAN is not securing our borders to protect this country Obama! What is UNAMERICAN is not doing a damn thing to STOP THIS INVASION Obama!
    ______________
    Well, Tommy lets do a little math shall we?
    Wall- medium security (meaning people can still breach it) costs $1 million PER MILE on flat ground. The border is not flat and extend more than 3,000 miles
    ---

    Thanks rs... so 3,000 miles will cost $3 BILLION according to your numbers. Obama wants $3.7 BILLION right now. Works out great, $3 BILLION for securing the border (many miles are already secured so less is actually needed), $700 MILLION to send these illegal alien country invaders back home.

    Let's even say it cost twice as much, $6 BILLION, we would end up saving massive amounts of money. Give me $6 BILLION and put me in charge of securing the border and I'll have it done within a year, cutting illegal crossings 95%. This country put a man on the moon and we can't secure a border?! Surely you are joking!!

    But we all know, the fact is that the Democrats, leftist and liberals do NOT want a secure border, they want a totally open and unsecured border. They want exactly what is happening now. November will show the Democrats what the American people think of your open border insanity.

    July 12, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  11. Democrat turned Republican, because of the traitor Obama

    Send them all to Maryland, see how fast he changes his tune. Bleeding Heart Democrat, who needs them.

    July 12, 2014 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. Lizzie

    Send them to Maryland, problem solved

    July 13, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. Guilla

    This whole situation has me boiling. Obama is doing everything he can to destroy this country. I think everything he does is on purpose. He needs to take responsibility for his screw-ups, stop blaming others. None of these illegals will be living next door to him. I can't believe he is still in office. What a joke!

    July 13, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  14. Lizzie

    Jeff Brown in Jersey, are you not always talking about splitting up families, does that mean we send planes to bring rest of their families to the US. Can they stay at your house, you feed them, take care of them, love them, the same as with a LEGAL immigrant who has to have a sponsor and not to depend on the government.

    July 13, 2014 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. joamaeica

    Obama announced on June 15, 2012. that he had signed an executive order that would allow Children who enter the country illegally to no longer be deported because, and I quote... "young children, do not present a risk to national security or public safety, and meet several key criteria to be considered for relief from removal from the country or from entering into removal proceedings " So there you have it..Obama is 100% to blame for this. Impeach Obama Now!

    July 13, 2014 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  16. GOP = Greed Over People

    I have solved the immigration problem for all these children.

    Buy a t-shirt with the word ZYGOTE imprinted on it, and the GOP baggers will open their arms AND wallets to welcome you home!

    July 13, 2014 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. rs

    Tommy G
    rs
    Tommy G
    What is UNAMERICAN is not securing our borders to protect this country Obama! What is UNAMERICAN is not doing a damn thing to STOP THIS INVASION Obama!
    ______________
    Well, Tommy lets do a little math shall we?
    Wall- medium security (meaning people can still breach it) costs $1 million PER MILE on flat ground. The border is not flat and extend more than 3,000 miles
    -

    Thanks rs... so 3,000 miles will cost $3 BILLION according to your numbers. Obama wants $3.7 BILLION right now. Works out great, $3 BILLION for securing the border (many miles are already secured so less is actually needed), $700 MILLION to send these illegal alien country invaders back home.

    Let's even say it cost twice as much, $6 BILLION, we would end up saving massive amounts of money. Give me $6 BILLION and put me in charge of securing the border and I'll have it done within a year, cutting illegal crossings 95%. This country put a man on the moon and we can't secure a border?! Surely you are joking!!

    But we all know, the fact is that the Democrats, leftist and liberals do NOT want a secure border, they want a totally open and unsecured border. They want exactly what is happening now. November will show the Democrats what the American people think of your open border insanity.
    ___________
    Facts of life Tommy- An impermeable wall will cost a bundle, take years to build, and will need treaties to be passed and EISs completed. It ain't happening- under a GOP President or a Democratic on (and you conveniently ignore the whole Rio Grande River issue, too).
    How about this: instead of proposing fantasies as solutions, your GOP in Congress get off their buts and pass some sane bills for a change, eh?

    July 13, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  18. GOP = Greed Over People

    P.S. Doesn't it warm your heart to see how the "chri$tian", "pro-life" advocates in the GOP treat children in danger?

    WWJD? Apparently, let the National Guard gun down Tweens as soon as they touch American soil! Who knew?

    Hypocrisy: Thy name is, indeed, Republican!

    July 13, 2014 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  19. alex

    This is just proof that neo-cons could care less about protecting innocent life. Really, do we need anymore evidence that the whole pro-life malarkey is just an attempt to control womens bodies? Sharia-style like what the supreme court just did. There are no Republicans out there that actually care about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Case in point.

    July 13, 2014 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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