July 8th, 2014
07:21 PM ET
7 years 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."

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"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."

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

    Most current citizens are immigrants, let's make the return retro and give the land back to the Native Americans

    July 8, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  2. love344

    you repubs made our current immigration laws

    July 8, 2014 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  3. Jesse

    You can't just send them home immediately. That goes against the law and, guess what, Obama is trying to enforce the law as it stands. If they refuse him money to fix the problem, they (Congress) has no one but themselves to blame.

    July 8, 2014 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  4. uhhuh

    Apparently Coburn forgot that he voted FOR the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act in 2008, which is why these immigrants are are required to be given an immigration hearing with an advocate.

    July 8, 2014 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. MaryM

    Surprise, Colburn does not know the U.S. Law regarding these children

    July 8, 2014 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |

    Bring are troops home and put them on the border

    Why Are We Protecting the Borders of Other Countries When We Can’t
    Protect Our Own? or We can protect our borders, but the politicians or
    big business choose not to do so!

    other vs. Cubans: Is There A Double Standard On
    Illegal Aliens?seems like a double standard. If you come from Cuba you
    are granted automatic residency, but if you come from other countries
    you need to have the proper documentation

    There is a difference between Illegal and Legal immigration. All sides
    of the immigration debate need to recognize that distinction in order
    to hold productive debate.This is supposed to be a nation of laws.No
    illegal immigrants should be given citizenship. We have immigration
    laws that must be followed, and following those laws is the pathway to
    being a legal resident in the U.S

    July 8, 2014 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |

    This is so dumb!!!!!!!!!! They want Obama to act on immigration, some even calling for impeachment!?!?!?!?(Sarah Palin), but they get mad that he's asking for too much money, despite the fact that the House Republicans won't even let any legislation be voted on at all! I'm just saying, "some" of these right wing politicians need to think about what they are claiming before the say stupid things

    July 8, 2014 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  8. Harold Read

    US Veterans, who served their country proudly, have a hard time getting healthcare. Yet, illegal immigrants are getting first class service:
    After they blatantly broke the law...
    At the tax payers expense...

    Obviously Obama cares for terrorists and illegal immigrants over US Citizens.

    July 8, 2014 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. Winston Smith

    Since 2008, this man could do nothing right. In the eyes of the republican held House, he's been a sore spot needing eradicated from the White House. Many of the ranking republicans in both House and Senate, have made it clear that they could not, and would not work with the man. If their motives have been fueled by him not being of their party, or if they are just plain bigoted racist is up to the people they represent to decide. Regardless, it's a damn shame and the American people have suffered in more ways than just monitarily because of their actions. The nation looks pretty tarnished thanks to them.

    July 8, 2014 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  10. len

    Failed to mention the law passed in 2007-2008. Illegal immigrats must be given safe haven then must be processed with a hearing then could be deported.
    This is what happens when your only goal is to cut funding.
    Just wait when the GOP will not fund the Transportation Bill that runs oit in August. Roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects will end.
    Hating the Black President has consequences.

    Wake up America!

    July 8, 2014 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  11. neutral observer

    Where are the unions? Don't they know that flooding the market with cheap labor will be disastrous to the average working joe? What about the debt? Flooding populace with more dependents is also disastrous to average person. Are people that blind to how horrible this whole deal will be? Both dems and repubs think catering this madness will somehow be a benefit to them though horrible to all of us. What a great govt we have here.

    July 8, 2014 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  12. neutral observer

    Just wait until gas prices zoom up not because of oil co's raising prices but because value of dollar starts to plunge. Then you'll hear the wailing. It would be funny if not for the fact that everyone's savings will go down to boot. This is how Germany went just prior to its venture into extremism in the 1920/30s.

    July 8, 2014 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  13. Chris..E.al

    Do you see yet whats up give the color up trip done ppl big 0 is trying to pay 4 a v0te and keep 0n keeping on bring it . told ya . wake up 1 by 1 . l0l wake up

    July 8, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  14. Doc

    The real answer is to declare them to be refugees, which is what they are, take the money for their care out of any foreign aid to Mexico, central America and south America (who are providing no aid other than getting them to our border as quickly as they can) and request emergency funding and intervention in central America from the U.N. This is a world problem as much as Syria, Iraq, Southern Sudan, etc. that the rest of the world demands the U.S. provide aid and funding for. Why should we go it alone in this situation?

    July 8, 2014 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  15. HenryMiller

    "That's $60,000 per child..."

    Insanity! But, hell, it's just taxpayer money. Obama doesn't care how much of that he spends.

    July 8, 2014 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  16. Angela

    They need to get Obama out of office ASAP. This crap needs to stop catering to all the illegals coming into the country. I don't mind someone coming to this country to make a better life for themselves but I am sick to death of the ones who come into this country thinking there better then we are expecting all kinds of hand outs & think they can do whatever the hell they want while living off the government. Pretty sad these people drive brand new cars, have all the latest tech toys, can go shopping buying heaps of stuff & the poor people who live in this country has to scratch & scrape just to try & get some help. The system needs to change!

    July 8, 2014 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  17. Gary

    What Coburn really says is we don't want to help him fix this problem, we are making lots of political points on it.

    July 8, 2014 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  18. mike

    Coburn does not even know how the system works. Why is this guy in office?

    July 8, 2014 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  19. S. B. Stein

    We need to have it made clear to all involved that those getting here without permission is unacceptable. Congress needs to deal with changes in the law to have those here illegally have some penalty for getting here without permission. The House GOP isn't doing its job because they would have done something about this already even if it was even just setting up a conference committee with the Senate.

    July 8, 2014 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  20. RWB1956

    So this is the new GOP cry: the evil children. I guess Benghazi, the ACA, and the IRS ain't workin'. I thought the GOP was going to paint Obamacare across the Democrats foreheads this midterm?!

    July 8, 2014 11:20 pm at 11:20 pm |
  21. Megan

    What a difference experience and knowledge brings to the picture. Too bad we have the inept enabler as President.

    July 8, 2014 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  22. Blake

    Except...sending them home on a 1st class flight without due process is against the law until Coburn sponsors a bill in Congress to make it legal to do so. Until then these kids, that are turning themselves into border patrol, are going to need to be housed, fed and processed until they can be legally deported.

    July 8, 2014 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. george t hibbs

    A first class airline seat? I cannot afford one! Send they back on the giat they rode in on.

    July 8, 2014 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  24. freedom

    America is the most welcoming nation on the planet. This is another story, however. It is being manufactured by the Obama administration – by manipulating not only the American people – but helpless children. It is also bringing in drug cartels, teenage gang members who recruit middle school age children, and diseases. Corrupt and destructive to the core.

    July 9, 2014 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  25. J.V.Hodgson

    Under current laws ( ex bush era) SEN Coburns act is illegal. he thinks the congress can repeal that part of immigration laws in 2weeks ... Amazing feat... nothing has passed that quick. His solution is not abide by current law ( which Republicans have constantly said Obama does not do) and sent them home with a message hey it does not work.
    Democrats know full well the republicans are not going to fund the $3.7bn without strings attached ( which will be unacceptable strings) and will and already have started to say pass the senate Immigration bill, with an amendment covering this point/ Issue if needed.
    That said I have great sympathy for his idea not on His specific repeal plan, but for:-
    1) The lower cost of his idea... send them back on a plane ( too many send them back by hospital ship.
    2) Its the best way to stop the goons in these three countries and the moms and pops , the former getting rich quick from a very risky process at the expense of Kids and the latter from being duped about the actual US law as it stands.
    Comes from the old adage that actions speak louder than words or rhetoric.
    In our current divided congress all that's going to happen is these kids become a political soccer ball of football take your pick

    July 9, 2014 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
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