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. Kevin

    "That's $60,000 per child we will spend, in emergency money,"

    The govt. can spend that much on an illegal child, but we have hungry and homeless children born right here in the US. This is utterly disgusting.

    July 9, 2014 01:56 am at 1:56 am |
  2. ProudDem

    Typical....GOP does nothing but scream about border security, and a large part of the money the President is asking for is for increased border security....and they whine that it's too expensive....and at the same time, spend 5 million dollars this year on a FOURTH Benghazi committee.

    July 9, 2014 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  3. America1st

    Worthless sound bite. The government was offering that same plane ticket under Bush Jr. All it did was allow migrants to pick all summer and instead of the employer, the tax payer picked up air fair home in the Fall. The following Spring, guess what? Coburn, retire please. Too numb to know better.

    July 9, 2014 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  4. Thomas

    I agree with Sen. Tom Coburn.

    The time has come to understand why 80 % of the world wants to move to Europe , Australia and America.

    July 9, 2014 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
  5. Michael MN

    Than quit complaining and change the law , It was a law passed by congress which by law the president must abibe by

    July 9, 2014 06:09 am at 6:09 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    -Obama, any illegal? Just Deport. Cut all types of visas in USA. More populous–less prosperous. Put it as bumper sticker–please.

    July 9, 2014 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    They all go home on Mexican buses, as far as I'm concerned. We have zero obligation to do anything more than put them on buses back through Mexico.

    July 9, 2014 07:48 am at 7:48 am |
  8. Gunderson

    Looking at those pictures of those children it looks like they were dressed pretty well and didn't look in distress to me. If they spent a lot of money to the cyotes to get here it appears they are well enough to survive in their own country. The American Taxpayer is going to get saddled with the bill if we don't return them and send a message that we aren't going to allow them to stay.

    July 9, 2014 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  9. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    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.

    But President Obama is wrong.... I didn't know the POTUS was a member of Congress?? When exactly did this happen??😮😮

    As usual the right and the MSM parrot how wrong Obama is on everything from breathing to being a good father. No wonder people are so disrespectful to him. Like that parade in Nebraska. Freedom of speech my butt.

    July 9, 2014 07:57 am at 7:57 am |
  10. smith

    Deny them asylum on the spot and send them home. Then we need to repeal this stupid law. After that, send the National Guard to the border and start building a wall. Its way past time to end debacle.

    July 9, 2014 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  11. jpmichigan

    If one won't deport, then one should STOP the flow of foreign aid to these countries, and use it on the children forced to come here. It is obvious to me and other Americans our hard earn money goes to the corroupt officials , not to the families who need it. Same applies to Iraq and Agfghanisan .

    July 9, 2014 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. 82ndABNVET

    I agree. You give them a first class plane ticket home with a drink of their choosing and maybe even some peanuts. Save the actual AMERICAN TAX PAYERS a HUGE amount of money, that would just be wasted on whatever they are looking to fund.

    So, this is a pretty simple yes or no question for all of you.

    Would you pay $60,000.00 per child to house and feed and take care of medically that came into this country illegally out of your own bank account or pay check?

    Just one child. $60,000.00. That is all.

    I know that well over 70% or more of people do not have that kind of cash sitting around that they can just throw at one child that came here illegally, let alone legally.

    You have to start thinking about government spending as them spending your money. Would you, personally, spend money on X, Y, or Z? Would you spend that much money? Or are they not spending enough money?

    And back to illegals. So, is it fair to those that come here legally, that go through the process and pay the fees and take the tests to just watch these border jumpers get "citizenship" for free? Why would anyone go through the legal way?

    And how exactly are they supposed to get a job? You have to sort of speak English right? So, we are going to be on the hook to use our hard earned tax dollars to support them for the rest of their lives.

    And if they do get a job, employers can pay them less than they would pay you. So, if you really need a job, your going to have to first fight for it as you will be competing with these illegals. Then, you will have to take minimum wage, and not that beloved $15 an hour, because that is going to be the going rate.

    July 9, 2014 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  13. an Iowan

    The current crisis is a direct result of the failure of the GOP to take action on this issue.
    The President has asked repeatedly over the last several years for Congress to take action on the immigration issue and the GOP has done their usual – NOTHING!

    July 9, 2014 08:20 am at 8:20 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Seeing how Republicans have been screaming about how Democrats provide safe havens for immigrants, is it really any surprise that there is a surge in people trying to enter the country. Republicans have been making a lot of noise about illegal immigrants in this country.

    What have Republicans actually done about immigration reform? Where is the first piece in their piece meal approach? I can tell you. You can see and hear Sen. Coburn, right? Good. You're looking at their solution.

    July 9, 2014 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  15. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -------------------------
    Good question. Where are the unions? If Pres. Obama gets so much support from unions, then why would Democrats want to undermine the unions by flooding the field with cheap labor? It only makes sense if you're for the businesses who benefit from the cheap labor. Which political is in the tank with big businesses? Republicans.

    July 9, 2014 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. Rudy NYC

    smith

    Deny them asylum on the spot and send them home. Then we need to repeal this stupid law. After that, send the National Guard to the border and start building a wall. Its way past time to end debacle.
    -----------------------------–
    You've got it backwards. You must fist repeal or change the law before you can turn them away. What is the National Guard going to do? What good is a wall if, as you have claimed, that people can simply climb over it? Huh? You've got video proof of it, too. People simply climbing over the wall. What good is it then to build your wall? According to you, it's not going to solve the problem at all.

    Is there some rule that says conservatives cannot say something unless it is self-contradictory?

    July 9, 2014 08:52 am at 8:52 am |
  17. foxghostwriter

    So if Obama did that, he would be breaking the law. I just don't get it with these guys. Darned if he does, darned if he doesn't.

    And Coburn's solution? Wait on congress to act? The most dysfunctional group of people this side of the Real Housewives of Whereever? Yeah.....it may take two weeks. It may take 2 years. In the meantime, the law is the law.

    July 9, 2014 09:12 am at 9:12 am |
  18. smith

    @Rudy-Climbing a fence and climbing a high wall are two totally different things. What`s the NG going to do? Uh, make sure no one is trying to climb the wall. Grant emergency powers to border agents to deny asylum on the spot. How bout we send all these kids up to NY and you can float the bill for their welfare since you want to take them in and give them shelter.

    July 9, 2014 09:21 am at 9:21 am |
  19. choppajt

    We have no obligation at all. They are here illegally, send them back. Just another liberal ploy to get voters. If thats the case then you Democrats can house and pay for them.

    July 9, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  20. Tom l

    Remember when this whole crisis finally first came to light and the gang was calling everyone bigots who didn't like people with brown skin and we were just exaggerating about the whole "situation"? That was awesome.

    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.

    July 9, 2014 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  21. Tom l

    Has Obama run out of ink and gone over his minutes on his monthly plan?

    July 9, 2014 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  22. Wake Up People! Many Rivers to cross.....

    choppajt says:
    July 9, 2014 09:22 am at 9:22 am
    We have no obligation at all. They are here illegally, send them back. Just another liberal ploy to get voters. If thats the case then you Democrats can house and pay for them.

    Can you read? Congress must act. You know the Congress that refuses to work.

    July 9, 2014 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  23. Rudy NYC

    smith

    @Rudy-Climbing a fence and climbing a high wall are two totally different things. What`s the NG going to do? Uh, make sure no one is trying to climb the wall. Grant emergency powers to border agents to deny asylum on the spot. How bout we send all these kids up to NY and you can float the bill for their welfare since you want to take them in and give them shelter.
    --------------------
    What on Earth ever gave you the notion that I want these kids to come here? Stereotyping. I don't want to see them come here anymore than you do. Oh, they can climb fences, but not walls. Is that it? It's just words. Yesterday you claimed to have seen videos of people "climbing the wall". Today, it's a fence, but you still want your Wall. How is your Wall going to stop them from climbing over yesterday's wall, I mean fence?

    July 9, 2014 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  24. 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?

    Obama wants 4 Billion to "Fix" the situation, along with Comprehensive Reform. So, the Congress appo(Pirates) the 4 Billion and passes immigration reform. Liberals, exclaim. OK, Aww, look ma see what I've found! All these wetbacks are now citizens! We don't have to deport them! Aw gee, now there is another problem. 4 Billion isn't nearly enough. We need another 20 billion !! Thanks Taxpayers, for another 15 million welfare queens.

    July 9, 2014 09:34 am at 9:34 am |
  25. Lynda/Minnesota

    I do agree that we need to send them back. America cannot be held responsible for the welfare of unaccompanied children crossing our borders. They should never have been allowed into the country to begin with.

    Apparently though, Congress is unwilling to address this issue beyond issuing their blanket "blame Obama" meme.

    "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."

    Time to walk the walk, Coburn and Just. Do. It.

    July 9, 2014 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
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