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

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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. Hector Slagg

    Listening to the Crass Liberal Talking Points, O'Malley. Since none of them are going to be sent home maybe we can put a hundred thousand up in Baltimore, good buddy. We Can? Thanks good buddy. Now please don't ask the U.S. Tax Payer to foot the bill. We have an 18 Trillion Dollar Federal Debt and are tapped out.

    July 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    -job-train H1-B replacements, kick all these illegals, don't issue too many Immigrations for fifty years, let them work, remaining, at low wage. USA is in trouble, if not reformed.

    July 12, 2014 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  3. HenryMiller

    Is Mr O'Malley offering to take care of these children at the expense of the taxpayers of Maryland? Does Maryland have a spare $3.7 billion laying around?

    July 12, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  4. danicalifornia

    Maybe we can send all 50K plus to HIS state and HE can support them all. Hey California, Michigan, MA and all the other states who have received these illegals (don't the states have sovereignty- why are they allowing this) – Maryland will take all your illegals. Put them on a plane ASAP

    July 12, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    The disgusting house republicans want to give businesses another $237 billion in unpaid for tax cuts, but refuse to give Obama $3.7 billion for our crisis at the border. If RWNJs weren't brain dead, they would see the hypocrisy if the republican leadership.

    July 12, 2014 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  6. rs

    And today- the House GOP after literally screaming all week long "do something the 10 year olds are coming!" declared that not only is the budget override the President wants to expedite the processing of these kids, the temporary housing of these kids, and their return home "too expensive" (i.e we're not going to help), they are trying to cut the monies needed to fix the VA- because that's "too expensive" as well.

    A reminder: the $3.7 billion needed to deal with the children crisis is less than 1/6th what the GOP government shutdown cost.

    The VA thing floors me. War isn't too expensive but taking care of our Veterans is.

    The GOP has freakin' lost its mind and what tatters of morality it ever had.

    July 12, 2014 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  7. don in albuquerque

    And I think we should send them all to live in his backyard.

    July 12, 2014 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  8. rs

    Tampa Tim
    The disgusting house republicans want to give businesses another $237 billion in unpaid for tax cuts, but refuse to give Obama $3.7 billion for our crisis at the border. If RWNJs weren't brain dead, they would see the hypocrisy if the republican leadership.

    It's worse than that Tim- $287 billion in unfunded tax cuts- more welfare for the rich. The GOP is simply unreal!

    July 12, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. ED1

    Really death don't think so more scare tactics.

    July 12, 2014 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. rs

    Once again- here's the problem:
    The law the President is enforcing- that grants certain legal protections to minors from other nations was written and passed in a bi-partisan fashion and vote in 2008, and signed by then-President G.W. Bush.
    The GOP (who claim the President doesn't "obey the law") wants Mr. Obama to break this law, THEIR LAW. Now that the President has said the vast majority of these kids will be returning to their countries of origin, and that INS, and other agencies need $3.7 billion to expedite their processing,legal status checks, placement in relatives' care, health checks (as mandated by the law), the GOP balks.
    What could this mean? Well it means all their screaming about the situation is a fake as their concerns for the midas. It also means they would much rather keep this little controversy around (even though THEY look like flaming idiots) than actually doing something about the situation.
    Meanwhile- they pass ANOTHER $287 billion tax cut for the rich!
    The GOP is bankrupt in every moral, ethical, and likely legal sense.

    July 12, 2014 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. rs

    "concern for the kids" ahhh, spell checkers!

    July 12, 2014 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    @ED1; "Really death don't think so more scare tactics."

    Honduras, one of the countries these children are fleeing, has the highest murder rate in the WORLD. They are also fleeing Nicaragua and El Salvador, which also have a huge problem with drug traffickers recruiting kids – work for them or suffer grave/deadly consequences.

    O'Malley is completely accurate in his assessment.

    July 12, 2014 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain - Don't like Congress? Get rid of the repub/tea bag majority.

    “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

    Oh, forget it! I got mine; screw you!

    *Brought to you by the gop*

    July 12, 2014 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. 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! What is UNAMERICAN is helping and aiding these illegal country invaders by busing and flying them all over the country Obama! What is UNAMERICAN are Democrats like OMalley that have encouraged this by wanting to keep these illegals here thus encouraging millions more to set out for our unsecured borders.

    Where are all of the rich liberals and Democrats to donate the millions and billions of dollars their insanity is now costing our country? How many are demanding to take in several of these kids and raise them as their own? How many are demanding that thousands of them be flown to their cities to crush the already over burdened public welfare, healthcare and school systems?

    If this Obama-liberal-Democrat insanity is allowed to stand and to continue, our country is indeed doomed. They couldn't make it totally collapse from within, so now they are just opening up the flood gates to allow the entire world to run across our borders to help destroy what is left of this country. Come November Americans, remember what the Democrats have shown you, what they are all about. They are NOT about helping American citizens and this country. This situation is very stark and undeniable proof of that.

    July 12, 2014 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Blubbalip

    Maybe we should bomb where they came from. Kill all of those killers down there. Then send them back.

    July 12, 2014 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Tony D

    Well, when they publish Omalley's statements in central America, hundreds of thousands more will be setting out for our borders. And Omalley will of course want to keep all them here, which will result in MILLIONS more coming, which we will of course have to keep here and pay for.

    No problem, we can just demand the few that are still paying federal income taxes just pay twice as much as they do now and their families can then just apply for food stamps to get by. The Democrats have this all figured out people, just relax, it is all under control.

    July 12, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. just saying

    the only 'certain death' involved here is the certain death of this country at the hands of the democrats! if omalley had presidential aspirations, he just killed them.

    July 12, 2014 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  18. labman57

    Tea-chugging conservatives regard these immigrants as parasitic germ sponges.
    If they die soon, it's all the better ... just so long as it happens on foreign soil.

    July 12, 2014 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. Citrus

    1. We don't have the money to take care of the children of other nations. 2. We don't have the money to take care of the children of other nations. 3. If we continue to keep these children, the other nations will just continue to send them to us. Nope, nope, nope-send them back! By the way, I'm a democrat.

    July 12, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  20. Citrus

    By the way, I also live in Maryland. Hey, governor O'Malley, pull the money out of your own pocket and stop trying to spend everyone else's. We can barely feed our own families!

    July 12, 2014 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  21. Bill from GA

    O'Malley acknowledges that the 'Certain Death' these immigrant children face is at the hands of gangs. We are told that the gangs there are trading in drugs.

    Part of the solution might be reform of our out-dated drug laws, which do more harm than good.

    July 12, 2014 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Bill from GA

    I wonder how long before the drug gangs quit fighting over drugs and start fighting over immigrant children.

    Seems like it would be easier smuggling children in than drugs, since our government is welcoming the children. Unlike our government, the drug gangs aren't stupid. Like our drug laws, our immigration laws are aiding criminal gangs. As usual, we are being duped.

    July 12, 2014 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  23. Mexico is the Problem

    Mexico and its corrupt government is getting rich off facilitating the invasion of OUR country. They are allowing this to happen. They are helping it happen by allowing illegal activities in their own country, which then ends up at our border.

    If they do not voluntarily put an end to this illegal human trafficing industry within 14 days, then the USA can, should and must take action against Mexico including the shutdown of the entire border to all commercial and tourist activity. Ban all air lines to fly to and from Mexico. Use our military on the Mexican side of the border to stop all illegals from reaching our borders. Mexico obviously does not control its own country so they should have no problem with our helping them. Also, all Mexican nationals in this country legally must return to Mexico until the Mexican government secures their southern border to prevent this illegal activity.

    Enough is enough. Mexico is NOT OUR FRIEND to the south if they allow this to keep happening. They must NOT be treated as a friend. They must be treated as an enemy of our sovereignty.

    July 12, 2014 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  24. rick

    As i can see. There are others who think like I do on this. Several have mentioned the same let HIM put them up that I did. And tell the truth.. Not a part thats just convienient.. The REASON these kids are getting here.. I dont think the parents are just that stupid to not be watching them. Who is SENDING THEM? Reason? To finagle rest of family here.. Make money.. Send back for drug cartells to produce MORE DRUGS. More kids.. More illegals.. Make money.. Send back.. Make MORE DRUGS. AND THE THREAT OF DEATH is if they DONT send money back..!!!

    July 12, 2014 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. vikingwoman

    Just like a politician, volunteering to spend Our money on a crisis that isn't ours! It belongs squarely on shoulders of the nations these kids came from! Those nations should take responsibility for the fact that their citizens are so desperate that they send unaccompanied kids to a foreign country! I don't think We should foot the bill to send them back–the nations in question should! We should absolutely not give them amnesty just because they're kids! That's a terrible precedent to set, opening floodgates for any underdeveloped country to send their kids here! I'm so over being a bleeding heart for countries w/horrid poverty & regimes! They have the ability to change things for the better if they want & if that results in civil war it's Not our biz! We need to sweep our own porch before we butt into the mess of our neighbors & we have a lot of work to do! Such as Congerss doing some work, for a change, rather than spending their time ragging on Obama! That would be a welcome change!!

    July 12, 2014 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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