White House reaches out to Hispanic lawmakers during border crisis
July 14th, 2014
04:42 PM ET
8 years ago

White House reaches out to Hispanic lawmakers during border crisis

(CNN) - Obama administration officials will meet with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus this week to discuss mounting concerns about the fate of the unaccompanied minors fleeing to the United States from Central America.

"Administration officials will meet with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Wednesday," a White House official said Monday. The official said more details about the meeting would come later.

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Several members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus have raised concerns about calls to send all of the children back immediately.

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"I will strongly oppose any attempts to roll back current laws designed to protect the ability of these children and families to apply for asylum," Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey, said in a statement through the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

Menendez and other Congressional Democrats are concerned about efforts by the administration and lawmakers in both parties to change a 2008 law aimed at shielding Central American children from human trafficking. The Wilberforce law, signed by former President George W. Bush just before he left office, is now seen as offering a loophole to the current young migrants streaming to the U.S. border.

Democrats continue to pile on Obama for skipping the border

Under the law, children from non-border countries are afforded immigration hearings and not sent back immediately, unlike young migrants from Mexico, who face speedier deportation proceedings.

Last week, Earnest said the White House is seeking changes to the law to give the Department of Homeland Security more flexibility in deporting the unaccompanied minors back to their countries of origin.

“It’s unlikely that most of the kids who go through this process will qualify for humanitarian relief, which is to say that most of them will not have a legal basis . . . to remain in this country,” Earnest said.

McCain: Stopping child immigrant nightmare must include returning children, securing border

Yet at the White House briefing on Monday, Earnest signaled a shift in tone on the future of the children. Earnest stressed some of the young migrants who have arrived in the United States from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala in recent months may ultimately be allowed to stay in the country, if they can qualify for asylum status.

"If an immigration judge determines that they face a credible threat of death upon their return to their home country, then again, I'm not an immigration judge, but it is likely that the immigration judge will find that that person should be granted humanitarian relief," Earnest said.

That comment was in response to Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, who sharply disagreed with the administration's statements that the majority of the children would be sent back home.

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

soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. bill

    Throw the blacks under the bus. A "real" leader would reach out to the AMERICAN people.

    July 14, 2014 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Oh boy...cue up the white-fright race-resentment poutrage of the RWNJs....

    If you ask me, it's far past time we sent some of the GOP/Teatrolls to Honduras to see how they like it. And no, guys, your tinfoil hats won't deflect the bullets.

    July 14, 2014 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Gurgyl

    -use your judgement, if any one found illegal, visa violator, just DEPORT.

    July 14, 2014 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  4. Bill from GA

    Youth of America, you have a big decision to make:
    Should you learn Spanish as your primary language or should you learn Chinese??
    The repubs will sell out the country to Chinese; the Dems to Hispanics.

    July 14, 2014 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  5. CryBabies

    Sniffit.....get a clue....your response here makes no sense. Are you working for "the Fool on the Hill " ?

    July 14, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  6. yolanda

    @Sniffit, for the past week the mantra has been that this law was enacted by Bush, and it is his fault that we are being inundated with unaccompanied minors. Also, one of the gang posited that there is nothing that the president can do to staunch the flow of illegals because of the law. Now, along with Your Holiness, we have Democrats such as Menendez, O'Malley, Pelosi, and Reid stating that they are opposed to repealing the Wilberforce law. So other than trying to be inflammatory, what exactly is the point of your post?

    July 14, 2014 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  7. O'drama ya Mama

    CryBabies

    Sniffit.....get a clue....your response here makes no sense. Are you working for "the Fool on the Hill " ?
    July 14, 2014 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    It actually makes perfect sense. He is suggesting Republicans go and see the living conditions in Honduras to better understand why people are fleeing the country.

    July 14, 2014 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. guest

    Obviously sending them directly back to their country is not viable. These people are basically refugees. Parents chose to send their kids by way of drug smugglers, as that looked like the best option. When the best option for a good life for your children is sending them to another country by way of drug smuggling operation, there is some real problems in those home countries. USA can not blithely just send them back. That is a deplorable option, we need to help these children find homes, we need to appeal to the world to help these children find homes. We need to put this nationalist socialist agenda aside and put on the humanitarian hat for awhile. We have been scattering refugees all over the world, we need to take the lead on how to humanely deal with an influx of people.

    Hillary doesnt get a blank check because GOP/tea party is terrible. My nickname or lack thereof doesn't change that, and questions about these kinds of issues should be in any interview she fields, not just plugging her book about things she has said in the past.

    July 14, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    bill
    "Throw the blacks under the bus???" Not surprising. In fact just what I would expect. Any synapses firing?

    July 14, 2014 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  10. CryBabies

    O'drama ya Mama... Fine....and then what?...Annex Honduras?

    July 14, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  11. Ol' Yeller

    CryBabies

    Sniffit.....get a clue....your response here makes no sense. Are you working for "the Fool on the Hill " ?

    I believe Sniffit was right on the money.... he posted, "Oh boy...cue up the white-fright race-resentment poutrage of the RWNJs...." and wallah.... you and yolanda showed up with your white-fright race-resentment poutrage and you are both RWNJ's... so I'd say Sniffit NAILED it.
    boo, hoo....
    hoo...

    July 14, 2014 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  12. Marie MD

    Anyone of Irish descent here?
    This is how they were thought of many years ago and look where they are today.
    I think the biggest mistake is that anyone who comes to the US needs to assimilate to the US and not the other way around. You can keep your culture/heritage but embrace the country where you now live just a little bit more.
    This is the difference between Cubans who came in the 60s and the south and Central Americans coming to the US now, including better education and professionals vs laborers.

    July 14, 2014 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  13. Ol' Yeller

    guest

    Obviously sending them directly back to their country is not viable. These people are basically refugees. Parents chose to send their kids by way of drug smugglers, as that looked like the best option. When the best option for a good life for your children is sending them to another country by way of drug smuggling operation, there is some real problems in those home countries. USA can not blithely just send them back. That is a deplorable option, we need to help these children find homes, we need to appeal to the world to help these children find homes. We need to put this nationalist socialist agenda aside and put on the humanitarian hat for awhile. We have been scattering refugees all over the world, we need to take the lead on how to humanely deal with an influx of people.

    Hillary doesnt get a blank check because GOP/tea party is terrible. My nickname or lack thereof doesn't change that, and questions about these kinds of issues should be in any interview she fields, not just plugging her book about things she has said in the past.

    Good post guest.... you really should put some name on so we can distinguish you from the many 'guests' we have.
    I do disagree with this... "and questions about these kinds of issues should be in any interview she fields, not just plugging her book about things she has said in the past."
    It is a comedy talk show... not a Primary or Presidential debate or an interview rife with Katie Couric gotcha' questions (like, What do you read? I really would like to know what you read?- {since you are dodging the question}, I would like to ask once more, where do you get your news?- the more poignant question would have been, "Can you friggin' read?").
    It's 7 minutes on John Stewart... not 'Meet the Press'. Didn't faux news give her like 17 out of their 20 questions on Benghazi... C'mon!

    July 14, 2014 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  14. Silence DoGood

    @Bill from GA
    Youth of America, you have a big decision to make:
    Should you learn Spanish as your primary language or should you learn Chinese??
    The repubs will sell out the country to Chinese; the Dems to Hispanics.
    ----------–
    I think they should learn Japanese. The way the radical right is making science a bad word and wanting Creationism in schools, our next generation of engineers and scientists are going to be sad. We will need to ask the Japanese to send some androids to help reconstruct our bark and grass huts.

    July 14, 2014 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. don in albuquerque

    O'drama
    Yes they should go. They thought it was awful that the Prez did not go too the border (regardless of been there, done that) so by all means I think the GOTP'ers should go. And leave the bodyguards behind. Just be a real citizen.

    July 14, 2014 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "@Sniffit, for the past week the mantra has been that this law was enacted by Bush, and it is his fault that we are being inundated with unaccompanied minors."

    First, no it hasn't. People simply have been pointing out that the law was enacted under Bush because it highlights that the GOP/Teatrolls were as fine with it, voted for it and recognized its necessity and value when they were looking at the merits of the law 6 years ago without their "OMG a black man is POTUS and we're becoming outnumbered by darkies" glasses on. Now, after the election of Obama kicked off a thinly veiled 6-year tantrum over illegal immigration, i.e., their proxy target for howling at the moon over demographic shifts that threaten GOP power, the GOP/Teatrolls, they suddenly don't like that law at all and think unaccompanied children should be summarily sent back to third-world murder carnivals without due process.

    Second, if you find my first comment inflammatory, just think of how inflammatory the rest of consider the fact that I'm right when I point out the racism involved here. Denial = enabling.

    July 14, 2014 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. CryBabies

    Ol' Yeller.....So very witty. I gather you're employed by "the Fool on the Hill" also.

    July 14, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "Sniffit.....get a clue....your response here makes no sense"

    Really? Traipse around Honduras sans Kevlar for a couple weeks and come back to tell me whether you suddenly understand.

    July 14, 2014 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  19. Max

    We knew their views. Amnesty for all. If you think we are sending any of them back you are dreaming. The American public has been snookered again but its our own fault. Might as well not even have borders. Its pathetic.

    July 14, 2014 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Thomas

    Honduran president blames exodus on Americas drug addiction .

    Drug addiction is not only and American problem Mr. Corrupt Honduran president .

    Your statement is only to place blame on America for your own un action to tide the flow of drugs North .

    Why is 70% of the worlds poor trying to emigrate at any cost to America , Australia or Europe ?

    July 14, 2014 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. Chris..E.al

    Yes 0bama has ya.ll just where you let him .

    July 14, 2014 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  22. mickey

    I want to know when did we start paying our politicians to work for the illegal aliens. I read the oath they take when they are sworn in and there is not one word working for illegals. maybe they should take this oath every day.

    July 14, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  23. neutral observer

    Yes, and we'll all pay the price for the admins effort for political gain

    July 14, 2014 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  24. Wade

    Most of them told Obama to stuff it! LOL....

    July 15, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  25. CALIFORNIA

    It appears Obama's a Trojan horse.

    July 15, 2014 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
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