Yesterday on Meet the Press, Rep. Paul Labrador (R-ID) tried to dismiss the reasoning President Obama gave for not deporting the people crossing into Texas while fleeing Central America:
LABRADOR: If you look at what he said, he said that the number one reason these children are coming to the United States is because of the violence in these Central American countries. The reality is that the violence has existed in these Central American countries for a long time. The level of poverty has existed in these Central American countries for a long time. But it’s over the last two years that you have seen an increase in the number of children coming to the United States. […]
The thing that the administration needs to do is immediately deport these families, these children. I know it sounds harsh. I know it sounds difficult, but they’re creating a crisis at this time that is actually going to harm these children. […]
David Gregory quickly reminded Labrador of a simple fact that the GOP and right wing media has simply forgotten – that a bill signed into law by the previous President, George Bush, allows these people to stay here for just that reason:
GREGORY: First of all, the frustration is not just with the administration, right? It is Congress, it is House Republicans who blocked immigration reform, that came over from the Senate, that you opposed.
But it is also the issue of the law that is the law of the land, that was passed under the previous president, that makes it illegal to treat those illegal migrants coming from Central America as opposed to Mexico.
The law being referred to was a human trafficking law, signed by George Bush in 2002 and expanded in 2008:
Under a 2002 human trafficking law signed by former President George Bush and reauthorized again in 2008 with additional protections, Mexican unaccompanied children apprehended crossing the border are automatically returned without formal deportation proceedings because the two countries share a border. But unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala cannot be sent back without going through the deportation process, since that law ensured that America wouldn’t send kids back to a dangerous situation. (Honduras, for example, has experiences increased gang violence in 40 percent of its territory, while violence against females is surging in Guatemala.) Authorities must instead process these children and determine whether they have credible proof that they cannot return to their countries of origin. Central American children are given basic care like medical screenings in processing centers before being placed with relatives or foster care until they can appear in front of immigration judges.
So if President Obama was just shipping them right back, does that mean the GOP would be cheering for him? Highly doubtful. Instead we would hear how Obama doesn’t care about the children and the violence they escaped and how he is ignoring our laws. Just like the Republicans blame Obama for not building the border fence, when the Republican controlled Congress refuses to fund it.
In the GOP world being in Congress isn’t about leading – it’s about politics. As long as the GOP can feed their sheep these conspiracies and spark outrage, then they have a better chance of these sheep turning into voters, and that means job protection for our so called “leaders”. It truly is one of the most infuriating things out of Washington in a generation.