Mercury News Blasts Border Crisis Response

The San Jose Mercury News is blasting the government response to the border crisis of unaccompanied children, saying that  “… surely the United States will meet this hemisphere’s crisis in a humane manner befitting its history” and outlining that the “policy” crisis is really a funding crisis.

“Republicans have wanted to fund enforcement but not judges,” asserts the paper. “There are just 243 nationwide. Los Angeles County alone has more than 400 judges on its Superior Court. There’s no way the immigration judges can keep up, let alone catch up… refugees from violence are a worldwide challenge. People fleeing wanton slaughter in places like Somalia, Syria and Uganda often end up in nearby countries that are ill-equipped for the influx. But they try.”

The editorial is being picked up around California, and you can read it here: Another View: July 21, 2014

US House Drops Border-Crisis Bill

BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. House of representatives has dropped a bill that would have provided some $659 million in funding to address the 60,000 unaccompanied children that have arrived on the southwest border. The Huffington Post noted that “… the bill had significant opposition from Democrats, but GOP leadership decided to add a separate vote, if the first were to pass, on a measure meant to bring on conservative support: ending a key Obama policy that allows undocumented young people in the U.S. for years to remain in the country.

Citing other reports, HuffPo says the GOP needed to get to 218 votes but managed only 214.

The HuffPo backgrounder graf is pretty good: “More than 57,500 unaccompanied children and teenagers have been apprehended after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally since October, overwhelming a system already plagued by backlogs and in need of significant resources. President Barack Obama requested $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, and Senate Democrats proposed a $2.7 billion package. House Republicans introduced a bill to approve just a fraction of that sum — with the possibility of appropriating more funds later — with conditions many Democrats oppose, such as changing a 2008 law so unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico and Canada can be deported more quickly and sending the National Guard to the border.”

Read the report here:

Gov’t: Most Migrant Children With Relatives

New data released by the U.S. government and reported by the New York Times indicates that “… the vast majority of unaccompanied migrant children arriving in the United States from Central America this year have been released to relatives in states with large established Central American populations, according to federal data…”
The NYT story says that “… a total of 30,340 children have been released to sponsors — primarily parents and other relatives — from the start of the year through July 7, according to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which has overseen the care of the children after they are turned over by Customs and Border Protection. More children have been released in Texas than in any other state, with sponsors there receiving 4,280 children, followed by New York with 3,347. Florida has received 3,181 children and California 3,150. Maryland and Virginia have each also received more than 2,200 children.”
The largest single area for receiving children was Los Angeles. While no state is actually providing legal representation for all children, the California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, noted the Times, “… said this week that she had personally appealed to lawyers in the state to help represent the children in immigration court.”

D.C. Media Notes Children Representation Crisis

The Washington D.C. ABC News affiliate is picking up the crisis at the border, with some fairly in-depth information on the legal representation aspect of the ongoing border crisis of unaccompanied children seeking refuge in the U.S. Says Chanel 7: “The Department of Homeland Security predicts almost 60,000 unaccompanied children will arrive this year at the Southwest border – mostly from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Many of the children are fleeing gang violence and poor economic opportunities. Sixty percent have potential claims for international protection and must have access to the U.S. asylum system, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.”

The report notes a study “analyzing data on 100,000 juvenile cases in immigrant courts [that] found that when a child appeared without a lawyer, nine out of 10 were deported.”