House Republicans should repeal an amendment that allows unaccompanied minors to come into the United States, and put a curb on President Barack Obama's rampant spending to solve the problem, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says in an CNN opinion piece.
"This flood of foreign children is not a problem of border security," wrote Gingrich Wednesday. "Under the Feinstein Amendment of 2008, unaccompanied minors from these countries can present themselves at a legal border crossing, claim to be political refugees, and seek asylum."
But instead, said Gingrich, the president traveled to Texas this week for two fundraisers, a trip that "highlights vividly the failure of Obama-ism" and makes it "clear" he wants Americans' money.
"He has just sent up a request to Congress for an additional $3.7 billion to address the immigration crisis on the southern border — the majority of which would go toward caring for the unaccompanied minors crossing the border," said Gingrich. "Still, this request is larger than the entire U.S. Border Patrol budget
The left is arguing that children are fleeing places like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras because of gang violence, but Gingrich argued there is violence right here in America, including last weekend, when 82 people were shot and 16 killed in Chicago alone.
"One Democratic senator told me that the real key was to end violence in those three countries," said Gingrich. "I wanted to ask that senator how he thought his policies would be more successful in Central America than they have been in our third-largest city."
Gingrich said it is a "liberal fantasy — that we owe the world everything, we can do nothing to protect ourselves and everyone else is innocent while we Americans somehow have an extra burden to take care of their problems," and the president's current actions should be viewed in that context.
And throwing money at the problem is an expensive fix, critics point out.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma on Tuesday denounced the plan on CNN's "Crossfire,"
said Gingrich, nothing that the $3.7 billion Obama wants represents some $60,000 per child in emergency money.
"That shows just how incompetent we [are] — we can't do that for $3,000 or $4,000 per child?" Coburn said. "If we can't do that, the Border Patrol is as bad as the VA. For $8 million we can put them all on a first-class seat back to their homes."
Gingrich said Coburn's statement was an exaggeration, and that it would actually cost $40 million to $80 million to fly everybody home, but that's still a $3.62 billion savings over Obama's plan.
"Left-wing Democrats wake up every morning knowing the answer is bigger government and more money," said Gingrich. "The border crisis is a new opportunity for Obama to create even bigger government, spending even more of our children's money."
And while that would be an "absurdity" in a "rational world," to Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., more spending and bigger government is not absurd.
Several critics, including Coburn, have said the border crisis would lessen if the Feinstein Amendment would be repealed, said Gingrich. In addition, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte has said that Obama could take executive action to close the borders.
"The Obama policy instead assumes the border will remain open and he wants to use taxpayer money to fund the lengthy process of getting children from Central America involved in the American legal system," said Gingrich. "It is a great excuse to have the government hire even more lawyers."
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