Children entering the country illegally are saying they are coming to the United States because of the policies of President Barack Obama, said Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
The past year has seen a significant increase of children crossing the southern U.S. border, and 90,000 are expected to enter by the end of September. Border states have been overwhelmed by the onslaught and are rushing to set up facilities
to house and feed the children.
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"It is a direct result of the Obama administration's policies. And we know it because that's what they're telling us. They're saying, 'We came up because we were told, go to America. If you're a teenager, they won't allow you to be deported,'" Kobach, a Republican who also authored Arizona's immigration bill, told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday.
Kobach explained that in 2012 Obama announced a "deferred action directive." He said that authorized Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents "to break the law and to allow illegal aliens who claim they came to the country before the age of 16 to remain here."
"Word got back to the home countries. And, we know this, and they are flooding the United States," he said.
When the illegal immigrants arrive, Kobach said, they do not evade law enforcement "like illegal aliens normally do." He said they turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents because smugglers told them "they won't deport you under Obama's policy."
The majority of the children are coming from the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Some lawmakers have said the children were coming to the United States because of violence and unrest caused by drug cartels in their home countries. Kobach called that "completely untrue."
"There has been no change in the conditions in these home countries that is causing this massive influx," he said.
Obama could address the problem through a law passed by Congress in 1996, Kobach said. It allowed the president to "mobilize state and local law enforcements" to enforce federal law.
"What [Obama] should be doing is ordering the use of the Air National Guard to immediately transport these kids back to their families," he said. "Do you expect Obama to do that? I don't."
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