Rep. Lamar Smith: Obama Policies to Blame for Immigrant Surge

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 11:23 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The House should approve the billions President Barack Obama is requesting to address the immigration crisis only if it pays to send illegal minors home and strengthens the United States' southern border, Texas Rep. Lamar Smith told Newsmax TV.

"If a lot of this money simply goes to judges who are going to award asylum to these individuals and allow them to stay in the country, that's not something we favor," Smith told J.D. Hayworth on "America's Forum."

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"Once again, we don't know that we can believe the president. We don't know that we can trust the president. If you go by his past actions of not enforcing immigration laws, why should we suddenly think that he's had a conversion and wants to enforce immigration laws or wants to remove individuals and send them back to their home countries when everything he has done as president has been the reverse?"

In fact, early reports had Obama requesting $2 billion for the immigration crisis. But the president on Tuesday requested nearly $4 million.

According to The Associated Press, The White House says the money would help increase the detention, care and transportation of unaccompanied children. It says the money would increase the capacity of immigration courts, increase prosecution of smuggling networks and help Central American countries repatriate border-crossers sent back from the United States.

Smith will only vote for the budget request if there is a commitment that the "the great majority of these folks would be returned home, more border security measures, more Border Patrol agents both at the border and in the interior, and a willingness to really stop all future illegal immigration.

"I don’t expect the White House to go along with that, but that would be some of the conditions that I would like to see at that kind of an expense."

The number of unaccompanied minors illegally entering the U.S. at its southwest borders is 15 times what it was four years ago, according to Smith, a Texas Republican, and is a direct consequence of Obama's decision not to enforce immigration laws.

"They have gone from bad to worse under this administration simply because this administration either ignores immigration laws, undermines immigration laws, or tries to make up new law through executive orders," Smith told Hayworth. "They're all coming because of the president's policies."

Obama panders to the public, and his promises cannot be trusted, said Smith, who is a member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees. The president has already "reversed course" on changing policy to expedite sending illegal immigrants home and is now going to "continue to push for mass amnesty."

"His words are hollow, and we just don't know whether we can trust him," Smith said. "If you go by his past actions, we cannot trust him when he says that he wants to secure the border.

"He'll always say what he thinks the American people want to hear."

Obama will be in Texas this week for Democratic fundraisers but has refused to add to his itinerary a trip to the border or any of the facilities housing the children. His adviser, Valerie Jarrett, invited Texas Gov. Rick Perry to join a meeting with faith leaders and local elected officials to discuss the border crisis.

Even members of the president’s own party have called on him to visit the South Texas border, including Rep. Henry Cuellar, a Laredo Democrat, who told the Dallas Morning News that a trip to Texas that didn’t include a "firsthand look at the problems" would be tantamount to Obama’s "Katrina moment," referring to criticism received by President George W. Bush for failing to visit New Orleans in a timely manner following the devastating hurricane.

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