To stop others from arriving, the United States should quickly deport illegal migrant children who are already in the country, Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul said Saturday, according to Politico
"It sounds harsh but there's no other way to deal with it," McCaul said, according to the political news website.
McCaul, who is chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, warned that with the August heat approaching "you're going to have some of these kids dying" as they leave Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador heading for the U.S. border. He spoke at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado.
Republicans do not have the luxury of inaction despite distrust of President Barack Obama's motives. "We have to do something. We have a crisis. We need leadership. We need to act," said McCaul. "We want to get this done before the August recess. None of us want to go home for August and be portrayed as being on vacation while this crisis is going on, particularly in my home state."
The legislation McCaul thinks likely to be passed would add funding for the Department of Homeland Security, amend the 2008 law that has made it cumbersome to deport illegal immigrant children who cross into the United States from Mexico, and tighten security with National Guard forces deployed along the border, Politico reported.
He called for budgeting funds to "humanely deal" with the children while sending "a message that we are going to swiftly remove them back to their country of origin," he said.
Former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman of California said the Obama administration could take steps under existing law to speed up deportations. At the same time, she advocated making it "easier for such children to get legal status without crossing the border illegally."
McCaul said that notwithstanding differences with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid over the migrant crisis, Congress had to act. "That is a non-negotiable item," McCaul said, according to Politico.
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