Sen. John Cornyn charges it's "undeniable" that President Barack Obama's executive order to defer some deportations triggered the dangerous influx of thousands of unaccompanied children across the U.S.-Mexico border.
In an op-ed piece in the Dallas Morning News,
the Texas Republican says even Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has conceded Obama's policies "have become a magnet for illegal border crossings."
"It's become simply undeniable, even to those in his own administration, that the president's administrative policies — from his deferred-action program to his overall lack of serious immigration enforcement — have played a huge role in encouraging tens of thousands of children to risk their lives by traveling across Mexico," Cornyn wrote.
An estimated 52,000 children, largely from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, have been scooped up at the southern border since October, and this week Obama asked Congress for $2 billion
to deal with the influx.
But the crisis has also exacerbated the impasse over immigration reform, with House Speaker John Boehner declaring the House won't vote on immigration legislation this year, killing chances for a reform measure bill passed by the Senate.
In response, Obama warned
he'll take further executive actions to deal with the problem.
Yet it's just those kind of executive orders that've brought on today's crisis along the border, even as Obama would rather shift the blame to Congress, Cornyn complained.
"Drug- and gang-related violence in Central America has been a major problem for many years," he wrote. "But the massive spike in illegal immigration by Central American children didn't start until 2012 — the same year Obama announced his deferred-action program."
"If he wants to know why Congress hasn't been able to pass immigration reform, all he has to do is look at his own policies, which have created a massive amount of distrust," he added. "It's now painfully clear that the consequences of the president's previous executive actions include tens of thousands of children navigating some of the most dangerous migration corridors in the world."
Cornyn warns it's unconscionable for Obama to consider continuing his go-it-alone strategy.
"Given all that's happened, how on earth can you consider another pen and phone policy change that we know will lead to yet another surge of illegal immigration, cost the taxpayers more money and, most alarmingly, put more lives in danger?" he asked.
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