Lindsey Graham: GOP Will Take Hit if Funding for Illegal Minors Fails

Wednesday, 09 Jul 2014 06:12 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Republicans will take a political hit if passage fails on a $3.7 billion funding bill to deal with the thousands of immigrant children who've illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border — opening the door to Democratic victories in November, Sen. Lindsey Graham says.

A lack of emergency funding will only make a bad situation worse, the South Carolina Republican warned Wednesday, The Hill reports.

"If we do that, then we're going to get blamed for perpetuating the problem," Graham said.

The Hill reported Graham is still studying proposals contained in the funding bill unveiled by President Barack Obama Tuesday — though he's pushing for bipartisan approval for new funding and policy changes to the deportation process that will go beyond a quick-fix.

To do nothing at all, he said, would be disastrous.

"Money is necessary because it truly is an emergency. Our capacity is being overwhelmed here," Graham said. "But if you don't address the root cause of the problem, you really accomplish nothing other than throw money at it."

Graham, who has supported immigration reform, conceded "there will be some Republicans" — and liberals, too — "who will probably never give in at all," The Hill reported.

Though Democrats want to push the measure through before Congress recesses in August, critics cast doubt on that, The Hill noted.

“I think it's a charade," South Carolina Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney charged. "I think the president has set it up to make it look as though the only reason he's not enforcing the border is that he doesn't have the money, and that's not accurate."

The Hill reports the Obama administration funding fix includes $1.8 billion for the Health and Human Services Department to provide "appropriate care" for the migrants; $1.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to beef up its border presence; $300 million for the State Department to help stabilize the Central American countries from which many migrants originate; and $64 million for the Justice Department to hire more immigration judges and asylum lawyers.

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