Rep. Ted Poe: Obama Causes Border Crisis by Abusing 2008 Law

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 01:28 PM

By Courtney Coren

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President Barack Obama is abusing the 2008 Wilberforce Act, which is supposed to grant protections to illegal immigrants coming to the United States who are victims of sex trafficking, says Rep. Ted Poe.

"This 2008 law is to take children, minor children, who have been sexually trafficked to the United States for sex and give them some relief," Poe told J.D. Hayworth and John Bachman on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV on Monday.

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"But it has been expanded by the president to include everybody that is coming from Central America, including MS-13 gangs from El Salvador, criminals, and children," the Texas Republican said. "He has broadened the interpretation of the law . . . to allow all these individuals in."

"He has sent the word to Central America and really the whole world that he's not going to enforce the law," Poe said. "He will grant amnesty, executive amnesty, to anyone that comes to the United States.

"That's what people believe and that's why they're all coming," said Poe, a former judge. "He's abusing the law of 2008." 

The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act, which is named after the abolitionist from the 19th century, was signed into law in December 2008 by former President George W. Bush as a means to prevent sex trafficking and protect victims.

Under the measure, illegal immigrant minors, coming from anywhere except Mexico and Canada, were given new rights and protections, such as an immigration hearing, an attorney to represent them, and a meeting with an advocate.

In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services was assigned to manage the children coming in under this claim, including providing housing for them until the federal agency could reunite the children with their families.

"We need to make it clear and really rewrite that law to make it only apply to specific circumstances . . . and apply the law equally to everyone," Poe said.

He said the almost $4 billion Obama is asking the Senate to approve in order to deal with the current immigration influx shows the president is "missing the point about this entire problem on the border."

The problem, he explained, is that the "$4 billion is really to take care of those people who have crossed, indefinitely."

Poe argues that Obama needs "to secure the border first."

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