Ted Strickland on Border Children: 'We've Got a Crisis'

Tuesday, 08 Jul 2014 07:40 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, now head of the progressive Center for American Progress, said on CNN's "Crossfire" that the thousands of children crossing the southern U.S. border needed to be treated humanely.

Appearing on with hosts Stephanie Cutter and Newt Gingrich and fellow guest, former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich, Strickland said the immigration system was broken but that it was important to remember that these are children and "we have to deal with them in a humane way."

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Gingrich countered that the issue is not about being humane. There were 165 million people around the world who would be glad to come to the United States, he said. "At what point does it become totally unmanageable?" Gingrich asked.

Strickland replied: "We're not talking about children coming from all over the world. We're talking about a specific crisis that's occurring in three specific countries that have absolutely lost control of their societies. We've got a particular crisis we've got to deal with now and that involves children and we need to do it humanely."

Cutter said that there was no evidence current laws were not being enforced or that the influx was due to lax security or incompetence. In fact, precisely because the current law was being enforced these children could not be summarily sent back across the border she said. The problem was a lack of resources to move the children through the system.

Ehrlich said there had been a bipartisan failure, with Republicans failing to secure the border with a fence when they were in power and Democrats now acting as if there was no problem at all.

Gingrich insisted the crisis could be solved in a week if the United States were a serious and competent country. However, the bureaucracy and Congress were "stupid" and the president was massively incompetent, he said.

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