President Barack Obama could easily solve the problem of illegal immigrant children flooding the United States: Send them back, and do it at the bargain-basement price of just $1,000 per youngster, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin tells Newsmax TV.
"What the president is looking for is $3.7 billion to basically attract more people here ... So we've got to stop creating that incentive,'' Johnson said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show."
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"There are actually fares as low as $207 for a one-way ticket [to Central America] … Let's say in total, with hotel and food … maybe new clothes, it costs $1,000 per child. That's $57 million versus $3.7 billion.''
Johnson said his plan would also send a loud and clear message to the parents of youngsters who are willing to pay drug cartels and other shady enterprises huge fees to smuggle their kids over the U.S.-Mexico border for a better life.
"It is a humanitarian crisis, we are going to show real compassion. But I would argue true compassion needs to be shown toward those children whose parents haven't sent them on that dangerous journey yet,'' he said.
"We really need to think about that, and we need to eliminate the incentives for parents to make that heart-wrenching decision to send their kids here.
"The signal's got to be, send them up here, have them be in that very dangerous journey, but it's not worth the risk because they'll come right back to Honduras or El Salvador or Guatemala.''
Johnson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security committees, criticized the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, which includes $262 billion dollars of welfare benefits for non-U.S. citizens.
"That's an incentive for people to come. So what we need to do is we need to stop incentivizing people to come …
"If they get to the Promised Land here, they're home free. So we've got to stop creating that incentive.''
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