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Government Trying to Stem Surge at Border

July 13, 2014
Plain English Version


President Obama is trying to change the momentum at the border. Children are entering the country without their parents. U.S. law says they must be taken care of. They can only be sent back to their home countries after a hearing.

The law also says children should be sent to relatives if they have any in the country.

The President is asking Congress for $3.7 billion. The money will fund new detention centers, more Border Patrol agents and more planes and drones. Getting the money from Congress will not be easy.

Much of the money will be used for more immigration judges. Children and families will go to the front of the line in the courts. Along with people in detention, these cases will get top attention.

It is expected that these cases will be handled much faster. However, if the children have their own lawyer, their cases will take longer. The backlog of hundreds of thousands of other cases will grow bigger.

Some of the money will go to Central American countries to help them develop resources and strategies to stem the tide of migrants.

Some Democrats say the children who have arrived here have to be well cared for. They are worried that the children will be sent back to dangerous places.

Republicans are skeptical of everything the president does. First, they say, the surge proves the borders are not well guarded. Second, they say they cannot trust the president to do what he says with the money. Third, they blame the deferred action for childhood arrivals program for encouraging children to cross the border.

The president did not ask for changes in the 2008 law. The law gives special protection to children coming from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Many say the law is the basis for rumors saying children will be allowed to stay in this country.

Immigrant advocates are still pushing the president. They want him to end deportations of non-dangerous criminals. They say he can do it using his powers.


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