A "humanitarian crisis" at the U.S.-Mexico border
At a congressional hearing today, Michigan congresswoman Candice Miller weighed in on the massive influx of unaccompanied children smuggled into the United States through the Mexican border. A situation Congress has called a "humanitarian crisis."
More than 50,000 children have come across the border in the last year alone. About three-quarters come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. These children are sent alone north through Mexico, usually by paying drug cartels huge sums of money.
The Republican, who represents Michigan's 10th Congressional District, said the problem is with America's immigration policy.
"I think that this humanitarian crisis can be laid directly at the feet of President Obama as a result of his DACA policy in 2012."
DACA stands for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The 2012 memo from President Obama directed law enforcement to use discretion with undocumented people who came to the U.S. as children before 2007.
But the Department of Homeland Security said some smugglers are telling families in Latin America the directive means children cannot be turned away at the border.
Tens of thousands of children are being sent across the border without their parents or guardians. They remain in crowded holding facilities while authorities figure out what do next.
Miller added that Mexico is to blame for allowing migration from Central America in the first place.
"They are behaving so badly and so dishonorably," she said. "They are complicit, complicit, in human smuggling coming up from the Centrals. I think we need to stop foreign aid to the Centrals immediately."
Miller said she would like to see some of that foreign aid instead used to help build up the inner-cities of America, starting with Detroit.
– Reem Nasr, Michigan Radio Newsroom