Since 2011 tens of thousands of children from Central American countries, particularly Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have trudged across Mexico seeking to be taken in to custody by United States Border Agents when they reach this country’s southern border. The apprehension and placement of these children – some of them accompanied by their mothers or other adults – in various facilities across the country has sparked numerous calls to either have these youngsters sent back to their home countries or to have them treated humanely while they reside in the United States. But after weeks of demands for action to address these issues, Congress failed to produce any legislation which could remedy the problem.
President Obama presented a plan requesting a $3.7 billion appropriation which would include funds for establishing special tribunals to process the numerous removal hearing and asylum cases these entries in to the country generate. Part of the legislation would streamline the procedure for handling these matters. Other portions would pay for housing and feeding the children – who have no other location to go – as they await their court dates.
The United States Senate attempted to pass a smaller appropriation bill involving $2.7 billion, part of which would address border security, but it stalled in the Senate when Senators in opposition to the measure blocked the legislation using a filibuster. A much smaller $659 million bill more focused on border security did pass the House of Representatives on a party-line vote along with a separate bill which would, if enacted, defund and end the Obama administration’s DACA program which actually provides relief from deportation for undocumented immigrants who grew up in America and has no applicability to the plight of these children from Central America.
With no bill from the Senate and with a refusal by that body to even consider the more draconian House bill, it is unlikely any legislation will reach the President’s desk which he may consider signing. What all this means is that Congress has failed to provide any additional funds to enable the Obama administration to either handle the growing judicial backlog that these entrants generate or to ensure that these children – particularly those with no family contacts here – are treated humanely while in the country.
The Shulman Law Group endeavors to ensure its clients be kept abreast of all significant developments relating to the process of immigration to the United States. Edward Shulman, Esq, founder of The Shulman Law Group, LLC is a national speaker for the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). AILA is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, and to advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice. In the course of Mr. Shulman's involvement with AILA, he has been dedicated to educating other immigration attorneys about the import of helping intending immigrants to navigate a new cultural system. He meticulously follows all of the developments occurring in the battle over immigration reform so that he will be prepared to effectively assist his clients obtain residency if a new system is enacted.