The GOP has shown time and again that it is incapable of passing any meaningful immigration reform. But give them tens of thousands of Central American children fleeing violence, and they fly into action. Turns out, what animates today’s Republicans is deporting kids.
So inspired were they, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives stayed late Friday to distort and demagogue a humanitarian crisis, passing a reprehensible bill that the Republicans claim addresses the border crisis.
Kevin Appleby, director of the Office of Migration Policy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told me, “This bill guts any real due process for these children and ensures that the vast majority will be sent back to their persecutors. … It would literally send some of these children back to their deaths.”
The bill is based on an avalanche of misinformation, starting with Sen. Ted Cruz’s baseless assertion that “what is causing this humanitarian crisis is that these children believe that they will be granted, in the future, amnesty.” No, the cause is violence in the kids’ home countries. They’re fleeing not only to the U.S but also to Mexico, Panama, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Belize. It has nothing to do with U.S. law, which doesn’t even provide a pathway to citizenship, let alone amnesty. Of 404 recently arrived children surveyed by the United Nations refugee agency, only nine mentioned the United States’ immigration policy.