Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

Boehner: Obama Must Address Immigration Crisis at the Border

UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, holds his weekly on camera news conference in the Capitol on Thursday, June 19, 2014. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Boehner says Obama must act on the immigration crisis. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Speaker John A. Boehner is asking President Barack Obama to take steps to address the growing number of unaccompanied immigrant children seeking illegal passage over the southwest border.

“The policies of your administration have directly resulted in the belief by these immigrants that once they reach U.S. soil, they will be able to stay here indefinitely,” the Ohio Republican charged in a letter sent to Obama Friday morning. “There are several steps that we call on you and your administration to take immediately to enforce our laws, stem the tide of migrants, protect the victims, and ensure that those individuals are dealt with in a humane manner that is consistent with American ideals of compassion and family unity.”

Among Boehner’s suggestions are sending in the National Guard to provide backup for border agents, plus calling on the State and Homeland Security Departments to streamline the process for returning children back to their families and home countries.

In general, the crisis at the border is a charged one for stakeholders on all sides of the immigration debate. Proponents of overhauling the nation’s immigration system and allowing the United States to be a welcoming place for all people are deeply disturbed by the increasing volume of children trying to get into the country by themselves, where they risk their lives during passage and potentially face exploitation and abuse once they’ve reached the other side.

Opponents of moving immigration legislation that would expand opportunities to gain legal status and citizenship in the United States worry for the safety of these children, but they are also quick to politicize the issue by blaming the Obama administration’s lax policies for putting people in harm’s way.

Boehner’s letter to Obama comes on the heels of one also sent Friday morning to administration officials by a handful of ranking members of House Appropriations Subcommittees. The House Judiciary Committee is also scheduled to hold a hearing on the issue next week.

Read Boehner’s letter below:

Dear Mr. President:

Our country is facing a national security and humanitarian crisis along our southern border. Thousands of children and families are pouring across our borders, overwhelming our resources and endangering those most vulnerable to exploitation. Children are being handed over to unscrupulous cartels and smugglers and are subjected to untold horrors and violence. The policies of your administration have directly resulted in the belief by these immigrants that once they reach U.S. soil, they will be able to stay here indefinitely. There are several steps that we call on you and your administration to take immediately to enforce our laws, stem the tide of migrants, protect the victims, and ensure that these individuals are dealt with in a humane manner that is consistent with American ideals of compassion and family unity.

The safety of these migrant children is a matter of paramount importance. It is our duty and obligation to enforce the laws of our country while protecting the most vulnerable and ensuring they are healthy and well protected. In that vein, your administration should immediately deploy the National Guard to our southern border. The National Guard is uniquely qualified to respond to such humanitarian crises. They are able to help deal with both the needs of these children and families as well as relieve the border patrol to focus on their primary duty of securing our border.

The State Department must immediately begin discussions with the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to ensure that apprehended migrants can be promptly and efficiently returned to their home countries. Long processing times for returns are directly resulting in overcrowded conditions in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) resources. Additionally, the State Department should work with these countries to design and execute an aggressive communications effort to fully articulate the dangers and struggles children and families will face if they attempt to migrate to the U.S. Finally, the State Department should also enter into conversations with the Mexican government about its ability to secure its southern border. The lax enforcement at Mexico’s borders gives a free pass to immigrants heading north.

Once these immigrants have reached the U.S. and are apprehended, they must be processed by DHS and then the family units must be prepared for return to their home country. Your administration should immediately deploy additional personnel, including Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys, immigration judges and support staff to assist in the processing and removal of these aliens. DHS must find a way to ensure that apprehended adults and their family members do in fact appear for their deportation hearings. We believe that all families should be detained in clean, safe facilities that are in compliance with existing federal statute and case law. Until adequate housing is made available, Alternatives to Detention (ATD) should be deployed to ensure compliance with court appearances and deportation hearings.

While we understand that many of these individuals are coming to this country to escape violence and hardship in their home country, the current climate along the border and our enforcement policies are only encouraging them to risk their lives and those of their children. It is time that we confront the crisis along the border head-on through immediate and aggressive action. We can no longer tolerate the conditions threatening these children, nor continue to accept the risks of a porous southern border. We ask that you take the above actions immediately to address this problem and work with the Congress to develop a long term strategy to secure our borders and ensure the integrity of our immigration laws.


John A. Boehner

  • Jack Everett

    Just send them to the Texas Gulag!

  • Layla

    This President needs to be impeached and removed from office and every American knows it. As long as Congress allows the damage to continue, both sides deserve to be voted out in November.

    • Jack Everett

      Your anti American attitude should be criminalized.

  • Dave Francis


    A projection by a Conservative THINK TANK
    organization that amnesty for 12 million ILLEGAL aliens would mean 100 million
    net new poor and often illiterate within just 20 years, mainly due to
    “chain migration” of relatives from South of the border. The same organization predicts that poor, ILLEGAL
    alien family of 4 granted amnesties would drain $1.4 MILLION more in net government
    services used over a lifetime than it EVER paid in ANY form of taxes

    * In actual fact the claimed “need” for more educated
    immigrants (engineers, computer technicians, Engineers and Math experts). The
    need for STEM labor is exaggerated, but employers simply want to pay foreigners
    less money than citizens! As an example India has educated FAR
    MORE engineers than it can employ.

    * The Congress should pass a mandatory E-Verify program to assure workforce
    enforcement, with a much large quota of ICE agents to audit businesses, whereas
    there are only 500 to enforce the laws across this country at this time. Or
    with much more merit a National digital Social Security card, that carries an
    expensive cost, but it would reduce the fraudulent access to EBT food stamps,
    health care services, education and a host of other programs, that illegal
    aliens and non-applicable citizens are using. It would also be a great
    restraint against voter fraud, which Democrats don’t want? Just to remind you that you have to show ID
    to buy clothes, cars or even groceries. New administrations could clamp down on
    welfare services going ILLEGALLY to non-citizens, which is against the law, but
    is extensive nevertheless.

    * A real commitment from Washington to revitalize the
    original concept of a double layer fence. The main structure built between the United States and Mexico, identical to the
    Israeli barrier to halt undesirable individuals and a second chain link fence
    topped with concertina razor wire extending fully from the San Diego; a fence that has
    succeeded as a deterrent to the Brownsville, Texas. Between these to
    obstacles would be towers for surveillance and a fast track roadway for

    * If these
    functions were accomplished Illegal aliens deport themselves as job seekers and
    illegal access to citizenship benefits would see them packing. With no digital
    ID they would soon find they couldn’t survive in America.

    Another finding is to amend the 14th
    amendment and bring to an end automatic citizenship of babies smuggled
    into this nation by pregnant mothers, who hide that they about to give
    birth; arriving here at airline terminals or slipping across the border
    and head directly to a emergency room and for Americans to pay for all the
    services. Anchor Baby Syndrome, which has massive expensive costs when the
    illegal family lives as leeches on public assistance. This second blanket
    amnesty will mean the right for other family members to gain admittance.
    The Obama administration has cut back on restriction on welfare, so just
    about anybody can help themselves. CHAIN MIGRATION has high costs to the
    low and middle class American taxpayer.

    taxpayers, which both political parties have separate agendas on how to
    handle the immense problem that is out of control. King Obama has a simple
    way that is against the rule of law, is to release 36.000 illegal
    criminals; some with felonies back on the street. Then because he couldn’t
    pass amnesty without the House Republicans signing onto the disgusting
    senate bill, he has arranged open borders by broadcasting to Central America and around the world, that
    if you can get across the border, you will not be deported. This is why
    60.000 children of all ages, pregnant woman and even gang members have
    surfaced and waited to be collected by the U.S. border Patrol.

    amnesty; NO path to citizenship and given none of Obama’s freebies like as
    healthcare (Medicaid), housing, 4 billion dollars in fraudulent child tax
    credits with the compliments of Democrat Senator Harry Reid; schooling that is
    overcrowding our education system, EBT food stamps and other free programs.
    Honestly how can the president keep selling this nation down the river, adding
    daily billions more dollars to the already 17 TRILLION.

    If you want REAL change:
    elimination of illegal aliens; Abolishment of the IRS; introduce a fair or
    consumption tax, decrease the government size; Returning the Department of
    Education, Environmental Protection Agency to State control. Building the
    Keystone pipeline and making America self-sufficient in Energy and not dependent on foreign oil, gas.
    Reduce to a minimum of Regulations for growing businesses. Make corporate
    welfare a thing of the past. Balance the US treasury and end the deficit Use
    the Tea Party agenda of Ron Paul, The One Cent Solution is beautifully simple:
    If the government cuts one cent out of every dollar of its total spending
    (excluding interest payments) each year for five years, and then caps overall
    federal spending at 18 percent of national income from then on, we can: Reduce
    federal spending by $7.5 trillion over 10 years. Balance the budget by 2019.

    Have you had enough? Stop Big
    Brother and this Imperial Presidency from controlling every aspect of our
    lives. No more spying, targeting conservatives, persecuting the innocent or
    rewarding those in the administration who commit criminal acts—like Lerner,
    Holder and Clinton. We can put an end to it once and for all. So join the
    National TEA PARTY in your neighborhood, your community, your town or city and
    reduce the power and influence of the Republican Establishment and the

    Our mission is to bring awareness
    to any issue which challenges the security, sovereignty or domestic tranquility
    of our beloved nation, The United States of America.

  • Dev Looshen

    Before fighting for fiscal prudence, one must first learn to embrace the psychology of conflict.

  • 1DUKEZ

    Boehner again shows what a loser he is. “Obama Must Address Immigration Crisis at the Border”. Why?? What you going to do? He planned it all along and it’s what he wants. They all want this country to be overwhelmed by illegals who vote them back into office.

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Why isn’t this a state of emergency? Why aren’t troops being sent to the border instead of lawyers and blankets?

    All these migrants should be housed in a tent city on the White House lawn. Put a couple of them in every congressman’s office, too.

    This kind of unresolved issue is building pressure that will get a really dangerous, but effective, person elected.

  • Fargo Wells

    Again we find marxist agitator Hussein Obama lying about the 2013 sequester:

  • Santiago Alemedia

    Instead of catching them once they cross the border then releasing them into US communities, why not give them a number and send them back across the border and tell them to wait until their number is called? Mexico would make a fine refugee camp.

    Allowing them to flood across the border and overwhelm us is just stupid.

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