Over ten thousand minors were sent on a dangerous journey to eventually cross the U.S. border illegally. These minors were not accompanied by their parents, instead they were handed over to professional human traffickers. Along the way, many of these children faced harsh environments that included little food and abusive chaperones.
Upon entering the United States, illegally, these children were gathered together and placed in shelters. Their temporary living arrangements include air conditioning, three meals a day, English lessons, recreational activities, and security. Some of these children were eventually placed in foster homes that were previously vetted by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Another two thousand children made the trek with their parents. This group of illegal border crossers were also placed in shelter, with adults and children going to separate facilities – a protection policy that has been in place for nearly three decades.
The situations described above, while bleak, represent the underlying problem that masses of people are illegally crossing the U.S. border.
Meanwhile, the media and various Hollywood celebrities are criticizing the way President Trump’s administration is handling the situation, while offering little to no suggestions on how to alleviate the problem.
One example came today, as actor Peter Fonda posted on Twitter, “We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will… stand up against the giant a**hole she is married to.” Barron is the 11 year old son of Donald and Melania Trump.
Donald Trump Jr. came to the defense of his younger sibling by tweeting, “You’re clearly a sick individual and everyone is an internet badass but rather than attack an 11 year old like a bully and a coward why don’t you pick on someone a bit bigger. LMK.”
You’re clearly a sick individual and everyone is an internet badass but rather than attack an 11 year old like a bully and a coward why don’t you pick on someone a bit bigger. LMK. https://t.co/8OhiQ0aZmO
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 20, 2018
Fonda’s post is no longer available on Twitter and it is unclear if the post was deleted by the site or by Fonda.
Congress Taking Action
Congress is making moves to address the crisis at the border, as House members plan to vote Thursday on two proposals meant to address a range of immigration issues.
Both bills address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a policy that allowed illegal immigrants who arrived as children to avoid deportation. Earlier this year, the Trump administration put the breaks on DACA, citing President Obama lacked the authority to unilaterally create such a program. Trump gave Congress the task of determining the future of the DACA program.
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) is the author of one of the two bills. His solution calls for temporary protections for DACA recipients and a slow down of legal immigration. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) is proposing what many call a “compromise” bill. The Ryan bill provides a path to permanent residency status for DACA recipients and includes billions to be set aside to build a border wall.
Here are the details of both bills:
Goodlatte’s Securing America’s Future Act
- Temporary protection to DACA recipients with no path to citizenship
- Eliminates the visa lottery and cuts down chain migration, a program that allows legal immigrants to sponsor and allow U.S. access to family members
- increases funding for border security enforcement
Ryan’s Border Security and Immigration Reform Act
- Allows DACA recipients a pathway to full, legal citizenship
- Eliminates the seperation of detained children and parents who enter the country illegally
- Sets aside $16 billion for President Trump’s proposed border wall
- Eliminates the visa lottery and limits chain migration
- Further defines the criteria for asylum seekers
Neither bill has the support of Democrat lawmakers and Republicans are split on full support of either bill.