Bill would create ambassador-at-large for child migrants

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.) has introduced legislation that would establish an ambassador-at-large for the unaccompanied child minors crossing the border.

"While it's critical that we treat children with care and compassion once they reach the United States, we must also do far more to reduce the horrific violence that is driving so many of these kids to flee their homes and seek safe haven in our country," Roybal-Allard said in a statement.

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Under the California Democrat's measure, the ambassador-at-large would be responsible for coordinating a region-wide effort to care for the child migrants. The State Department overall would be required to develop a strategy addressing each of the factors causing the increase of unaccompanied minors.

Additionally, the bill would authorize reintegration programs for children sent back to their home countries to discourage them from trying to leave for the U.S. again. It would also require the U.S. Agency for International Development to direct assistance toward communities in Central America from which the child migrants are leaving.

Late Friday night, the House passed a bill that would provide the Obama administration with $694 million to address the border crisis, including funds to deploy the National Guard and hire more immigration judges. Afterward, the House passed a separate measure to limit expansion of the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals program that delays deportations of people who immigrated illegally to the U.S. as children.

Roybal-Allard argued her bill would target the root causes of the border crisis.

"While Republicans continue to use the plight of innocent migrant children for political gain, this legislation is another example of how Democrats are seeking responsible solutions that are consistent with our American values and our national interest," Roybal-Allard said.