By Ramsey Cox
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called on Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to outline the administration's plan to handle a huge influx of children migrating across the U.S.-Mexico border.
“What we need is a comprehensive look at what are the incentives that would convince parents to send their unaccompanied children on this horrific journey,” Cornyn said on Tuesday. “We need to know that the president’s plan is to deal with this.”
Cornyn said the massive increase of unaccompanied children is a result of President Obama’s decision to defer deportation of undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children, a group commonly referred to as “Dreamers.”
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) joined Cornyn, saying it is an issue that “deserves the attention of all of us.”
“There has to be some kind of organized effort that is bringing them here,” McCain said. “The average 5-or-6-year-old doesn’t just randomly decide to leave home one day.”
Johnson is scheduled to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and Cornyn is expected to grill him on this matter.
“The administration needs to deal with this crisis, particularly this humanitarian crisis,” Cornyn said. “Border agencies have been completely overwhelmed. ... This is a huge mess.”
The Texas Republican said this is what happens when the president "goes it alone" on immigration reform. The Senate has passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill but the House has failed to act.
Cornyn urged Obama to not apply the deferred action program to children currently arriving at the border, and provide resources to border states to address the problem.
"President Obama essentially created this problem and now he has the opportunity to work with us to fix it," Cornyn said.