Idaho senators demand Obama enforce immigration laws

Sens. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) demanded that the President Obama dispel misinformation regarding U.S. immigration policies, which they say is causing thousands of undocumented children to cross the border.

Lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned about the thousands of unaccompanied minors illegally crossing the border.

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“The current crisis at our border is a direct consequence of the administration’s dangerous, piecemeal approach to reforming our broken immigration system,” Crapo said. “Backdoor executive orders have the potential to spread misrepresentations of current immigration policies — a situation we are unfortunately seeing play out at the border.”

Crapo and Risch’s comments came after Obama pledged to take more executive actions to advance immigration reform since the House has refused to act. The Senate passed a bipartisan immigration reform bill last year.

Obama previously made the executive order to defer the deportation of undocumented immigrants that were brought to the United States by their parents. Republicans say this action is causing children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to risk crossing the border despite the fact that the executive order doesn’t apply to children entering today.

“The President must send a clear signal to those seeking to enter the country illegally that the U.S. will uphold our immigration laws to the fullest extent,” Crapo said. “We simply do not have the resources to deal with this recent surge.”

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has refused to take up the Senate-passed bill, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants inside the United States, increase student and worker visas, and spend more to secure the border. Republicans say the administration hasn’t shown good faith by enforcing existing immigration laws.

“No one should be rewarded for breaking the law,” Risch said. “The president and his administration have turned a blind eye to the crisis at our nation's border for far too long at the expense of American citizens. It is time to enforce the laws we currently have in place.”