Reid: GOP ‘ransoming children’ to get their way

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Senate Republicans are putting the lives of refugee children at risk over a political fight with President Obama.

Reid said a plan from Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) holds thousands of child immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala hostage in exchange for Obama deporting undocumented children already inside the United States.

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“[Cruz] says no money for these poor boys and girls until you deport the hundreds of thousands of people who deserve to be here,” Reid said on the Senate floor Monday. “Republicans in Congress have resorted to ransoming children to get their way. That’s shameful.”

Cruz has blamed Obama’s executive order to defer the deportation of Dreamers for the massive influx of undocumented children fleeing to the U.S.-Mexico border. Reid said instead the children are coming because of violence in their home countries.

The White House has requested $3.7 billion in order to temporarily house and feed the children until they can be deported or placed with relatives.

“Instead of playing a game of 'hot potato' with thousands of innocent children, let’s address the pressing need we have now, which is to treat these kids humanely,” Reid said. “We need to get resources to our Border Patrol agents and others who are caring for these children from Central America. … They will run out of money in August.”