Heinrich: GOP proposals risk safety of children

Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) said Wednesday that Republican proposals to roll back human trafficking protections would “trade the safety of children for expedience.”

Lawmakers are debating ideas on how to deal with thousands of child immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that have been detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

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The White House has asked for $3.7 billion in emergency spending to provide legal services and temporarily house and feed the children, but some Republicans have said they won’t provide the funding without immigration reforms.

Under a 2008 human trafficking law, the children from Central America can apply for asylum and refugee status. Democrats point out that Honduras is the murder capital of the world. But Republicans want to amend that law to expedite the trial process to quickly deport the children to their home countries.

“Too many of my Republican colleagues are calling to roll back the protections,” Heinrich said. “I believe we are a better nation than that.”

The House’s latest proposal would be to deploy the National Guard to the border.

On Tuesday, Senate Democrats proposed a funding plan that was $1 billion less than what the administration asked for but didn’t include any GOP proposals to roll back the 2008 law or send troops to the border.

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