By Erik Wasson - 06/04/14 11:10 AM EDT
President Obama’s lax enforcement of immigration laws is responsible for the huge increase in illegal child migrants from Central America, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Wednesday in a statement.
“He and his Administration have announced to the world that they will not enforce America’s immigration laws, and have emphasized in particular that foreign youth will be exempted from these laws," said Sessions, an opponent of comprehensive immigration reform. "The world has heard the President’s call, and illegal immigrants are pouring across the border in pursuit of his promised amnesty.”
“President Obama is responsible for this calamity, and only by declaring to the world that our border is no longer open — and that the law will be restored — can this emergency be stopped,” he added.
Customs and Border Protection reported this week that there has been a 92 percent increase in unaccompanied child migrants crossing the Southwest border between fiscal 2013 and the first eight months of fiscal 2014, through May.
The number jumped from 24,493 to 47,017.
Aides say that the increase will complicate the Homeland Security, State Department and Health and Human Services spending bills for 2015.
White House domestic policy adviser Cecilia Munoz this week said the main reason for the influx is deteriorating economic and security conditions in Central America.
Munoz emphasized that migrants will be subject to deportation proceedings once they are cared for and reunited with family.
In 2012, President Obama issued an executive order granting “Dreamers”— those illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children — a reprieve from deportation and work authorization. The controversial move does not apply to new migrants, Munoz noted.