Nelson: Stopping the drugs will solve border crisis

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said money for the Coast Guard should be included in an emergency funding bill to deal with the crisis at the border.

“If we could have a greater percentage of those drugs interdicted then we would seriously start to diminish some of this migration to the north,” Nelson said on the Senate floor Monday.

{mosads}Lawmakers are working to stop the flow of thousands of immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, who are being detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) has introduced a $3.5 billion package that includes $2.7 billion to deal with the influx of immigrant children. Nelson said if some of those funds were used to allow Coast Guard ships to stop more illegal drug boats from entering the United States, it would help the situations in the countries the children are fleeing.

“They’re coming from the three [countries] where all the drugs are and where the drug lords have taken over,” Nelson said. “If you can stop all the drugs going in maybe governments like President Hernandez of Honduras will have a chance of stopping some of the corruption.”

Republicans have complained that the administration is asking for a “blank check” without including policy changes to stem the problem. Nelson said designating some of the funds to the Coast Guard could help persuade some House Republicans to support the measure.

Tags Barbara Mikulski Bill Nelson Illegal drug trade Immigration reform

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