Washington, D.C. — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) today issued the statement below following the Obama Administration’s announcement of the creation of an inter-agency Unified Coordination Group lead by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate to coordinate the federal response effort to address the influx of “unaccompanied alien children” arriving at the U.S-Mexico border.
Chairman Goodlatte: “The recent surge of children and teenagers from Central America showing up at our Southern border is an Administration-made disaster and now President Obama is calling in FEMA to mitigate the damage. Word has gotten out around the world about President Obama’s lax immigration enforcement policies and it has encouraged more individuals to come to the United States illegally, many of whom are children from Central America. Illegal border crossing is extremely dangerous and many of these children encounter drug and human traffickers along the way. Enforcement at the border and in the interior of the U.S. is crucial to end these kinds of situations, not another bureaucratic task force. The House Judiciary Committee intends to hold a hearing on this troubling issue in the coming weeks.”
Background: Many of the Obama Administration’s policies, such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the virtual rubberstamping of “credible fear” claims at the border, have led to a surge of minors arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border. Additionally, in December 2013, federal district court Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Brownsville, Texas issued a searing condemnation of one of the Obama Administration’s immigration policies. In his order in U.S. v. Nava-Martinez, he accuses the federal government of facilitating human smuggling by transporting unaccompanied alien children to their parents in the U.S. who had paid smugglers to bring them here in the first place.