PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Immigration has been a hot button political issue in our country for a long time.
However, top officials spoke on the matter over the weekend, especially in regard to deportation of minors, bringing the issue under a microscope once again.
Our sister station CBS DC reports:
“The legal, humanitarian and political constraints facing the Obama administration as it copes with thousands of Central American children entering the country illegally came into sharp focus in a series of interviews Sunday.
A George W. Bush-era law to address human trafficking prevents the government from returning the children to their home countries without taking them into custody and eventually through a deportation hearing. Minors from Mexico and Canada, by contrast, can be sent back across the border more easily. The administration says it wants more flexibility under the law.
Even if Congress agrees, however, the change might do little to ease the partisan quarreling and complex logistical and humanitarian challenges surrounding the issue.“
You can read their full report here.
NewsRadio 1020 KDKA Host Mike Pintek discussed the issue with Steve Camarota, the Director of Research for The Center for Immigration Studies. The Center aims to provide the public with accurate information about the social, economic, environmental, security and fiscal consequences of legal and illegal immigrants coming into the United States.
“Now remember when we say child, there aren’t a lot of 6-year-olds trying to cross by themselves, it’s mostly 16 and 17-year-olds and people claiming to be 16 and 17 who are probably older, but there’s no documentation to verify age,” said Camarota. “This kind of makes a presumption on the part of the illegal immigrant who’s a minor and it says you’ve got to get them out of detention and then give them a hearing.”
Camarota continued, saying that the court systems are so backed up, meaning hearings might not be dated for years later, and by then they’ve already been reunited with their family and he believes they won’t show up for their hearings. He calls this ‘chain migration’ by our legal system.
In 2012 President Obama made the decision to not deport any immigrants under 17 years old, Deferred Action for Minors, instructing patrol agents to move children quickly through detention and into their families’ custody.
There are several factors that have influenced and allowed immigrants to continue to come into our country in Camarota’s opinion. He stresses to the public to continue to write to their political officials and express how they feel about children coming into the country.