President Barack Obama thinks it’ll take $3.7 billion to handle the explosive flood of unaccompanied children pouring over our border as a result of his decision not to enforce our existing immigration laws. Obama wants the money to plus up existing border security, illegal alien housing in the border area and elsewhere, dealing with the health problems these children are unavoidably bringing with them, transportation, handling legal matters, and so on.
Assuming the money should be spent (a position I don’t endorse, but stay with me), I have a thought on how the money should be allocated. I’d pass a $3.7 billion appropriation that allocates the money in this way:
- $3.5 billion as block grants to go directly to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, the border states most affected, for use in plussing up existing border security, illegal alien housing in the border area, dealing with the health problems these children are unavoidably bringing with them, and so on. Notice that this money does not through Federal hands; it completely bypasses the Feds and goes directly to the states.
- $0.2 billion allocated 80:20 between the states (the 80) and the Federal government for the express purpose of handling transportation back to the children’s home country. This is a generous sum of money, and it gives the states the wherewithal to transport the children, if the Feds are too reluctant to do so.
Notice that there’s not a dime for “handling legal matters.” There aren’t any; existing law makes clear that these children are eligible for immediate transport to their country of origin. To those who cry these children are running from gangs and violence: there has been no surge in any of that in the last few months; the gangs and violence have been extant for years. That doesn’t mean we should ignore the children’s plight today; it does mean claimed urgency is wholly a cynical political ploy by the Left.
These children and others like them should, indeed, get the benefit of American help and largesse—as part of a proper reform of our immigration system.