Payback. That's the word being used to describe recent busload transfers of illegal immigrants, mostly children, caught in Texas and dumped at bus stops in hot, Arizona cities. In case you missed it last week, here's a refresher about what's going on. First, the crisis happening at the Texas border:
Children traveling without their families, including an “overwhelming” number younger than 12, are flooding across the southwestern border in the latest test of the Obama administration’s immigration policy.
Homeland Security Officials predict that 60,000 minors will cross the border this year and that the number will double next year, accounting for an astonishing percentage of people trying to jump the border — braving the tremendous perils of crossing Mexico and trying to evade border authorities, hoping to eventually connect with family in the U.S.
Instead of using resources to send the children home, I.C.E. and Border Patrol agents were instructed by officials in Washington to transport illegals from Texas to Arizona. When illegals are dropped off, they are given a court date and ICE simply hopes they show up for the hearing.
Hundreds of undocumented immigrants detained as far away as Texas are being released under supervision in Tucson. But getting to their next destination leaves them on their own.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, has said that it does not want to put children in detention centers and it does not want to split up families. ICE releases those families with the condition that they contact ICE for their next court date once they reach their destination in this country.
Now, the move is being seen as payback for Arizona's previous attempts to take control of their illegal immigration problem by bucking the feds inaction. Republican Rep. Paul Gosar, who represents Arizona's 4th district, made an appearance on America's Newsroom recently to explain.
Bill Hemmer: Why Arizona?
Paul Gosar: Well we are one of the hubs. We've been having the argument in regard to upholding the rule of law Bill and this is actually just a way for the administration to poke Arizona in the eye.
Gosar is demanding an investigation from the House Oversight Committee into what he is calling, "illegal alien smuggling by the Obama administration."
"I support Governor Brewer and Treasurer Ducey's calls for an investigation by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the actions taken by the Obama Administration in the wake of detained illegal immigrants being shipped to Arizona," Gosar said in a statement. "As a member of that Committee, I plan on taking a lead role in seeking accountability for those individuals responsible for this violation of the Rule of Law, should the Committee favorably respond to my request."
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is questioning the administration's decision from a humanitarian angle, pointing out that not only do these children not have parents with them, but that they're being dropped of in 100 degree temperatures.
"I remind you that the daytime temperatures in Arizona during this time of year are regularly more than 100 degrees. Consequently, this federal operation seems to place expediency over basic humanitarian concerns. The federal government should not shirk its lawful responsibility to care for and properly process these individuals," Brewer wrote in a letter to President Obama earlier this week.
Two weeks ago newly minted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (who was put into the position after bundling money for President Obama's 2012 re-election campaign) testified in front of Congress and was asked about how the administration plans to handle this ongoing crisis. Since then, President Obama has called on FEMA to provide housing for children roaming around the streets without parents.