McCain: Immigration flow must be 'stopped immediately' - FOX Carolina 21

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McCain: Immigration flow must be 'stopped immediately'

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McCain, R-AZ, called the recent influx if unaccompanied children from Central America a "humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border." (Source: CBS 5 News) McCain, R-AZ, called the recent influx if unaccompanied children from Central America a "humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border." (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

U.S. Sen. John McCain is asking for a revision or the repeal of a 2008 law that requires immigrants from Central and South American countries to see an immigrant judge before being deported.

McCain, R-AZ, called the recent influx if unaccompanied children from Central America a "humanitarian and security crisis on our southern border" with Mexico during a news conference Friday morning.

"It has to be stopped, and stopped immediately," McCain said.

The numbers of immigrants to the U.S. from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras are expected to reach 90,000 by the end of this year.

"The only way this is going to stop is if planeloads of children arrive back in the countries in Central America that they came from and their parents see the $3-$4-$5-$6-7,000 that they have paid to the human traffickers is wasted," McCain said.

McCain suggested a change to the 2008 law under former President George W. Bush that requires immigrants from Central and South American countries to see an immigrant judge before being deported.

So far this year, 55,000 children have been apprehended by the U.S. Border Patrol. Most have been given immigration court dates.

But McCain also pointed to a Los Angeles Times article that reported that 20,805 immigrant children were apprehended in 2013, but only 1,669 were sent back to their home countries.

McCain said that securing the border is necessary and that it's feasible to increase the number of personnel at U.S. embassies or consulates in the Central American countries to hear cases from those seeking asylum, rather than those people coming to the border.

He said utilizing the National Guard at the border would help, but said the problem with that is they are unarmed.

He also said U.S. foreign aid to those countries should be tied into the degree of cooperation they provide to stem the immigration flow.

McCain said he knows of colleagues in the U.S. Senate that want to continue with the provision of the 2008 law for the time being.

"They ignore the fact these children, especially young woman, are subjected to the worst kinds of human abuses from the worst people on earth, these coyotes," McCain said.

McCain blamed President Barack Obama for perpetuating the crisis by not calling for a repeal of the 2008 law, calling it "unbelievable and unconscionable."

He said the president will face stiff opposition in his request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds for the border crisis.

"Neither I nor the majority of my Republican colleagues will support expenditure of billions of dollars which will only perpetuate the problem until we have addressed the source of the problem," McCain said. "That means that repeal of the law that was passed and the message sent to these countries that if you come to the U.S. you will be immediately returned."

The legislation proposed by McCain and fellow Republican Sen. Jeff Flake includes:

  • Amending the Trafficking Victims Prevention Act to increase the return of undocumented children to their countries.
  • Allow for the expedited removal of all undocumented immigrants who are stopped at the border by having them return in a matter of hours or days, as opposed to months or years.
  • Require mandatory detention or mandatory use of ankle monitors to ensure people show up to their court dates.
  • Increase the number of immigration judges to hear cases.
  • Increase the number of refugee visas 5,000 for several countries.

Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • UPDATEMcCain: Immigration flow must be 'stopped immediately'More>>

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