MANCHESTER – Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta on Tuesday suggested the Obama administration may have in effect manufactured a border crisis in Texas in order to promote amnesty for illegal immigrants.
Guinta, who is running again for the U.S. House seat he lost to Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in 2012, told WGIR radio host Jack Heath:
“It appears that way. They knew that this would happen. They knew that when they granted amnesty for a two year period that there would be a reaction to it.
“And knowing that they just re-upped,” said Guinta. “So I think they are trying to force amnesty through executive fiat and then say, ‘Well, now we need $2 billion to take care of the people from across the border.”
Asked by Heath if it was “somewhat of a manufactured crisis from an executive order,” Guinta said, “I think it is, and the reality is what’s sad about it is now you have states and municipalities who can’t handle this, who want to deal with it in a humanitarian way.
“Americans want people to come here legally. Americans want people to have a better life, but we just don’t want it done through amnesty,” said Guinta.
Click here for the exchange on the issue.
In 2012, by executive order, Obama enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that gave temporary amnesty and work permits for two years to illegal immigrant children who came to the country before they were 16, had been living in the United States since 2007, were not over 30 years of age, and met a variety of other requirements.
There has been discussion about re-issuing the program.
Meanwhile, the White House on Tuesday asked for $3.7 billion to improve security along the border, provide better housing for the children while they are in custody and to speed up their deportation proceedings.
The White House also wants to increase assistance to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where most of the children are coming from, to help them stop the rush of people leaving there and to improve their ability to receive the expected influx of deported children.
The request, which has been developed in recent weeks as multiple federal agencies have responded to the surge of children caught crossing the border without their parents, got its first hearing Thursday before the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the Appropriations Committee and other members, including the working group on the border crisis, will review the White House proposal. “The speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas — which this proposal does not address,” Steel said.
According to USA Today, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday he was confident that “those who share the president’s concern about this situation will be supportive of ensuring that the administration has the resources necessary to deal with this situation.”
After the President delivered a speech addressing the issue last week, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, accused Obama of seeking a “blank check” to fix a disaster he created himself by easing immigration enforcement throughout his presidency.
The administration has been responding to a historic flood of children caught crossing the border. In 2011, Border Patrol agents caught fewer than 4,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. So far this year, they’ve apprehended nearly 40,000.
Guinta Tuesday issued a statement:
“Make no mistake about it, the President’s emergency request today for $3.7 billion is an admission that his policies have failed. The border remains unsecured, and this de facto amnesty program supported by Congresswoman Shea-Porter has led to a flood of immigrants crossing our border illegally.
“This is straining municipal and state budgets while causing a grave humanitarian crisis as thousands have traveled in horrendous conditions to seek amnesty,” said Guinta. “When will Carol Shea Porter say enough is enough, and demand accountability from President Obama? When will she demand that our international borders be secured?”
Guinta’s campaign said he supported the “HALT” Act in 2011. The bill would have prevented Obama from granting what some consider amnesty by executive order.