WASHINGTON (CBS DC) — Texas Rep. Lamar Smith says that President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency immigration funding should be rejected altogether until the White House can enforce border security using current resources.
Speaking with NewsMax TV, the Texas Republican said the House should only approve additional funding to confront the illegal immigration influx if the Obama administration can utilize current resources to secure the border and halt the ongoing “urgent humanitarian crisis.”
“This isn’t a funding problem, it’s an enforcement problem. Rather than enforce our nation’s immigration laws, the president has chosen to ignore them. Instead, he continues to call for massive amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants,” said Smith, who is a member of the House Judiciary and Homeland Security committees.
“Once again, we don’t know that we can believe the president. We don’t know that we can trust the president,” Smith told NewsMax TV. “If you go by his past actions of not enforcing immigration laws, why should we suddenly think that he’s had a conversion and wants to enforce immigration laws or wants to remove individuals and send them back to their home countries when everything he has done as president has been the reverse?”
On Tuesday, Obama submitted an emergency funding request with a $3.7 billion deal being sent to Congress. The funding is aimed at stemming the more than 52,000 unaccompanied immigrant children that have been apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol since October.
But Smith says that additional funding would likely be squandered on amnesty requests, and that the president has failed to show that it can function effectively with its current resources.
“The president has no one to blame but himself for the current crisis on the southern border. He granted amnesty to illegal immigrant minors by promising not to deport those brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents,” Smith said. “As a result, tens of thousands of illegal immigrants are now flooding across the border.
“If a lot of this money simply goes to judges who are going to award asylum to these individuals and allow them to stay in the country, that’s not something we favor,” said Smith.
Smith added that Obama’s “words are hollow,” and that his pandering to the American public has led many to question whether the U.S. can trust him to control the crisis. “If you go by his past actions, we cannot trust him when he says that he wants to secure the border.”