Slower than paperwork: DHS watchdog says billion-dollar electronic immigration system screwed

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Although it’s electronic and cost almost $2 billion dollars to develop, a new automated system for processing immigration forms takes twice as long as filing applications by hand, according to a Department of Homeland Security internal watchdog.

Perhaps the story of the government’s failed $1.7 billion Electronic Immigration System — or ELIS – best sums up the adage, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’

Hundreds of US cities set to protest ‘invasion’ of illegal migrants

Started six years ago under a $536,000 contract, the project called Transformation fizzled over a host of perplexities, not least of all mind-boggling electronic bureaucracy just to enter the system.

“Immigration services officers take longer to adjudicate in ELIS in part because of the estimated 100 to 150 clicks required to move among sublevels and open documents to complete the process,” Richard Harsche, acting assistant inspector general for the DHS Office of IT Audits, said in a newly released report.

ELIS — the abbreviation is a nod to the historic immigration center at Ellis Island — also contains no tabs or highlighting features, and searches fail to give usable results, he said.

In one test of the system, employees were able to complete 2.16 cases per hour manually as compared with just 0.86 cases using the problem-plagued ELIS, which is being financed through immigration application fees.

AFP Photo / Paul J. RichardsAFP Photo / Paul J. Richards

“Instead of improved efficiency, time studies conducted by service centers show that adjudicating on paper is at least two times faster than adjudicating in ELIS,” Harsche said.

Officials at DHS US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which operates the system, say they made changes in subsequent releases of ELIS, including reducing the number of clicks required to navigate the labyrinthine system.

However, officials fear they are bound by the high number of contributing software to the project.

“USCIS has been limited in its ability to make changes to ELIS because of challenges with the existing architecture,” Harsche said. “The architecture consists of 29 commercial software products, which are difficult to integrate.”

Most changes,like adjusting the interface to make it more intuitive, will be implemented as part of the program’s transition to a more flexible architecture. The start of development in the new architecture began in October 2013,” the report added.

By the end of 2014, a switchover to ELIS2 version is scheduled.

USCIS recently awarded a 2-year contract which potentially costs $58 million according to nextgov.com website to four vendors in hopes of finishing the automated system. The agency intends to introduce the project in six-month software release cycles to identify problems in the early stages.

America: No longer 1 nation, 1 people

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Pat Buchanan cites ways ‘diversity’ has harmed United States

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN

Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque in 2001, George W. Bush declared that, as Mexico was a friend and neighbor, “It’s so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the United States.”

Bush succeeded. And during his tenure, millions from Mexico exploited his magnanimity to violate our laws, trample upon our sovereignty, walk into our country and remain here.

In 2007, supported by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama, Bush backed amnesty for the 12 million people who had entered America illegally.

The nation thundered no. And Congress sustained the nation.

The latest mass border crossing by scores of thousands of tots, teenagers and toughs from Central America has killed amnesty in 2014, and probably for the duration of the Obama presidency.

Indeed, with the massive media coverage of the crisis on the border, immigration, legal and illegal, and what it portends for our future, could become the decisive issue of 2014 and 2016.

But it needs to be put in a larger context. For this issue is about more than whether the Chamber of Commerce gets amnesty for its members who have been exploiting cheap illegal labor.

The real issue: Will America remain one nation, or are we are on the road to Balkanization and the breakup of America into ethnic enclaves? For, as Ronald Reagan said, a nation that cannot control its borders isn’t really a nation anymore.

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay wrote, “Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people – a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs. … ”

He called Americans a “band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties.” The republic of the founders for whom Jay spoke did not give a fig for diversity. They cherished our unity, commonality and sameness of ancestry, culture, faith and traditions.

We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789.

They came later. From 1845-1849, the Irish fleeing the famine. From 1890-1920, the Germans. Then the Italians, Poles, Jews and other Eastern Europeans. Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.

From 1925 to 1965, the children and grandchildren of those immigrants were assimilated, Americanized. In strong public schools, they were taught our language, literature and history, and celebrated our holidays and heroes. We endured together through the Depression and sacrificed together in World War II and the Cold War.

By 1960, we had become truly one nation and one people.

America was not perfect. No country is. But no country ever rivaled what America had become. She was proud, united, free, the first nation on earth. And though the civil rights movement had just begun, nowhere did black peoples enjoy the freedom and prosperity of African-Americans.

Order Pat Buchanan’s brilliant and prescient books at WND’s Superstore.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday that America is today in “a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago.”

In some ways that is so. Equality of rights has been realized. Miraculous cures in medicine have kept alive many of us who would not have survived the same maladies half a century ago.

But we are no longer that “band of brethren.” We are no longer one unique people “descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion.”

We are from every continent and country. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion and roots.

We no longer speak the same language, worship the same God, honor the same heroes or share the same holidays. Christmas and Easter have been privatized. Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in.

Our politics have become poisonous. Our political parties are at each other’s throats.

Christianity is in decline. Traditional churches are sundering over moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Islam is surging.

Our society seems to be disintegrating. Over 40 percent of all births now are illegitimate. Among Hispanics, the figure is 52 percent. Among African-Americans, 73 percent.

And among children born to single moms, the drug use rate and the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate, are many times higher than among children born to married parents.

If a country is a land of defined and defended borders, within which resides a people of a common ancestry, history, language, faith, culture and traditions, in what sense are we Americans one nation and one people today?

Neocons say we are a new kind of nation, an ideological nation erected upon a written Constitution and Bill of Rights.

But equality, democracy and diversity are not mentioned in the Constitution. As for what our founding documents mean, even the Supreme Court does not agree.

More and more, 21st-century America seems to meet rather well Metternich’s depiction of Italy – “a geographic expression.”

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2014/07/america-no-longer-1-nation-1-people/#XwHsSWERhjqUDqGi.99

Iowa Governor: I Do Not Want To House Immigrant Children In My State

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DES MOINES, Iowa (CBSDC/AP) — Gov. Terry Branstad said Monday that he does not want Iowa to host any of the thousands of children from Central America who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border alone.
During a news conference, Branstad said he was not aware of any of the children currently living in Iowa and that state has not been contacted by the federal government about housing any immigrant children. He said the government’s focus should be on securing the borders.
Michelle Obama: ‘We Have To Keep Fighting As Hard As We Can On Immigration’
“The first thing we need to do is secure the border. I do have empathy for these kids,” Branstad said. “But I also don’t want to send the signal that (you) send your kids to America illegally. That’s not the right message.”
Branstad was among a group of governors that met Sunday with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell as the Obama administration sought support from states that could host the children.
Under current law, immigrant children from countries that do not border the United States and who cross into the U.S. by themselves are turned over to federal authorities. Then, they often are reunited with parents or placed with other relatives already living here while they wait for an immigration court to decide their future. The court process can take years.
GOP Senator Demands Criminal Background Checks On Illegal Immigrant Children

Branstad was critical Sunday of the fact that there is no review of the immigration status of relatives who take custody of the children.
Since Oct. 1, more than 57,000 children have crossed the border. Most are from Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala.
President Barack Obama has vowed to use executive actions in an effort to help fix the immigration system.

Leaked Data Shows 10-Fold Increase In Obama’s Asylum Approvals

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Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The number of foreigners who successfully filed asylum claims in the United States almost tripled from 2012 to 2013, up to 30,393.

That’s 10 times the number from 2008, when President Barack Obama was elected, and it is evidence his immigration officials are agreeing that many people in the growing wave of Central American migrants face a “credible fear” of harm if they are returned. Official approval allows the migrants to file for asylum in immigration court, where judges will approve or reject the asylum request.

If you came illegally to the U.S. seeking asylum in 2013, you had better than a four-in-five chance of successfully filing an asylum claim. That’s up from a three-in-five chance in 2008.

The migrants include mothers with children, and youths who have been brought north by their parents who are living illegally in the United States. Roughly 240,000 migrants — parents, youths and children — are expected to cross the border by the end of September.

The total includes 57,525 unaccompanied youths and children, from October 2013 to June 30, 2014, according to DHS. Because of a 2008 law, unaccompanied youths from countries other than Mexico and Canada don’t have to pass the “credible fear” hurdle, but can directly file asylum cases in immigration courts.

Legislators urged more care in granting asylum after the media reported that the father of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, successfully applied for asylum in 2002.

The internal federal data from the Department of Homeland Security was provided to The Daily Caller by a source.

It shows that officials endorsed 3,097 asylum requests in the year up to Sept. 30, 2008 — dubbed fiscal year 2008 — to people who said they faced a “credible fear” of persecution if they were repatriated.

Obama took office in January 2009, and officials approved 3,411 “credible fear” approvals in the next 12 months, up to the end of September in 2009.

Officials approved another 6,293 in the next 12 months, and another 9,423 in the next 12 months, ending September 2011.

In fiscal year 2012, ending September 2012, Obama’s officials approved 10,838 claims, before tripling the score to 30,393 in 2013.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of would-be migrants — including many “unaccompanied minors” — from Central America began flooding over the southern border.

Many of the youths — roughly half claimed to be aged between 14 and 17 — and the children claimed asylum. Once their asylum claims were submitted, they were subsequently transported by federal agencies to their parents living illegally in the United States. The youths and children are also automatically enrolled in a variety of welfare, education and medical programs, and some receive free legal advice from taxpayer-funded attorneys.

Tens of thousands of adults with children also crossed the border and many claimed “credible fear” of persecution by criminal gangs in their home countries of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. Some parts of those countries are afflicted by gangs, some of which included many former illegal immigrants who were deported from the United States.

Once their “credible fear” claims are endorsed by administration officials, the adults can file for asylum.

The 30,393 “credible fear” approvals in fiscal 2013, ending in Sept. 30, 2013, likely included many of the 2011 and 2012 border-crossers. Few 2013 border-crossers would have their claims adjudicated quickly enough, unless they’re being rubber-stamped by Obama’s officials.

However, the DHS data shows that “credible fear” claims are being approved at a higher rate by Obamas deputies.

The approval rate jumped from 64 percent in 2008 to 84 percent in 2013.

The number of people claiming “credible fear” grew slowly from 118,457 in 2008 to 123,180 in 2011. But it lept up to 183,681 in 2012, indicating a huge number of asylum requests, most likely from the southern border-crossers.

The data does not show the number of people who claimed credible fear in 2013.

When a person make a “credible fear” plea for asylum, the claim is initially checked by police in the Border Patrol or Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Those agencies gave provision approval to 13,880 claims in 2012, but 38,035 claims in 2013. Immigration officials then rejected 1,187 claims of those claims in 2012, and 2,587 claims in 2013.

The data does not say how many of the rejected claimants were repatriated.

According to the Los Angeles Times, only 1,669 immigrants younger than 18 were rejected in 2013. That’s down from 8.143 in 2008.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/14/leaked-data-shows-10-fold-increase-in-obamas-asylum-approvals/#ixzz37TgAwjfk

Chicago Residents Hammer Obama On Immigration Spending, Plead For Help [VIDEO]

Chuck Ross
Reporter

A group of protesters in Chicago called for action and heavily criticized President Obama for ignoring the high rates of violent crime in the city while spending billions of dollars to deal with an influx of illegal child immigrants into the U.S.

“Do something for our children,” said one of the protesters, in a video posted at the blog Rebel Pundit. “Have the same love for these young young people like you got for the ones across the border, and you want to save them.”

“With the president setting aside all of these funds for immigrants, and forsaking the African American community and African American families, I think that’s a disgrace,” said another man attending the rally, which was held in front of the Chicago police department.

As Rebel Pundit notes, at least 120 people have been shot and another 26 have been killed in Chicago so far in July.

Meanwhile, earlier this week, the White House announced plans to ask Congress for $3.7 billion to help house and process immigration cases for tens of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central America who have recently been apprehended at the southern U.S. border in Texas.

“Mr. President…you’re spending billions of dollars in Texas, but we’ve got a problem here in Chicago,” said one female protester.

Some lawmakers have also called the spending proposal excessive. Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn proposed another option, to immediately fly unaccompanied children back to their home countries. The cost would be pennies on the dollar to what Obama has proposed.

The protesters in Chicago, among which were members of a youth group called the Manchild Movement, also called for the resignation of mayor Rahm Emanuel and city police superintendent Garry McCarthy.

“I’d like to tell the young peoples [sic] out here, especially young African-Americans, I’d like to tell the world, Mr. President, congress, senate, aldermen, governor, the mayor – losing a child is something else,” said Pierre Curry, who has lost two children to violence in the city.

The frustration expressed at the protest was matched earlier in the week by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

“If we can find $4 billion for those children — and we should — we can find $2 billion for Chicago,” said Jackson earlier this week.

“There are more children involved, and more have been killed, and more have been shot,” he said.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/07/13/chicago-residents-hammer-obama-on-immigration-spending-plead-for-help-video/#ixzz37Oes309t

U.S. classrooms prepare for flood as migrants become pupils – chicagotribune.com

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Esmé E. Deprez with help from Jose Enrique Arrioja
7:34 p.m. CDT, July 12, 2014

The record flood of Central American children crossing the U.S. border is stretching funds and setting off improvisation at public schools.

While politicians spend the summer fighting over how to turn back the tide, school leaders across the country are struggling to absorb a new student population the size of Newark, New Jersey. More than 40,000 children, many of them fresh from violent, harrowing journeys, have been released since October to stateside relatives as courts process their cases.

“These kids were homesick and heartbroken,” said Robin Hamby, a family specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools in suburban Washington, which began feeling the surge almost as soon as it began three years ago.

Her Virginia district employs more teachers who work with non-English speakers than ever, and wrote a curriculum to reunite children and parents, many of whom haven’t seen one another in years. Houston is increasing training and translation. Los Angeles nurses are working overtime to screen for emotional trauma created on the journey north.

U.S. authorities have apprehended more than 52,000 lone minors this fiscal year, part of a wave mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. This week, President Barack Obama asked Congress for $3.7 billion to cope with the deluge that’s overwhelmed processing centers, shelters where some children stay, courts and social-service agencies.

The Justice Department is changing its policy to give unaccompanied minors and families with children priority in immigration court, which could speed deportations and dissuade others from coming. Most children won’t qualify for humanitarian relief and will be deported, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

A report from the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, though, found that 58 percent may qualify for international protection.

Immigration has been a major cause of paralysis in Washington. The Republican Party has been unable to resolve internal divisions over the issue, even as Hispanic voters become a key bloc. Obama, meanwhile, has failed to sway opponents to rewrite laws to manage an undocumented population that has grown to more than 11 million. Republicans blame the second-term Democrat for what they call a porous border and lax enforcement.

The influx of children has intensified the situation. Obama met in Dallas on July 9 with Republican Gov. Rick Perry of Texas and with civic and religious leaders. Before the visit, speculation surrounded whether Perry would make the traditional and symbolic tarmac greeting. He did and a 15-minute meeting ensued aboard the presidential helicopter. The next day, the governor went on national television to criticize Obama for not visiting the border.

For all the political theater, schools are confronting the fallout of the crisis. In farflung cities and towns, a new student population is struggling to adapt to unfamiliar homes and the American education system. All the while, they’re trying to persuade officials to let them stay.

Stories of beatings, rapes or extortion suffered in their home countries, during their travels or in the U.S. are widespread, said Debra Duardo, executive director of student health and human services for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Separation anxiety is common.

“There’s no way a child is going to be able to come to school ready and able to learn if we don’t address some of the other issues they’re facing,” Duardo said. “Schools are a safe haven.”

Many lack immunizations or documentation proving they’ve had them, she said. While heightened demand crowded the main assessment center where checkups are done, moving it was too expensive, she said.

Soon after border agents detain unaccompanied minors, responsibility for their care falls to the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement. The agency’s involvement ends when it places children with a relative or other sponsor, said a spokesman, Kenneth Wolfe.

That leaves districts like the Houston Independent School District, Texas’s largest, on their own to estimate how many newcomers they’ll receive.

Houston is planning for more this year than last year’s 910, said Altagracia Guerrero, assistant superintendent of multilingual services. That was nearly double the number it had in 2012, but no one knows how many will show up on the first day of school in August.

Last year’s influx helped qualify the district for a $1.6 million federal grant. Guerrero, who’s part of a team coordinating a district-wide response, said she’ll hire tutors and outreach workers, and educate employees about the surge so they can help students who are a part of it.

“You try to staff as closely to the projection as possible,” she said.

Houston has deep experience with Spanish-speakers and sudden influxes of pupils: Hispanics already compose more than 60 percent of its student body, and the district was inundated with children in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans and Mississippi. In Virginia, Fairfax County schools accommodate immigrants and refugees from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa. Still, leaders in both places say this crop of students is different.

Having arrived alone, whereas past refugees were more likely to come with family, this group is more vulnerable. Not only do few speak English, some know only indigenous languages for which translators are in short supply. Some are placed with relatives they’ve never met, while others haven’t attended school for years.

Mother of officer killed by illegal immigrant writes Obama

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MESA, AZ (CBS5) -
The mother of a fallen Mesa police sergeant is writing President Barack Obama in hopes of changing immigration laws in the U.S.

Police said Mary Ann Mendoza’s son, Sgt. Brandon Mendoza, was hit head-on by a driver who had been living in the country illegally for two decades.

Officials said for much of that time Raul Silva-Corona was wanted for charges including burglary, assault and leaving the scene of an accident. When he was finally captured in 2002, he took a plea deal and was allowed to stay in the United States. That’s something Mendoza believes needs to change.

“There are just a lot of issues that have welled up inside of me and are festering now that I’ve had time to think clearly,” said Mary Ann Mendoza.

At the forefront of her concerns are the president’s policies on immigration.

“The people who are coming here looking for jobs and who are wanting to make a difference in their life, I support them. I mean that’s what this country is made of. But when you start breaking the law there is no reason for those people to be here,” said Mary Ann Mendoza.

Another issue Mendoza wants addressed has to do with driving.

“I don’t think anyone who doesn’t have a social security number and is here illegally who cannot obtain a driver’s license should be allowed to register a vehicle anywhere in the United States and be able to drive it,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza told CBS 5 News she’s hopeful she will get a response from President Barack Obama.

Here is Mendoza’s letter:

“President Obama,

“I am writing this letter to you regarding illegal immigrants.

“As a tax paying, law abiding citizen of the United States, I WANT my voice heard on this issue. My son, Sergeant Brandon Mendoza, an officer who was with the City of Mesa, Arizona police department, was killed in a tragic head on collision on May 12, 2014 by a wrong way driver on our freeways. This man happened to be an illegal immigrant, was in this country illegally, convicted of previous crimes, no Social Security number, no valid driver’s license BUT he had purchased a vehicle and registered it to drive in Maricopa County Arizona.

“I had my son’s life STOLEN from me by a man who didn’t value his life, was 3X the legal limit drunk, was high on Meth, drove for over 35 miles THE WRONG WAY on 4 different freeways and had NO BUSINESS BEING IN THIS COUNTRY!!!

“The Federal Government knew he, Raul Silva Corona , was an illegal immigrant when he was convicted on crimes in 1994 in Colorado. The prosecutors were “lenient” on him and several charges were dismissed. When he was convicted of these crimes and 1994 and the government knew he was in the country illegally, why wasn’t he deported? Why are any of these illegal criminals in this country ??

“I am furious that the Federal Government allowed this criminal to stay in this country and KILL my son! I have attached several articles for you to PERSONALLY read about my son. He was an Icon with the City of Mesa Police Department. He was instrumental in making life better for people of all walks of life in the park project he took on. He was humble, selfless, worked many hours off the clock helping disadvantaged children and often used his own money to do things for the community, including “adopting” children at Christmas to provide them with gifts….out of his own money!!

“I have attached numerous articles for you to read about my son. This was not a life that should have been taken so early. The good he was doing in our community is remarkable, the difference he made in people’s lives is amazing and the comfort he brought people in friendship was unmeasurable.

“All you have to do is Google ” Sgt/Officer Brandon Mendoza” and you will have plenty of reading material about my wonderful son who had just passed his Sergeant’s exam to become a Sgt. The Chief of Police posthumously promoted him during the week of his funeral but that highlight of his life was stolen from him!!! He was officer of the year last year. Officer of the quarter for the first quarter of 2014. He was only 32 years old and had done more in his life than most of us have done in a lifetime!

“I am going to have my voice heard and I want to you to know what my personal feeling is on whether CRIMINAL ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS should be allowed in this country. I have been DIRECTLY affected by this. I am sure if your life had been affected like mine has been, you would have a different view of this situation. I have lived in Arizona most of my life. My son, Brandon Mendoza, was half Hispanic. It’s not the color of skin that my son or I see, it’s the person and how they conduct their lives. If you can’t enter this country legally then you shouldn’t be here. If you commit crimes, you should pay the time any of us as US Citizens would have to serve. Letting these illegal criminals out of our jails before their time is served and turning them loose on the streets to commit further crimes and KILL our loved ones is NOT ACCEPTABLE TO ME!! AND it shouldn’t be acceptable to any US Citizen. Mr. President, you don’t have the right to make this decision yourself……I have a say, even if it is for one moment. Maybe that one moment will light a spark with another citizen who can then light a candle, who can then light a bonfire, who can then light a city up and so on. My light has just been lit and I am not going to back down when so many of these illegal immigrants have more rights than we do. My son’s death will not be ignored as another statistic.

“I want laws to change that would not allow illegal immigrants to purchase vehicles in our country and register them to drive them in our states WITHOUT having driver’s licenses to drive them legally. How is this happening??? I want laws changed that will force the removal of illegal immigrants who break our laws. This man, this repeated law breaker, was allowed to be released and he continued breaking the laws in our country until what???? UNTIL HE WAS STOPPED BY MY SON IN A HEAD ON COLLISION THAT NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED!!!! HE KILLED AN OFFICER OF THE LAW AS HIS LAST ACT!!! When are you going to see the flip side to this issue? When will you realize the hurt and pain and destruction these illegal immigrants who break the law will continue to cause???? Until you live in a state that deals with this on a daily basis, you will not understand it.

“I want answers that make sense. I want answers from you personally as to why this criminal was allowed to stay in our country until he took my son’s life.

“Sincerely,

“Mary Ann Mendoza”

House Says ‘No’ to Obama’s Request for $3.7 Billion to Address Border Crisis — Here’s How the Money Would Be Spent

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Jason Howerton

WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — A key Republican said Friday that President Barack Obama’s multibillion-dollar emergency request for the border is too big to get through the House, as a growing number of Democrats rejected policy changes Republicans are demanding as their price for approving any money.

The developments indicated that Obama faces an uphill climb as he pushes Congress to approve $3.7 billion to deal with tens of thousands of unaccompanied kids who’ve been arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border from poor and increasingly violent Central American nations. And they suggested that even as the children keep coming, any final resolution is likely weeks away on Capitol Hill.

Officials reportedly told Congress on Thursday that the $3.7 billion would in-part pay for health care, schooling and lawyers for the illegal immigrant children who have been flooding across the border recently. The Obama administration is asking lawmakers to approve the funds quickly.

House Says No to Obamas Request for $3.7 Billion to Address Border Crisis
In this June 20, 2014 photo, immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally stand in line for tickets at the bus station after they were released from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in McAllen, Texas. The immigrants entered the country through an area referred to as zone nine. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Business Insider has a more detailed outline of the proposal that will likely have to be tweaked in order to pass through Congress:

• The largest amount would go to the Department of Health and Human Services, for which the White House is requesting an additional $1.8 billion to care for the unaccompanied children. “With these funds, HHS will have the resources to be able to care for the children currently projected to come into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security while putting in place more stable, cost-effective arrangements for these children going forward,” the White House said.

• The Department of Homeland Security is seeking $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as an additional $433 million for Customs and Border Protection. A large chunk of that sum would go toward the detention and removal of apprehended undocumented adults traveling with children, additional prosecution capacity for those adults, and overtime and duty costs for existing and additional Border Patrol agents.

• A total of $64 million would go to the Department of Justice, most of which would go toward hiring 40 additional immigration judge teams to speed up deportation proceedings. The White House said this would help process an additional 55,000-75,000 cases each year.

• About $300 million would go to the State Department under the proposal, most of which would go toward “efforts to repatriate and reintegrate migrants to Central America.” About $5 million of the total would go toward media messaging, in which the administration would highlight the dangerous nature of migrating from Central America to the U.S. and emphasize those who do enter the U.S. will not be given permission to stay.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said one of his agencies will be forced to cut part of its immigration enforcement duties in order to hold and transport the children unless the money is approved by Congress before lawmakers leave for the August recess.

As House members gathered Friday morning to finish up legislative business for the week, Rep. Hal Rogers of Kentucky, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, which controls spending, told reporters: “It’s too much money. We don’t need it.”

Rogers previously had sounded open to the spending request for more immigration judges, detention facilities, State Department programs and other items. He said his committee would look at the parts of Obama’s request that would go for immediate needs, but that others could be handled through Congress’ regular spending bills – though no final action is likely on those until after the November midterm elections.

And asked whether the House would approve the spending package as-is, Rogers said “no.”

House Says No to Obamas Request for $3.7 Billion to Address Border Crisis
(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest responded by saying that “we’re open to working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to get this done.”

“The president has moved quickly to be very clear about what specifically needs to be funded,” Earnest said. “And we would like to see Republicans back up their rhetoric with the kind of urgent action that this situation merits.”

Rogers spoke shortly after the Congressional Hispanic Caucus convened a news conference to denounce efforts to attach legal changes to the spending measure that would result in returning the children home more quickly to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala. Those countries account for most of the more than 57,000 unaccompanied kids who’ve arrived since October.

Republicans are demanding such changes, and White House officials also have indicated support, while the House and Senate Democratic leaders left the door open to them this week.

But key Senate Democrats are opposed, and members of the all-Democratic Hispanic Caucus added their strong objections Friday that sending the children home quickly could put them at risk.

“I don’t know of a man or a woman in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus who is going to vote to undermine the rights of these children,” said Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. “It would be unconscionable.”

Gutierrez said the lawmakers would make that same case directly to Obama in a meeting next week.

Meanwhile Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson visited a detention facility in Artesia, New Mexico, where he said: “Our message to those who come illegally is we will send you back.”

That’s something that may not happen for years, if ever, under current circumstances, which is at the heart of the debate over changing U.S. policy.

At issue is a 2008 law aimed at helping victims of human trafficking, which appears to be contributing to the current crisis by ensuring court hearings for the children now arriving from Central America. In practice, that often allows them to stay in this country for years as their cases wend their way through the badly backlogged immigration court system, and oftentimes they never show up for their court dates.

Obama administration officials along with Republican lawmakers want to change the law so that Central American children can be treated the same way as Mexican minors, who can be turned around quickly by Border Patrol agents.

“If you want to stop the problem, treat the children humanely and send them back. I guarantee you it will work,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Friday in a speech in Louisville.

Democrats and advocacy groups say such a change would put the kids in jeopardy.

“We will oppose this link even if it means the funding bill goes down,” said Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. If the changes go through, “They’ll be sent back to their persecutors with no help whatsoever, and possibly to their deaths.”

The border controversy spilled over to a gathering of the National Governors Association in Nashville, Tennessee, where governors of both parties blamed a gridlocked Congress.

“Congress needs to act,” declared Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, the group’s Republican chairman. “They are children, so we want to treat them very humanely, but we also have a lot of concerns for the health and wellness of our citizens in our state.”

Black Americans: The True Casualties of Amnesty

Democrats throw black voters under the bus.

By A. J. Delgado

One of the sleeper issues surrounding the debate on amnesty for illegal immigrants – an inconvenient one that no proponent of a widespread amnesty wishes to acknowledge – is the devastating effect so-called immigration reform will have on African Americans.

The black unemployment rate is almost 11 percent, far higher than that of any other group profiled by labor statistics. African Americans are disproportionately employed in lower-skilled jobs – the very same jobs immigrants take. As Steven Camarota asked in a recent column, why double immigration when so many people already aren’t working?

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Who will be harmed most by amnesty? African-Americans.

The issue resurfaced this week when a YouTube video emerged of two young African-Americans confronting pro-illegal-immigration demonstrators in Murrieta, California. Murrieta is one of the towns in which undocumented minors are being relocated — and supporters are squaring off with protestors.

The young man argues:

If somebody brought six children to your house and you ain’t got no job, are you gonna take them in?… What are you gonna do? Are you gonna try to go out there and take care of these children AND the children you got already that you can’t take care of?… What are we going to do for the people who are here who are starving already?… We got our OWN people that are starving and hungry…. Why would we add to the problem?!

He also laments the problems in black neighborhoods where prices “are upped on everything” after large groups of immigrants move in.

The young woman argues:

It’s just too much…. We already have our own poor people. Starvation, kids walking with no shoes…. We don’t need other people’s kids to bring more problems…. You’re gonna watch America go spiraling down… We’re already in debt as it is. [Now] we’re gonna need more money to support these kids.

Why are Democratic politicians disregarding the concerns and needs of black Americans in a push to address the concerns and needs… of foreigners? Amnesty proponents speak of the need to grant others a better life – but what of the need to look out for our fellow Americans? What of those black Americans whose ancestors quite literally built this nation through the sweat of their brows?

Instead, Democrats are chucking aside black voters in their rush to lock in the Latino vote (or so they’re hoping). Taken for granted as a given come election-time, blacks are now actively harmed as the Democrats vow to grow their voting base through importing more and more of what they see as future blue-voters. It’s the husband who leaves his wife of 30 years: ‘We had a good run, honey, but I’ve found someone new.’

Black attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Peter Kirsanow, serves as one of the lone voices of reason, repeatedly outlining the harm amnesty will cause black Americans. In a 2013 letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, he wrote: “The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants. The answer is no.” Kirsanow’s statistics demonstrate the way in which immigration impacts the wages and employment opportunities of black males and hurts the black community.

But no one seems to listen to Kirsanow.

Meanwhile, the harm to African Americans is not limited to reduced wages, greater competition for jobs, and declining household incomes – now even the black history of suffering is being diluted. Liberal columnist and CNN pundit Sally Kohn penned a column last week arguing that the term ‘illegal immigrant’ is the same as the N-word. Kohn, is usually fair-minded and reasoned in her arguments, lumping black Americans’ unique history and suffering with that of certain Latino immigrants is absurd and offensive. Consider that the N-word was used to describe a person who was whipped daily, while ‘illegal immigrant’ is a word used to describe a person who receives free education (even in-state tuition!), housing, driver’s licenses, legal aid, food, and healthcare. To even claim the two words are similar is an unthinkable affront – and insult – to African-Americans.

Senator Jeff Sessions’s recent National Review column “On Immigration, It’s Time to Defend Americans,” hits the nail on the head. Sessions notes:

Harvard professor George Borjas estimated that high immigration rates from 1980 to 2000 resulted in a 7.4 percent wage reduction for lower-skilled American workers…. The Center for Immigration Studies issued a study based on Census data showing that “since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants.”… If mass immigration is so good for the economy, why then — during this long sustained period of record immigration into the U.S. — are incomes falling and a record number of Americans not working?

Birthright citizenship is already bad enough; largely refusing to deport illegal immigrants is already bad enough.But now, we’ve upped the ante even further. Overburdened taxpayers, including black taxpayers, are covering the cost to feed, clothe and educate illegals, and black Americans face the additional burden of having their historic suffering belittled and their precarious circumstances made even worse.

Democrats have built a brand as the party willing to stand up for black Americans, but the amnesty push shows what a false promise that was. The message to black voters is: “Yes, your ancestors endured unimaginable hardships and helped build this country, and we said we’d help you out. But now we have a new trophy wife.”

— A. J. Delgado is a conservative writer and lawyer. She writes about politics and culture.