Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says the government is giving humanitarian aid to immigrant children caught trying to cross the Southern border illegally without their parents. But he says it's dangerous for families to send their children unaccompanied to America.
Johnson told reporters Thursday that children are being cared for humanely as the Obama administration scrambles to handle the spike in young border crossers traveling alone.
More than 47,000 children have been apprehended at the Mexican border since the start of the budget year in October. Most are from Central America.
Johnson says it's not safe for children and there is no free pass for young immigrants who try to cross the border illegally. "Illegal migration is not safe. Illegal migration through the south Texas border is not safe. A processing center is no place for your child. Putting your child in the hands of a criminal smuggling organization is not safe. Your child will not benefit from DACA that come here now. DACA is for those who came here seven years ago. The legislation being contemplated right now to earn a path to citizenship is for those who came here 18 months ago."
He also says the government is not doing anything to encourage illegal immigration.
DACA is a Homeland Security department program that allows people who came to the U.S. as children and meet other guidelines to request deferred action on deportation for a period of time. They can also apply for work authorization.
(The Associated Press also contributed to this report.)
Wednesday, July 23 2014 5:44 PM EDT2014-07-23 21:44:54 GMT
General Motors is issuing six more recalls covering a total of almost 718,000 vehicles in the U.S. The latest recalls bring the total for GM so far this year to 60, affecting a record 29.7 million cars and trucks.More >>
General Motors is issuing six more recalls covering a total of almost 718,000 vehicles in the U.S. The latest recalls bring the total for GM so far this year to 60, affecting a record 29.7 million cars and trucks. More >>