Last week, the Republican House of Representatives adjourned for the summer without truly addressing the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children crossing our southern border.
Three weeks ago, President Obama went to Texas to meet with community leaders and politicians, including Gov. Rick Perry. All parties were described as mostly in agreement as to what needs to be done. The president proposed a plan. Religious and other charitable groups throughout the country have offered to help.
Obama requested $3.7 billion to expedite what the law requires for these children. Democrats offered to compromise down to $2.7 billion.
But Republicans in the Senate filibustered and blocked any vote. In the House, Republicans have refused to discuss any solution except to send National Guard troops to the border and immediately deport these children. Now they have adjourned for the summer.
In 2008, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act was passed into law unanimously in both houses of Congress and signed by President Bush. It prohibits the immediate deportation of all unaccompanied children (except Mexicans and Canadians) coming illegally across our border.
Instead, it requires that they be given an opportunity to appear at an immigration hearing and have access to counsel. It also requires that they be turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and placed "in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child." It requires medical immunizations and other humanitarian care, including, if possible, reuniting these children with family already in the United States.
As with so many other pressing issues, Republicans refuse to work with Democrats or Obama to find solutions to problems that most Americans agree need to be solved.
Since Republicans refuse to govern, maybe it's time to end Republican control of the House of Representatives.