Why Some Democrats Don’t Like Bipartisan HUMANE Act Effort to Address Border Crisis

Texas lawmakers Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (Credit: Getty)
Texas lawmakers Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar (Credit: Getty)

A rare bipartisan bill, slated to be introduced by Texans in the US House and Senate Tuesday, is expected to be central to the House GOP response to the child migrant crisis on the border – and to President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding.

How House Republicans answer the president is key, because all funding bills must begin in the House, and Republicans control that chamber.

But just because the bill is authored by a lawmaker from each party – Rep. Henry Cuellar (D) and Sen. John Cornyn (R) – don’t expect Congress to sing in harmony about it. Many Democrats oppose it.

And just because the White House supports the idea and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D) of California says it’s not a “deal-breaker,” that does not mean smooth sailing in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

On Tuesday, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada said he opposes the bill, which adjusts a 2008 law originally meant to provide extra care for child victims of trafficking. Many now say the law was never intended to handle a surge like the current one from Central America, in which apprehensions of unaccompanied minors are expected to reach at least 90,000 by the end of September.

Still, the bipartisan bill, called the Helping Unaccompanied Minors and Alleviating National Emergency (HUMANE) Act, is the closest thing that Congress has to compromise at the moment. Here are the two key changes that it advocates, and why some Democrats in both chambers – as well as immigrant advocates – vigorously oppose them.

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SOURCE: Francine Kiefer 
Christian Science Monitor

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