Obama vow to speed deportation of children at odds with public opinion
WASHINGTON — President Obama's pledge to fast-track the deportation of migrant children from Central America is out of step with the opinion of a majority of Americans, who say the children should be allowed to stay in the United States, at least for a while.
The results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll highlight the complexity of the child migrant issue for Obama, who has sought to emphasize his compassion while insisting that his administration plans to send home most of the children, many of whom have fled violence.
The poll, conducted on July 31-Aug. 5, found that 51 percent of Americans believe the unaccompanied children who cross the U.S.-Mexico border should be allowed to remain in the country for some length of time.
That includes 38 percent who thought the unaccompanied youngsters should be sheltered and cared for until it was deemed safe for them to return home. Thirteen percent said the children should be allowed to stay in the United States, while 32 percent said the children should be immediately deported.
“Overall, people are humane and they understand that no matter what our situation is with the budget, whether or not we can afford this, these are kids. No matter what the immigration system is, they are innocent,” said Lance Lee, 42, of Alabama, who took part in the survey.
But Lee said he wants the border sealed to prevent a new wave of illegal migrants.
Between October and the end of July, nearly 63,000 unaccompanied children have flooded across the southwestern border. Many are from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
Obama is widely regarded as acting, at least in part, because of election-year pressure from Republicans, who say he has not moved swiftly enough to curb the influx.
The Justice Department is placing child migrants on a faster track for deportation hearings, and the White House has called for changes to a 2008 law, intended to combat human trafficking, that bars the immediate removal of Central American children.
Those policies have angered some of Obama's Democratic allies in Congress and Hispanic groups that represent an important base of the president's political support.
Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a leading advocate in Congress of immigration reform, has vehemently criticized the fast-track policy.
“We should not take short-cuts and circumvent due process at this critical time when children are fleeing violence and asking for our help,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
At the same time, Republicans have sharply criticized Obama's policies, saying his 2012 decision to give temporary deportation relief to some young people brought to the United States by their parents had encouraged the border influx.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Homeland Security orders new screening for Ebola
- West Virginia University warns students over riots
- GOP governors don’t see ‘Obamacare’ going away
- Crowd at Met protests ‘Death of Klinghoffer,’ calling opera anti-Semitic
- Crying suspect trapped in Calif. chimney, saved but arrested
- Earth heads for record 2014
- High court will take case on gun ownership
- Congress examines NSA official’s part-time job
- Edible pot ban proposed, yanked in Colorado