In a feeble attempt to stem the deluge of illegal immigrants crossing the U.S. border, the Obama administration Friday dispatched Vice President Joe Biden to Guatemala to talk tough to regional leaders.
Instead, the man renowned for sticking his foot in his mouth sent a decidedly mixed message.
In meeting with Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina, Salvadoran President Sanchez Ceren and senior officials from Mexico and Honduras, Biden said families would be detained at the border and that the “vast majority” would be sent home.
But at a televised news conference later in the day, Biden said if the illegals could prove they were being persecuted or were in imminent danger, they could request asylum, essentially handing them a golden “get out of jail free” card.
“We’re sending immigration judges, attorneys to represent these young people and families with young people … who are claiming credible fear and [who] are eligible to apply for asylum,” Biden said at the news conference, according to The Daily Caller.
Then he switched gears again, further muddying his message.
“There is no free pass,” Biden said. “None of these children or women bringing children will be eligible under existing law in the United States of America.”
Border jumpers would not qualify under Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival policy, nor would they be included in the Senate’s 2013 amnesty and guest-worker bill, which is still languishing in the U.S. House.
With the situation in Central America becoming unsustainable, President Obama pledged $93 million in new aid to help combat the violence gripping Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Fox News reported.
But that didn’t seem to satisfy Central American leaders. Guatemala’s president urged the United States to establish a guest worker program for its migrants and allow them “temporary protective status” now afforded to some Hondurans and Salvadorans, according to Fox News. And El Salvador’s president wants to combine forces with Honduras and Guatemala to strike a deal with the U.S. government that would allow immigrant children to be legally reunited with their families.
Combined with Biden’s confusing explanation of America’s strategy for easing the border problem, it all adds up to another boondoggle for the Obama administration.
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