An Illinois congressman says President Obama needs the $3.7 billion he has requested to deal with the stream of Central American children crossing into the U.S. The White House says the money would be spent on improving care for the children while they are processed through deportation, as well as increased spending on border security and new detention facilities. U.S. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Chicago) would rather see it spent on finding a solution that doesn’t simply deport children to dangerous countries like Honduras and El Salvador.
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“We have laws,” Gutierrez said. “They may have legitimate asylum claims. They need to be heard, and we need to take the time and have the patience to hear them in court.” U.S. Sen. Mark S. Kirk (R-Ill.) favors deportation, calling it “a dereliction of duty” by parents to send their kids to a foreign country. Gutierrez argues that rushing to deport the children would be against a 2008 law signed by President George W. Bush, which requires a lengthier process for handling unaccompanied minors caught at the border who come from countries other than Canada or Mexico.