U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) today said he will participate in a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday, where he will urge President Obama to take "strong, swift action" to secure the border now -- using the National Guard if necessary -- and cut off aid to countries that don't cooperate in stopping unaccompanied minors from entering the United States illegally. He released the following statement:
"President Obama needs to secure the border now, using the National Guard if necessary. We need to send these unaccompanied children back home safely, as quickly as possible, and we should cut off foreign aid to countries that don't cooperate. If a Democratic amendment to legislation that passed in 2008 makes it more difficult to send these unaccompanied children back to a safe place in their own countries, then we need to change the law."
Alexander is a member of the Appropriations Committee, which is scheduled to consider on Thursday President Obama's proposal to deal with the increasing number of unaccompanied minors crossing the southern U.S. border. In addition to pressing the president to take action, Alexander said Congress should re-examine the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2008, which included an amendment that may be making it more difficult to quickly and safely send unaccompanied minors back to their home countries.
On June 26, Alexander joined 42 senators in sending a letter to President Obama calling on him to "make clear" that the U.S. will enforce its "strict rules about how people get into our country."