New Mexico senator: Unaccompanied minors deserve due process

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Sen. Martin Heinrich, New Mexico Democrat, said Thursday that the bipartisan proposal to address rising numbers of unaccompanied minors crossing the border may send children back into a situation “where they may be fearing for their lives.”

Mr. Heinrich said on MSNBC that the bill from Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican, and Rep. Henry Cuellar, Texas Democrat, may strip some children who can legitimately claim to be refugees of their due process rights and may send them back to a bad situation, like sex trafficking.

“I have doubts that approach is going to be able to move forward in either chamber,” Mr. Heinrich said.

The bill from Texas lawmakers would ensure children from Central America are treated the same as those coming in from Mexico, and would also require the minors to see a judge more quickly to decide if they can stay in the U.S.

Mr. Heinrich said he believes most of those who have made the dangerous journey alone so far will be sent back to their home countries.

“The numbers that I’ve seen so far suggested a majority of these children will not qualify for asylum,” he said.

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