- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jeb Bush, former Florida governor and possible 2016 presidential contender, said Congress should not use the current crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border as an excuse not to pass broader immigration fixes.

“President Obama has promised to once again act unilaterally if Congress fails to take up immigration reform,” Mr. Bush and Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, wrote in the Wall Street Journal. “Now is the time for House Republicans to demonstrate leadership on this issue. Congress should not use the present crisis as an excuse to defer comprehensive immigration reform.”

Mr. Bush and Mr. Bolick wrote that the U.S. needs to close loopholes that let people be released from federal custody between immigration hearings and aside from those “deserving few” who might demonstrate true cause for asylum or protection from sex trafficking, unaccompanied minors streaming across the southern border must be sent back to their homes in Central America.

Greater engagement with the countries and clear communication that there will be “zero rewards” for people who send children to the U.S. are also necessary, they write.

“There is a reason and a need for compassion. These children are trying to escape horrific gang violence and dire conditions in their native countries,” they write. “But the ease with which so many of them are illegally entering the U.S. underscores the inadequacy of our border security. We now have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border that demands strong leadership that respects the rule of law.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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