- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

As the surge of illegal immigrant children roils campaigns, one prominent Republican candidate Monday demanded President Obama schedule a personal trip to Central America to try to halt the flow.

Ben Sasse, the GOP’s nominee for the open Senate seat from Nebraska, said Mr. Obama has been soft-pedaling the matter and needs to take a more personal stand.

“President Obama needs to go to Central America this week and make a major speech. He needs to say to the people of Latin America, ‘The United States’ borders are not open, we are not going to have amnesty,’” Mr. Sasse says in a four-minute video.

Mr. Obama met last week with the presidents of the three Central American countries responsible for most of the surge, and urged them to take more steps to keep their children and families from making the journey.

But his administration has acknowledged its difficulty in deporting illegal immigrants has made it easy for smugglers to entice crossers with promises of gaining a foothold — at least temporarily — in the U.S.

Mr. Sasse said the issue should be elevated above politics.

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“How many more kids are going to be put on top of trains? Half-a-million? A million? Five million? Does anybody really know? How many more will be hurt and lost on their way north? This problem should already have been fixed,” he said. “Mr. President, the time to act is now. Not out of a political motive but because it’s the right thing to do and because you’re a dad too.”

• Stephen Dinan can be reached at sdinan@washingtontimes.com.

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