- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rep. Joaquin Castro said Thursday that Republican-run House should be blaming themselves, not President Obama, for the flood of unaccompanied Central American children arriving in the United States.

“A lot of folks are blaming the president but I blame the House of Representatives,” the Texas congressman, who is a rising star in the Democratic Party, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“If we had passed either the Senate version of immigration reform or the House version, there would have been billions of dollars in resources for international cooperation, for more border security and also there would have been a more clear line of delineation about what it would take to immigrate here legally,” he said.

The Obama administration has called the wave of children a “humanitarian crisis” driven by children fleeing to the United States to escape rampant gang violence in their home countries.

Republicans contend that Mr. Obama laid out a welcome mat for illegal immigrants, especially minors, by discouraging deportations. Government interviews with the young border crossers confirm that many believe that once they arrive in the U.S., they’ll be allowed to stay.

At least 90,000 children, mostly from Guatamala, Honduras and El Salvador, will be caught this year, and more than 140,000 will be apprehended in 2015, according to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection memo.

Until recently, just about 8,000 unaccompanied children per year attempted to cross the border.

“Congress can’t push off the responsibility for passing legislation and taking action,” Mr. Castro said. “We’ve got to accept responsibility for that.”

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