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 Politics Archive 2014

Arizona congressman Ron Barber blames President Obama and congress for the immigration crisis
by Nathan'ette Burdine: July 13, 2014

During a Thursday appearance on CNN’s “Wolf,” Democratic congressman Rob Barber (D-AZ), whose congressional district is along the Southern border, told Dana Bash that President Obama and congress are to blame for the current immigration problem.

Bash asked Barber if he thought “the president has done enough to protect the border.”

Barber responded, “No, I don’t. And neither do I think that the Congress has done enough. This problem has been going on for a long time and now it’s been exaggerated by this humanitarian crisis that we have with thousands of children coming into Texas and into my state of Arizona.”

The congressman, who’s a member of the House’s Homeland Security Committee, noted that his committee has a bi-partisan plan to deal with the border crisis and the “broken immigration system,” but that the plan has been stalled due to the “failure of both the presidency and Washington.”

Barber stressed that the crisis along the border and the issues surrounding immigration are dire for him because of the day to day problems that his constituents face: “Well, first of all, the people that I represent who live and work along the border; the ranchers the business people, folks who’ve retired and are living down there. Every single day, they feel unsafe in their homes because the drug cartels are coming through their land bringing drugs, heavily armed and putting our constituents in danger.”

Barber said that there needs to be a change in the strategy and plan being used to deal with the crisis along the border.

Some of the suggestions that he put forth are to add additional troops and border patrol agents along the border, and to increase the technology that is being used to monitor the activity along the border.

Bash questioned if President Obama and congress’ efforts to deal with the border crisis have been stunted by the 2008 law that allows children to stay in the country until their immigration hearing, and if he [Barber] would repeal the law.

Barber responded that the law has had somewhat of an effect on the president and congress’ ability to act, but that he wouldn’t repeal the law: “I don’t believe it should be repealed but it needs to be modified.  Let’s remember that the law was passed in 2008 for a very good reason. It was to address the issue of human and sex trafficking of children.  So we need to modify the law so that these children who are coming here from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are able to be returned home expeditiously."

Barber further noted that the law is adding an extra burden on the people living in Arizona. "-They’re in a situation here in Arizona that’s creating immense pressures on my community and the people that I serve. We need to be able to get them back home, and that law is unfortunately standing in the way,” said Barber.

Due to the heighten sense of urgency surrounding the immigration issue, Bash asked Barber if he’s concerned that President Obama could hurt his re-election bid.

Barber responded that he doesn’t think about whether POTUS is making it hard for him to get elected and that he’s focused on the people in his district.

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