The Crisis at the Border Is Not ‘Sudden, Unforeseen, or Temporary’

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from Heritage Foundation,

Earlier this week President Obama announced a plan for combating the crisis at the border. To fund this plan, he asked Congress for more money — $3.7 billion in “emergency” funding, to be precise.

“Ultimately, additional funding is not the solution to the U.S.’s immigration woes. Instead, the Obama Administration should rescind its anti-enforcement policies that are contributing to this crisis in the first place,” Heritage Foundation experts Romina Boccia and David Inserra argue.

Moreover, Boccia and Inserra point out, Obama’s request violates the emergency spending provisions in the Budget Control Act of 2011. While illegal immigration is a crisis, it’s not an emergency. Here’s why:

The surge in illegal border crossings by unaccompanied minors does not meet all of the criteria necessary to qualify as emergency spending either. The BCA, in an effort to constrain the Administration and Congress from exploiting a safety valve designated for true emergencies to needlessly increase spending, established criteria to identify emergencies. The criteria specify that the situation must be:

– Sudden—i.e., not building over time;
– Unforeseen—i.e., not predicted or anticipated as an emergent need; and
– Temporary—i.e., not expected to present a permanent problem.

Instead of allowing President Obama to manipulate a loophole in the budget, Boccia and Inserra recommend:

[L]awmakers should use the existing and ongoing appropriations process to better prioritize funding. Critically, the Obama Administration should also stop its anti-enforcement policies that are encouraging the increase in illegal immigration, thus making it more difficult and costly to secure U.S. borders.

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