(KFYI News) – Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain says the best way to solve the "humanitarian and security crisis" on our border is to repeal a Bush-era law that McCain says is behind the flood of immigrant children, as well as repatriating them to their home countries without delay.
In a news conference at his Phoenix office on Friday, McCain said the kids crossing the border into Texas from Mexico are exploiting a provision of a 2008 law on human trafficking, signed into law by President George W. Bush. The "Trafficking Victims Prevention Act" allows people who are victims of violence or sex trafficking to apply for asylum when they reach the US border.
McCain says that provision needs to be repealed or revised, such "that they come to our embassy or consulate in the country in which they live and apply for asylum" and then they'll be notified whether their request is granted.
McCain says another effective way to discourage the border crossers is to return them home immediately. "The only way that this is going to stop is if planeloads of children arrive back in the countries in Central America that they came from, and their parents see that the three, four, five, six, seven thousand dollars that they have paid to the human traffickers is wasted."
Asked about the cost of such a program, McCain said "It would cost us very little to fly these people back, as compared to the cost of taking care of them while they are here."
He added that fellow Republicans he's talked to in the Senate agree that they don't support President Obama's request for billions of dollars to deal with the issue. "We will not agree to the additional funds, the $3.7 billion, most of which is to care for these children, until we can assure the American people that it's gonna stop."
McCain said he would support suggestions to deploy National Guard troops to the border to stop illegal border crossers. "They do not carry weapons and they do not apprehend people, but their very presence on the border is a deterrent to those who cross the border."