Dangerous flash flooding impacts roads, Richmond airport

Obama official says at border: ‘We’ll send you back’

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Obama official says at border: 'We'll send you back'

ARTESIA, New Mexico (CNN) -- Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has something to say to people contemplating illegal migration to the United States: "We'll send you back."

Deportations will begin this week, he said.

It's a message the Obama administration wants to amplify more loudly now that it is wrestling with a huge influx of minors crossing the southern border -- 57,000 in the past nine months.

They're from troubled Central American countries and a lot are unaccompanied and many of those are young children.

It's all overwhelming already stressed immigration services as more and more kids find themselves caught in a bureaucratic limbo and a political firestorm.

Reforming an immigration system most in and out of Washington agree is broken is an all-but dead legislative issue in Congress now with midterm elections around the corner. But there is growing pressure on both to address the current influx of minors.

Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to fortify the border patrol and strengthen other programs for dealing with those crossing into the United States illegally.

But the Republican-led House is not expected to move fast on it and doesn't want to give Obama everything he wants. Some say tweaking a 2008 law combating immigrant trafficking might be enough to stem the flow.

Overwhelmed facilities

The political wrangling is all going on as new arrivals make their way to detention facilities like the one Johnson visited in Artesia, New Mexico. It currently houses about 400 immigrants, with more expected to arrive Friday night.

The White House has called the situation a "humanitarian crisis."

Republicans prefer to call it one of the Obama administration's making, and blame it for not being prepared and for an underwhelming response.

They liken it to the debacle associated with the underwhelming federal response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that was a nadir for Obama's Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.

But the administration says the influx was unexpected and that inaction by the Republican-led House on a bipartisan immigration reform plan approved by Senate has held up improvements that could be applied in this case.

Obama himself resisted calls, predominantly from Texas Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans, to visit the border during a trip to the Lone Star State this week. He declined, saying that he was working on the problem and wasn't interested in "photo ops."

Johnson, instead, showed up and delivered Obama's message.

"Our message to those who are coming here illegally, to those who are contemplating coming here illegally: 'We will send you back,'" Johnson said.

"People in Central America should see and will see that if they make this journey and spend several thousand dollars to do that we will send them back and they will have wasted their money," he added.

The New Mexico facility visited by Johnson opened June 27 at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center. It's capable of housing 700 people, and is being used now for adults and children who arrive as family units. They are subject to "expedited removal."

The vexing problem involves unaccompanied children, who have arrived in unprecedented numbers this year from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

Many are fleeing violence and other hardships. But others, especially Republicans, tie the influx to Obama's 2012 decision to ease deportations for children already in the country illegally.

Johnson said his agency is working to dispell "misinformation" by smugglers that the United States is giving a "free pass" to migrants.

"I think it's fair to say that a good number of (the migrants at the Artesia facility) were surprised that they were being detained," Johnson said. "I think that they expected to be apprehended and simply let go into the interior and they're surprised they're being detained and they're being send back so quickly."

The White House is promising due process, but Obama said on Wednesday that most would likely go back.

CNN's Mike Ahlers contributed to this report.


  • troy

    liar.its all this dude knows how do do.if you comment on how great of a president he is just wait til he has no more handouts for you cause these illegals take it all.bottom feeders

  • manalishi

    Everyone who voted for Barry Soertoro needs to pay for this themselves since it’s what they wanted. The freebie addicted “chumps” are going to freak when they realize that the illegal aliens get more benefits that the current parasites.

  • mbaker9105

    There is a legal way to immigrate to this country, as a lot of our, and to my genealogy research, ALL of my ancestors did. How frustrating it must be for the people doing it legally. Not only that, but as far as the working class goes, things like this is what keeps wages low. As long as there are illegals to hire who work hard, ask no questions, and do everything they’re told for fear of being found out, how are our own low skill low wage workers supposed to get ahead? Also, it will probably take a generation or two for these people to become truly productive members of society. Right now they are uneducated, most can’t speak the language, and basically a burden to the system when we should be spending these resources on our own needy citizens. I compare it to mixing hot water with cold water. What do you wind up with? Lukewarm water. They have already shown a lack of respect for this countries rule of law by sneaking in here. Granted, Europe basically came in and took this country from the natives. But that is how things were done back then, there was no government or semblance of a unified country/nation state back then. So that can be argued to death, but fact is now there is a Nation here, with laws, and it is the Governments responsibility to enforce the sovereignty of the nation by securing the borders. Simple as that. I know this nation to be the most kind and sacrificing people on the earth, but it can’t just be a come as you please deal. And the latin American countries are fully complicit in this.

  • Robbie

    Obama wants 3.7 billion to deal with the situation at hand.
    George W. Bush spent 10 billion a month liberating those grateful Iraqi people and ridding the world of his arsenal of sling shots. Now I fully expect to get spanked for this but I’m right.

  • john doe

    Anyone really believe that? Those are undocumented Democrat voters….bankrupting this country as usual

  • Steel Mill

    Fortress America. Ruled by fear.
    Turning the back on CHILDREN and MINORS.
    Recall that the law that is allowing these CHILDREN in was passed by both houses of CONGRESS and signed by then President BUSH.

  • Y

    Riiiiiiight. Who believe him? Who can believe in the US departments and agencies under his dictates? Can’t believe his words. Have to look at his deliberate actions that are just as illegal,
    lawless and terroristic as those he Champions, with Our Taxes; against US. What’s Laws & Constitution & Congress have to do with Obama Governance?

  • seetransparency

    With Government contracts signed in Jan, seems to indicate a coordinated, pre-planned,
    organized, orchestrated, set up, with deliberate, decisive staging for a known, anticipated, scheduled, event.

Comments are closed.