With the Republican-controlled House of Representatives refusing to take action on immigration reform and after over 50,000 child migrants having crossed the southern United States border since late last year, the billionaire Sheldon Adelson, a casino mogul who is a big Republican donor, has teamed up with fellow billionaires, Warren Buffett, America's best known investor, and Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft, to lambaste Congress on immigration inaction.
In an op-ed in today's New York Times, they do not mince words:
CNN reports that it's only going to get worse unless Congress sanctions new funding, administration officials warned Thursday about the flood of Central American children illegally entering the United States from Mexico.
Jeh Johnson, Homeland Security secretary, told the Senate Appropriations Committee that $3.7bn in emergency funding requested by President Barack Obama anticipated up to 90,000 of the unaccompanied minors this fiscal year, which ends September 30, and another 145,000 in fiscal year 2015.
So far, the 57,000 who crossed the Texas border in the past nine months have overwhelmed the immigration system, causing overcrowded holding facilities and a huge backlog of cases awaiting hearings that can take years to schedule.
"Doing nothing is not an option," Johnson said, noting the increased demand for his department's services would cause US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to run out of money next month while Customs and Border Protection would burn through its annual funding by mid-September.
Last year the US Senate passed by a 68-32 vote a reform bill and the billionaires say they support the strengthening of border policing and the bill's "sensible plan that would have allowed illegal residents to obtain citizenship, though only after they had earned the right to do so."
They praised a provision of the Senate bill that would remove a cap on the number of work visas awarded to legal immigrants who got graduate degrees in science, technology, engineering or maths from a US university.
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