ICYMI: Inhofe Joins Daily Rundown to Discuss President Obama’s DACA Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today joined MSNBC’s The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd to discuss the situation of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) being housed at Fort Sill in Oklahoma. Inhofe highlighted President Obama’s deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) program as the driving factor behind the significant influx of UAC that crossed the border illegally in the past two years.
Inhofe called on President Obama to issue a forward and direct warning to those in Central America that the United States will not grant amnesty to those coming into the country illegally or tolerate dangerous child-trafficking. Inhofe said, "Until the President reverses this decision and makes some sort of comment [like] 'you don’t want to take the risk of crossing all the way through Mexico, risking your lives to come to this country – and when you come here you’ve got to obey the law or we are not going to let you in..' That would stop it. That would stop it, Chuck.”
In 2012, President Obama announced the DACA program, which allows certain illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children to request deferred prosecutorial action for a period of two years, which can be renewed. Those who qualify will be safe from deportation, eligible to obtain work authorization, and eligible to receive a social security number as well as a driver’s license in nearly every state. On Wednesday, Inhofe cosponsored legislation introduced by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used to expand President Obama’s DACA policy and from continuing to grant amnesty or process work permits for illegal immigrants.
"HHS says we're not going to send them back,” said Inhofe. "So long as they have that assurance, more are coming in."
Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is housing up to 3,600 illegal immigrants on three military installations, including 1,200 at Ft. Sill in Lawton, Okla. Last Friday,Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel quietly agreed to allow HHS to extend and expand their contract to house UAC on military installations past the agreed upon October deadline and to house an addition 5,000 children on the installations.
"They're now saying that we can't close them down in October, they're going to have to stay until at least January,” said Inhofe about HHS recent request for DOD to house more UAC. "Well, you know, that is very disruptive on the mission that we are trying to carry out in our military. Our military has problems enough right now without taking on this burden. I'm going to be there to try to help them."