Tonight, Homeland Security Secretary Jeff Johnson and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell are holding a private briefing for all senators.
The briefing comes as part of the Obama Administration’s push this week to try to persuade lawmakers to approve the president’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the surge in unaccompanied minors coming in from Central America.
Arizona Republican Senator Jeff Flake will be at the briefing tonight and joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to share his thoughts on the president’s proposal, and how to address the situation at the border.
Interview Highlights: Jeff Flake
On what needs to be done to stem the flow of unaccompanied children
“There needs to be a change to the 2008 law. The unaccompanied minors need to be treated the same whether they’re from Guatemala or Mexico. That will go a long way toward giving the president the tools for dealing with this situation.”
On what would be different if immigration reform had passed in the House
“The situation, I believe, would be better. One, we would have increased resources at the border, including judges and people in the legal system to move these cases more quickly. Plus, if we have a legal framework for individuals from these countries to come here as a legal guest worker and then return home. Then there would be less of a need to bring family along.”
On protesters in Oracle, Ariz. who intended to block buses of children
“There are a lot of people frustrated — states, governors, elected officials — that there doesn’t seem to be the coordination and consultation that should exist between the federal government and local governments. Having said that, I think it was unfortunate and I hope that people who are leading those kind of protests would reconsider. I don’t think it speaks well for us.”