Thousands of children have flocked to America's southern border, drawing cries of crisis from lawmakers and border-state officials even as the Republican-run House insists that immigration legislation will not move through Congress this election year.
Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said the department is taking "special considerations" when it comes to the record numbers of unaccompanied minors, placed by their parents in smugglers' hands to flee the violence terrorizing Central America's Northern Triangle. Though Johnson stopped short of saying whether the majority of these kids will be deported, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday that most unaccompanied minors will not qualify for humanitarian relief and will likely be sent back to their home country.
While both the Right and the Left agree that an overhaul to the immigration system is needed, House Speaker John Boehner said distrust of the president makes it impossible to move forward on legislation this session.
That hasn't stopped members of Congress, and others, from floating proposals. Here are a few of the ideas raised in recent weeks to grapple with what's now being called a humanitarian crisis.
CUTTING OFF AID. A bill introduced last week by Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, would suspend foreign aid to El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico until those countries have taken action deemed sufficient to mitigate the number of children illegally entering the United States. It's an effort to "hold our southern neighbors accountable," the lawmaker said in a statement. In a similar vein, Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., introduced legislation Thursday to halt nonsecurity assistance to Mexico until the border is secure.