In Case You Missed It— Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) during a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing today questioned Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, USN about the 2014 migration crisis involving unaccompanied minors and the potential for a similar crisis to arise should American leaders send the wrong message to the families of these children. Excerpts from his questions can be found below. Additionally, a video of his questions is available for download here.
“I want to talk about the potential for migrant flows into the United States as we saw during the migrant crisis in the summer of 2014. Obviously, there are push factors involved given the crime and violence in Central America. But there are also pull factors involved as well. This is one reason why President Obama stated in 2014 that parents in Central America shouldn’t send their children to the United States through coyotes or human traffickers. Similarly, you see in Europe, after Chancellor Merkel said that Germany would take all migrants and refugees that there was a significant increase in the flows—not just from Syria and Iraq—but many other countries in Africa or Asia. Therefore, I am very troubled by what I heard in the Democratic debate last night. It’s easy to write off political debates as theater, but we’re the world’s superpower. There are only six people right now who are likely to be the next President of the United States, our next Commander-in-Chief, and last night, the two candidates on the Democrat side essentially said that they would never send any children back to their country of origin if they make it to the United States. What kind of message does that send to families in Central America and South America about the risk they are willing to undertake to the send their children to the United States through human traffickers and coyotes?”
“I don’t think it’s an especially moral policy what Chancellor Merkel has proposed in Europe or what we heard last night. We are essentially saying to people who are poor and in countries wracked by violence that if you can survive, you can stay here.”
“I think that statements by American leaders that essentially create a full employment opportunity for human traffickers are very damaging, not just for our country but for the young children that might be sent here.”