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    Posted July 17, 2014 by
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    The Humane Act- An Answer to the Humanitarian Crisis at the Border?

    The newest solution to the border crisis is The Humane Act sponsored by Republican Senator John Cornyn, and Democrat Representative Henry Cuellar.

    This duo’s Human Act would speed up the process by which these unaccompanied minors would have their cases heard by a judge. I believe there is a 7 day waiting period for a case to be heard and then a judge must rule within 72 hours. Cuellar stated that there are currently 375,000 children waiting for a judicial hearing.
    To me, this Act would be in the spirit of our 6th Amendment, the right to a speedy trial; currently it is taking from 3-5 years for these cases to be heard. That is a long time to live in limbo in my opinion, can you imagine being here for 3-5 years, going to school here, getting used to the comforts that the US offers and then finding out years later that you have to go back? That seems pretty cruel to me. The bill also allows for “voluntary Departure”; these youths would be allowed to waive their immigration hearings and be returned to their countries of origin almost immediately.

    I thought this act sounded pretty good, but of course there is opposition. Senator Robert Menendez said 72 hours was “insufficient time for people seeking asylum for endemic violence and other social ills back home to make a case to an immigration judge.” He might have a point, 3 days is pretty fast, but three years or more is pretty ridiculous in my opinion. Maybe they could give them a week or two?

    Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas was also critical of the bill saying that the legislation “would almost certainly condemn thousands of kids to return to a situation that may be harmful or deadly to them and that’s unconscionable”. He was also very critical of the “voluntary departure” component of the bill, suggesting that these kids could not understand their situation enough to waive their choice.

    Cornyn defended the bill by saying that it did not deny anyone the right to seek asylum if they have credible fears of persecution if returned to the country of origin.
    I guess what we have to decide is living in a country that is controlled by ruthless drug cartels a credible reason for seeking asylum in the US. For some it appears that is the case and for many other vocal Americans not so much.

    While this Act many not be perfect, I am glad to see a bipartisan effort to do something that might actually help the situation. I hope that those that oppose the Act will not demand that it be scrapped but be willing to tweak it so that we can get these kids and our country on some sort of path to deal with this situation.


    What do you think of the Humane Act? Good? Bad? Or somewhere in between?
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