Sen. Graham: Cut Off Aid to Countries That Don't Keep Their Illegal Kids Out of the US

By Melanie Arter | July 7, 2014 | 2:23pm EDT

(AP Photo)

( – Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” proposed Sunday that the U.S. cut off aid to countries whose unaccompanied illegal minors enter the U.S. if those countries “don’t keep them and take care of them.”

“About a third of the little girls are raped in the process of getting here. It's a humanitarian problem, but it's apart from immigration reform. This is a specific problem created by an impression that if you get to America, you can stay. We have got to turn that impression around, send these children back to their homeland and tell countries in question if you don't keep them and take care of them, we're going to cut all aid off,” Graham said.

As previously reported, more than 50,000 unaccompanied illegal minors have crossed the border since January, and 60,000 to 90,000 additional such minors are expected to cross into the U.S. by the end of the year. Customs and Border Protectionreported a 99 percent uptick in the number of illegal minors crossing the southwest border in the last year.

Thomas Homan, executive associate director for ICE, enforcement and removal operations, testified before the House Judiciary Committee last month that 87 percent of unaccompanied illegal minors who crossed the border and were given notices to appear before an immigration court judge in the last five years still have no final orders, reported.

Graham said if the U.S. does not send these children back, it will “incentivize” people from that part of the world to keep sending their children to the U.S.

“We have to send them back, because if you don't, you're going to incentivize people throughout that part of the world to keep sending their children here,” Graham said.

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