Friday, July 11, 2014

Border Children

I stood one night on the banks of the Rio Grande in Texas. I was concealed by some underbrush and accompanied by the United States Border Patrol. It didn’t take long to see a person swimming across illegally—a snapshot of America’s immigration challenges.

The latest crisis at the border is a surge of children, unaccompanied minors as they are called in legal terms. Tens of thousands have been caught attempting to enter our country illegally. Some have been placed under surveillance in warehouses. Others have been released. Very few have thus far been returned home.

The border children come from Central American countries with stagnant economies and ungoverned space. Desperate poverty in the region, along with signals from the Administration about decreasing deportations, has created conditions that cause families to risk sending their children north. Young boys and girls are placed on trains or given to smugglers known as “coyotes.” Many then suffer terrible abuse, falling victim to human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Most Nebraskans are rightfully outraged by this dramatic failure of our immigration policy. The question of how to properly care for and deal with the children is under intense debate. From my perspective, first the President should immediately call up the National Guard to assist the Border Patrol to bring the situation under control. Second, the message needs to be clearly and continuously sent that persons arriving illegally will be quickly returned. Third, we must demand that the governments of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala set up the proper conditions for the repatriation of children and adults, ensuring their safety and humane treatment. Once the framework is set and order is restored, we can address the exceptional needs of those who have a just reason for asylum.

The First Lady of Honduras has said we want our children back. I agree with her. Now we must fix this latest immigration problem so that children are protected and families are reunited. On one of the committees I have served, we have already begun working on the proper procedures for repatriation and stopping the flow.

America has always had a vibrant immigration system, welcoming people who are facing political persecution or dire hardship, seeking a new life with their families. But chaos and disorder at our border harms our country’s ability to be generous and is not fair to those who follow the law.

About the Author:

JEFF FORTENBERRY has served as the U.S. Representative for Nebraska's 1st congressional district since 2005. He is the Chairperson for the Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition and Forestry. Vice Chair of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights and has a seat on the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. He is a member of the following Caucus groups:

Civil War Battlefield Caucus - Congressional Biofuels Caucus - Congressional Farmer Cooperative Caucus - House Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Caucus - International Conservation Caucus - Sportsmen's Caucus.

Congressman Fortenberry has become the most knowledgeable representative on Capitol Hill for nuclear security issues.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Netanyahu Has Finally Had Enough From Hamas

אנחנו פועלים מול כמה חזיתות בעת ובעונה אחת. הלילה פעלנו נגד מטרות רבות של חמאס בעזה, והיעד של כל הפעולות שלנו הוא החזרת השקט והביטחון לכל אזרחי ישראל, ובראשם לתושבי הדרום. הניסיון מוכיח שברגעים כאלה יש לנהוג בקור רוח ובאחריות ולא בהתלהמות ובפזיזות. אנחנו נעשה כל מה שנדרש כדי להשיב את השקט והביטחון לדרום. בסוף השבוע אנחנו גם פעלנו בנחישות נגד ההתפרעויות בירושלים וביישובים ערביים. אנחנו נוקטים יד קשה מול פורעי חוק ומול מסיתים מכל צד שהוא. אין מקום במדינת ישראל ליידוי אבנים על שוטרים, אין מקום לזריקת בקבוקי תבערה, אין מקום לחסימת צירים או השמדת רכוש, אין מקום להסתות נגד עצם קיומה של מדינת ישראל. אי אפשר לאחוז בחבל הזה משני קצותיו. אי אפשר ליהנות מתשלומי ביטוח לאומי וקצבאות ילדים מצד אחד - ומצד שני להפר את החוקים הבסיסיים ביותר של מדינת ישראל. אני קורא למנהיגי הציבור הערבי לגלות אחריות, להתייצב בפני גל ההתפרעויות כדי להחזיר את השקט על כנו. מי שלא יכבד את החוק - ייעצר וייענש בחומרה. אני מבקש בהזדמנות הזאת בשם ממשלת ישראל לשלוח את הערכתי הרבה לשוטרים ולחיילים שעוסקים ללא לאות באבטחת ביטחונם של כל אזרחי ישראל.

"We are working on several fronts simultaneously. Overnight we were active against many Hamas targets in Gaza and the goal of all of our operations is to restore quiet and security to all of Israel's citizens, especially the residents of the south. Experience proves that at such times we must act responsibly and with equanimity, not hastily. We will do whatever is necessary to restore quiet and security to the south."

"Over the weekend we also took determined action against disturbances in Jerusalem and in Arab communities. We are taking a tough line against anyone who breaks the law and against inciters from whatever side."

"There is no place in the State of Israel for stone-throwing at police, throwing firebombs, blocking roads or destroying property, or incitement against the very existence of the State of Israel. This rope cannot be held from both ends. One cannot benefit from National Insurance payments and child allowances on the one hand and, on the other, violate the most basic laws of the State of Israel."

"I call on the leaders of the Arab public to show responsibility and come out against the wave of disturbances in order to restore quiet. Whoever does not abide by the law – will be arrested and punished severely."

"I would like to take the opportunity at this time, on behalf of the government, to send my great appreciation to the police personnel and soldiers for tirelessly dealing with the security of all Israelis."

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