US: No Path to Citizenship for Illegal Child Immigrants
Johnson did not say so in the letter, but some of the children could be allowed to stay if their parents are already in the U.S.
He said “the desire to see a child have a better life in the United States is understandable,” but he said the risks of illegal migration “are far too great.”
The Homeland Security chief warned the parents that it is dangerous to send their children on the long journey to the U.S., and that criminal smuggling networks have no regard for their safety. He said that for the smugglers, “your child is a commodity to be exchanged for a payment.”
An estimated 11 million illegal immigrants are already in the U.S. and immigration policies are politically contentious. Last year, the Senate approved reforms that could over years allow many of the illegal immigrants to become U.S. citizens, but the legislation has languished in the House of Representatives and no votes on reforms have been scheduled.
Johnson said only children who arrived in the U.S. before mid-2007 are eligible to stay.