Beltway Insider: President Pressured by Border Kids Crisis; Israel/Gaza Cease Fire; Ukraine Crash Site

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President Obama has announced this week changes in immigration policy to address the humanitarian crisis that has evolved over the past months as unaccompanied children are crawling across the border into the United States in record numbers.

 

According to Gallup, President Obama's job approval, over the past week dropped four percentage points to 40% of those polled who approve of his effectiveness as President and those who disapprove of his effectiveness as President remained steady at 52%. 

President's Hand Forced By Border Kids Crisis

President Obama has remained committed to addressing the humanitarian crisis that is continuing to develop as hundreds of unaccompanied children, per day, are captured and detained as they arrive in the United States.

Over the past weeks, the President and Texas Governor Rick Perry have each proposed actions to minimize the flow of traffic through the highly traveled Rio Grande Valley.

Meeting in Texas, Republican Governor Perry expressed four areas of concern: the number of Border Patrol agents directly on the border; positioning some agents too far from the border to be effective; the lengthy process for children coming from countries other than Mexico; and the length of administrative processing within the immigration judicial system.

The President discussed the meeting and said of Governor Perry "He first described two of the crucial components of this ongoing crisis. First, the surge of unaccompanied children, and children with adults, is occurring in one concentrated sector at the border -- the Rio Grande Valley. Second, many of these children and their parents are not looking to evade law enforcement; rather, they are being apprehended in large numbers."

As both the President and Governor Perry agree on increased border control and presence neither have determined which is more viable. Governor Perry's request places boots on the ground immediately and president Obama who also agrees the Rio Grande Valley needs an increase in border control has sent a request to Congress for 100,000 more border agents.

As this congress is noted as being the least effective in history, the delay for the increase in border agents will inadvertently or intentionally contribute to additional illegal's making the trip and also the possibility of many more dying before the arrival.

Obama has continued to address the issue of immigration as the face has changed to force the United State to soften its hard-line stance of deporting the illegal's by sending the most vulnerable and innocent to gain a foothold.

Immigration, a complex, divisive and multi-faceted issue now splits again into unaccompanied children and adults.

President Pressured by Border Kids Crisis

President Obama has met this week with President Perez Molina of Guatemala, President Hernandez of Honduras, and President Sanchez Ceren of El Salvador as Border Kids have become the new face of illegal immigration.

The outcome of the Presidential meetings included a shared responsibility between nations for the migrant children, "The Administration remains greatly concerned by the numbers of unaccompanied children who are crossing into the United States. These children are some of the most vulnerable, and many become victims of violent crime, gang recruitment, exploitation, or sexual abuse along the dangerous journey.  This is a humanitarian matter and our first priority is to make sure these children are housed, fed, and receive any necessary medical treatment," the statement read.

Outlining a shared responsibility the leaders also agreed to work closely in addressing migration attempts and human smugglers.

The Presidents have agreed to "implement public awareness campaigns on the dangers of irregular migration, increase their consular presence on the border, and strengthen their enforcement efforts against smuggling organizations. In addition, the United States is working in close coordination with each country to ensure the safe, orderly, and dignified return of their citizens and to ensure adequate repatriation and reintegration resources in each country."

 With the hopes of calling attention to the plight of children through the Latin Americas by sending them, alone, on the arduous journey, parents who are hoping for reunification in the United States risking the most vulnerable for the chance the U.S. will soften its policy and keep the children.

 Children throughout South America are faced with including poverty, hunger, and illiteracy, abduction, slavery, violence and even death. Sending them alone or with strangers, only increase the chances these children will die before they enter the United States.

The President has made statement throughout the week, indicating the small, loopholes in immigration policies that for reason of refugee status the children may be given a different status.

President Obama's immigration reform policy is exhaustive and as this phase deals with post-entry and interception at the border his concerns especially as the surge is children the policy is facing editing to adapt to  "this surge of individuals that we've seen from Central America, and to ensure that their basic humanitarian needs are met.  That is a requirement that is in line with the law; it is in line with the values of this country, particularly when we're talking about children," Earnest said.

Israel/Gaza Cease Fire

Over the past week Israel and Gaza have continued targeting high population areas, in the month long escalation, initiated over the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens, as a delicately held cease fire proposed by the Egyptian government last week, fell apart.

The President underscored in a released statement "The United States' strong condemnation of Hamas' rocket and tunnel attacks against Israel and reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself.  The President also reiterated the United States' serious and growing concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, as well as the worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza," the statement read.

President Obama has sent Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to push for an "in immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas in Gaza."

As the escalation drags on, world leaders are looking toward Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cautiously approach a cease-fire with optimism, basically asking the ally to allow cooler heads to prevail, even as the official policy of the United States agrees with the defense of the Israeli homeland.

"What this administration believes is that the Israeli government has the right to defend their citizens.  And they have chosen to take some military action to try to provide for the protection of their citizens, and that military action is being conducted against a network of tunnels that Hamas has constructed to try to give them access to Israeli civilians.  It's also being conducted against a range of rocket-firing sites that are used to aim rockets at innocent Israeli civilians," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

As of press time Israel has agreed to the cease-fire while waiting for Hamas to end all military strikes.

Ukraine Crash Site

Malaysian Airline officials have announced investigative access to the crash site in flight MH17 have been severely hampered by Russian rebel forces who have maintained a stronghold along Ukraine's Eastern border.

After a week of negotiation with Ukraine officials and Russian Separatists forces, for the single purpose of recovery and respectfully returning the remains to the families Malaysian Air officials have announced they have successfully brokered a deal which allows international teams of investigators access to the vast debris field.

"Pursuant to the earlier agreement between Prime Minister Najib Razak and Alexander Borodai, leader of the separatist forces, Mr. Borodai today agreed to allow a deployment of international police personnel to enter the crash site," the statement read.

From all accounts all 298 passengers and crew aboard the ill-fated jet have been returned to the Netherlands and after positive identification will be released to family members.

Prime Ministers from The Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia are unified in the recovery effort and investigation and have agreed to work closely to deploy a team of international investigators to the site.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib announced a three point deal with Mr. Borodai, leader of the rebel forces, in which "they have agreed to transfer the black boxes to Malaysia, handover the human remains to international officials and grant fill access to the crash site for international investigators."

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has announced the creation of a DMZ Zone along the crash site area which effectively demilitarizes, meaning no Ukrainian military personnel, installations or activities, will be permitted in the area cordoned and designated as "Malaysian Air Crash Zone."  

The agreement in no way detracts from the ultimate goal of determining and bringing to justice those responsible.

White House Response

Obama, along with G7 leaders have remained outraged and determined to assist the investigation and bring to justice the parties and government responsible for the intentional downing of MH17.

"If Russia continues to violate Ukraine's sovereignty and to back these separatists, and these separatists become more and more dangerous and now are risks not simply to the people inside of Ukraine but the broader international community, then Russia will only further isolate itself from the international community, and the costs for Russia's behavior will only continue to increase," the President said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publically stated he supports a fair and full investigation. His actions, however, as well as previous statements including honoring the outcome of the May 25, 2014 Ukraine elections, lend to the conclusion that his words are simply for the world stage.

 "The burden now is on Russia to insist that the separatists stop tampering with the evidence, grant investigators who are already on the ground immediate, full and unimpeded access to the crash site.  The separatists and the Russian sponsors are responsible for the safety of the investigators doing their work.  And along with our allies and partners, we will be working this issue at the United Nations today," the President said.

The geopolitical issue which has become MH17, is only one more for the Krelim, the world however, the remains, site and investigation need to be treated as humanly as Putin would request if a Russian airliner were downed inside another country.

Air Algerie Flight 5071

President François Hollande of France has announced a three day mourning period for the victims of Air Algeria Flight AH5071 that crashed in route from Algeria to

From all accounts the doomed flight lost contact with Air Traffic control 50 minutes after take-off after asking to re-route due to weather.

Although not confirmed, the general consensus remains closely aligned with a weather related catastrophe and although officials have not ruled out other possibilities authorities remain relatively certain the doomed flight flew into a sandstorm which is common for the area.

All 116 passengers, 51 of whom were French citizens, were killed upon impact.

The passenger list also registered fourteen nationalities including 27 people from Burkina Faso, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, four Germans, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukrainian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian. The crew were listed as citizens of Spain.

 

For more information on President Barack Obama: www.whitehouse.gov

Sources: Whitehouse.org, Wikipedia.com, Malaysiaairlines.com,

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