Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) sent the following letter to President Barack Obama regarding the surge of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) who have illegally entered the United States:

Dear President Obama:

As our country continues to experience an unprecedented surge of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) crossing our southwestern border, I write to express deep concern with your recent request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.   

Under your emergency supplemental request, almost half— $1.8 billion—will be used for shelter and other services for UACs here in the U.S., rather than expediting deportation proceedings and ensuring that UACs are safely reunited with family members in their home countries.  While additional funding may prove to be necessary– your request is simply not a plausible, long-term solution towards ending this crisis.  Any permanent fix must include stronger border security measures and a reexamination of your Administration’s policies that have no doubt contributed to this dire situation.

During the past six years, your Administration has bypassed Congress and implemented policies that have encouraged foreign nationals to break the law, enter our country illegally, and strain communities across our nation.   You recently stated that “our future rests” on the success of people brought to the United States illegally as children, who would qualify for citizenship if Congress passes the DREAM Act. But the flood of UACs crossing our borders with the understanding that they will receive leniency from the United States has contributed greatly to this humanitarian crisis. And it is of growing concern that it is a financial crisis as well.

Instead of working unilaterally to address this mounting issue, I encourage you to coordinate efforts between your Administration, Congress, and state and local officials to determine how to return UACs to their native countries in a humane way at a minimum expense to American taxpayers.  In several instances, not working with local officials has proven problematic, resulting in protests, the rerouting of illegals, and an increasing financial burden.  I also encourage you to consider sending the National Guard to free up Border Patrol agents so that they can once again focus on their primary mission— securing our border.

While we may disagree on how to best address immigration reform, we will exacerbate this problem if we don’t stand up and enforce immigration laws already in place.  I urge you to end policies that encourage young individuals to put their lives at risk to illegally enter this country.  I further ask that you work with Congress—Republicans and Democrats— to end this unsustainable course.