Border

Jun 21, 2014 1:24 AM by Sam Salzwedel

McCain: Mexico damaging relations over migrant children crisis

NOGALES - Sen. John McCain toured the Border Patrol facility that is holding about 1,000 children Friday.

He said the children are being treated well, but he blames the humanitarian crisis on the White House.

"First step would be for the President of the United States to announce that if you come here illegally, you can't stay," McCain said. "That message would get down. Right now, over radio and television, these Central American countries are telling them that they can get here and stay."

The children are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, but McCain also blames Mexico for not stopping them on their 2-week trip through their country.

"I called the Mexican ambassador and actually had a long conversation with him and said this and this ex-Marine who is being held, I said, ‘You're really damaging our relations,'" McCain said. "That's not good for Mexico or the United States."

The Marine he referred to was Andrew Tahmooressi, 25. On April 1 he said he accidentally crossed into Mexico with firearms and ammunition because he missed the last available U-turn in San Diego. He is still being held in a Mexican jail.

McCain also said Congress also holds some blame.

"If we had passed immigration reform, which had provisions for $8 billion in border security, for increased technology, which would give us surveillance and 90 percent of border control, which was in the legislation," McCain said. "Then I think this situation would not be what it is."

McCain said the federal government is considering sending some children another 1,000 miles north to a military base in Washington.

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