Should US cut foreign aid to pay for illegal immigrant kids?

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," July 16, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

STUART VARNEY, GUEST HOST: We don't know if they're here to stay, but for those 57,000 illegal immigrant minors, we will have to pay. That's why Tennessee Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn says, cut off the countries from which they're coming.

Congresswoman, thanks for joining us.

REP. MARSHA BLACKBURN, R-TENN.: Good to be with you.

VARNEY: You're talking about cutting off aid that America gives to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Is that correct?

BLACKBURN: That is correct.

What is have said, look, say, OK, you have all these children from Ecuador, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras who are coming in. So we're going to charge back your foreign aid account, saying you're going to pay this back first.

And if you say violence is the number one issue, which is what some of these countries are claiming and saying people are trying to escape the violence, then, fine, let's direct that DEA money, USAID money, the foreign aid, to address those problems.

But what they need to realize -- and I think it's smart for the president to realize we are not going spend another $3.7 billion that we do not have to address a problem and not deal with these root causes, and the root cause is, you have to secure the Southern border. The $3.7 billion does not address the root causes. So let's charge it back to these countries.

VARNEY: Well, all of us, I think, have to ask, do we want to be harsh to these children who are coming across the border, fleeing drugs, violence, and sex crimes in their home country? Do we wish to be harsh? Have you asked yourself...

BLACKBURN: Oh, not at all.

VARNEY: Have you asked yourself that question? Because I think all Americans are asking this.


VARNEY: What do want to do with these children?

BLACKBURN: Absolutely.

And that is an appropriate question. And I have great compassion for these children. And, Stuart, I was in Fort Sill at the detention center there this weekend. Congressman Bridenstine and I went. And I have got to tell you, it is not compassion to have these children in, and then release them to somebody that is a sex trafficker or a human trafficker or to a gang.

And when you talk to the caseworkers in the facilities, they will tell you, they know that many of these children are being trafficked. And it is not compassionate, it is very harsh to turn them loose to these individuals. Look, the people that -- these children have a name and a phone number.

And you don't know if they're -- you're releasing them to a criminal illegal alien. You do not know the background of many of these individuals, because many of them are in the country illegally. They should not be released to these individuals where you don't know who these individuals are.

They need to go back home to their countries, to their parents, and the countries need to accept a responsibility in this and the situation for the environment there in their country.

VARNEY: Now, Marsha, the president proposes almost the direct opposite of your proposal. He wants to give $294 million to these Central American governments, so that they can use that money to persuade their own people not to come up here. You just think that that absolutely would not work?

BLACKBURN: I don't think it would work.

I think the number one thing the president needs to do is to rescind his 2012 executive order. He did it in June of 2012, saying he would not deport the illegally entered minor children, and that needs to be rescinded. He needs to send a strong message to these countries that the individuals who come here are going to go back home.

What he needs to do is to tighten up -- he has released all these criminal illegal aliens, 36,000 in 2013 alone. They have got over 88,000 convictions against them, murder, rape, sex, drugs. You name it, Stuart. He needs to stop with that kind of prosecutorial -- I don't know, whatever you want to call it.

VARNEY: We got it.

BLACKBURN: He just needs to...

VARNEY: We hear it.

BLACKBURN: He needs to get this stopped.

VARNEY: Marsha Blackburn, Republican, Tennessee, thanks for joining us.

BLACKBURN: Thank you.


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