Rep. Sanchez: 'Nativist, Isolationist Voices' Are Saying, 'Send Them All Back'

By Susan Jones | July 15, 2014 | 5:22 AM EDT

Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) (AP File Photo)

( - A new "N-word" -- "nativist" -- has made its way into the immigration debate.

Americans who want the influx of Central American children returned to their homes are "nativist" and "isolationist," says Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

"As the United States, as a world leader, we are very good about telling other countries that they must accept refugees from Syria or Ethiopia or Darfur, but when it comes to a humanitarian crisis on our own border -- involving children, no less -- you hear this nativist, isolationist voices saying that, oh, just ship them all back, send them all back," Sanchez told MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell on Monday.

"And what's clear is that each one of these cases needs to be evaluated. They need to have due process."

The Central American children also need to be reunited with their parents who are in the United States illegally, Sanchez insisted:

"I might add that a big problem with why these children are coming too is because their parents have been here. And if we were able to pass comprehensive immigration reform -- something that a majority of Americans, regardless of political party, believe in -- that many of these children would qualify to be reunited with their parents, and their parents could come out of the shadows and get on a pathway toward citizenship."

Sanchez criticized Republicans for objecting to President Obama's $3.7 billion request to address the illegal immigration crisis on the Southwest border. Some of the money would be used to hire more immigration lawyers and judges.

"[C]hoking the funding to allow that process to go forward isn't going to expedite the removal of anybody," she said. "We need to fund the president's request to try to help process these children, find out who does qualify for refugee status or asylum and try to connect these children with their parents."

She said the current crisis has been "bubbling up for a long time." And now Republicans are "screaming with their hands up and their hair on fire that something needs to be done, while they continue to sit on their hands and do nothing. And it's unconscionable."

Sanchez said the only way to stop the flow of illegal aliens is for the United States to help stabilize the Central American countries from which the children are coming.

A recent New York Times editorial also used the word "nativist" to describe those who are protesting the illegal alien influx.