Obama Prods GOP On Border Issue, Cites Progress - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Obama Prods GOP On Border Issue, Cites Progress

Posted: Updated:
Washington, D.C. -

(FOX 11 / AP) With one week left before Congress' August recess, President Barack Obama is prodding Republicans to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families from Central America, but with chances dimming that border legislation will reach his desk before the break, he also is focusing on other ways to stem the flow.

GOP leaders are working against time to find a consensus within their party to deal with more than 57,000 children and other migrants who have arrived since October, mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Obama's demand for congressional action comes as GOP lawmakers are attempting to coalesce behind a narrow package of changes, including sending National Guard troops to the border, increasing the number of U.S. immigration judges and changing a law so that migrant youths arriving by the tens of thousands could be sent home more quickly.

The package would cost less than $1 billion, several lawmakers said, far less than the $3.7 billion Obama requested to deal with the crisis.

Obama, who met this past week with presidents from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, said the U.S. has compassion for the migrant children, but those who do not have a proper claim to remain in the United States will be turned back. At the same time, the regional leaders said the president offered them assurances that the rights of those children would be observed.

"It is my hope that Speaker Boehner and House Republicans will not leave town for the month of August for their vacations without doing something to help solve this problem," Obama said Friday after meeting with Vice President Joe Biden and three presidents from Central America.

Obama played down a proposed pilot program that his administration is considering that would give refugee status to young people from Honduras. White House officials said the plan, which could be expanded to Guatemala and El Salvador, involves screening youths in their home countries to determine whether they qualify for refugee status.

Obama said such an effort would affect only a small number of asylum seekers.

"There may be some narrow circumstances in which there is humanitarian or refugee status that a family might be eligible for," he said. "If that were the case it would be better for them to apply in-country rather than take a very dangerous journey up to Texas to make those same claims. But I think it's important to recognize that that would not necessarily accommodate a large number of additional migrants."

Obama applauded efforts in Central America to conduct public awareness campaigns on the dangers of making a long trek to the U.S. border and to strengthen police efforts against smuggling operations. Separately, the Department of Homeland Security said it was boosting spending for law enforcement agencies in the Rio Grande Valley. The money would permit local police to support Customs and Border Protection by enhancing security in the region.

Conservatives also expressed concerns that anything the House passed could become a vehicle for the Senate to attach conditions House Republicans oppose, including the Senate-passed comprehensive immigration reform bill with a path to citizenship for millions.

House leaders and Senate Republicans have ruled that out, but conservative concerns were such that Speaker John Boehner told his conference it would not happen.

Several House Republicans said there has been some discussion of holding a vote, in concert with action on the border, to overturn an earlier Obama directive on immigration that deferred deportation for certain immigrants brought here illegally as children.

It's unlikely such legislation will reach Obama before the break. Senate Democrats oppose policy changes that would return migrant children to their countries without judicial hearings. House Republicans insist on those changes as a condition for approving any emergency money.

White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer said Obama supports policy changes that would give the administration more authority to turn back Central American migrants at the border. But he said current proposals in Congress, including a bipartisan plan proposed by Texas Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar and Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn, do not meet White House standards of deterring illegal migration while protecting legitimate claims for asylum from border crossers.

  • Political NewsMore>>

  • Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption case goes to jury

    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption case goes to jury

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:02:25 GMT
    The corruption case that could send former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife to federal prison was in the hands Tuesday of jurors who must decide whether the couple sold the influence of the office to a wealthy vitamin executive seeking legitimacy for his company's signature product.
    The corruption case that could send former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife to federal prison was in the hands Tuesday of jurors who must decide whether the couple sold the influence of the office to a wealthy vitamin executive seeking legitimacy for his company's signature product.
  • Ex-Va. Gov says he knows in heart he's innocent

    Ex-Va. Gov says he knows in heart he's innocent

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:33:08 GMT
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he's innocent of the federal corruption charges he's facing.
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he's innocent of the federal corruption charges he's facing.
  • Rolex passed among jurors in ex-Va. gov trial

    Rolex passed among jurors in ex-Va. gov trial

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:08:18 GMT
    The requests for lavish gifts were frequent. Jonnie Williams — the star witness in a corruption trial against the former Virginia governor and his wife — was being asked for everything from a joy ride in his Ferrari to stock in the company he led.
    The requests for lavish gifts were frequent. Jonnie Williams — the star witness in a corruption trial against the former Virginia governor and his wife — was being asked for everything from a joy ride in his Ferrari to stock in the company he led.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Hagel, Dempsey Defend US Plan To Target Islamic Extremists

    Hagel, Dempsey Defend US Plan To Target Islamic Extremists

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:34 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:34:56 GMT
    The nation's top military leader told Congress on Tuesday that if President Barack Obama's expanded military campaign to destroy Islamic extremists fails, he would recommend that the United States consider deploying American ground forces to Iraq.
    The nation's top military leader told Congress on Tuesday that if President Barack Obama's expanded military campaign to destroy Islamic extremists fails, he would recommend that the United States consider deploying American ground forces to Iraq.
  • Mideast Complexities Confound US Coalition Effort

    Mideast Complexities Confound US Coalition Effort

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:23 AM EDT2014-09-15 14:23:05 GMT
    The Middle East has confounded outsiders for years, so it is no surprise that another U.S.-led project with a straightforward goal - destroying a marauding organization of extremists - is bumping up against age-old rivalries and a nod-and-a-wink-style political culture.
    The Middle East has confounded outsiders for years, so it is no surprise that another U.S.-led project with a straightforward goal - destroying a marauding organization of extremists - is bumping up against age-old rivalries and a nod-and-a-wink-style political culture.
  • Can President Obama Wage War Without Consent Of Congress?

    Can President Obama Wage War Without Consent Of Congress?

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-09-12 14:38:11 GMT
    As a U.S. senator from Illinois running for the White House in 2007, Barack Obama sponsored a resolution to prohibit President George W. Bush's administration from taking military action against Iran unless it was explicitly authorized by Congress.
    As a U.S. senator from Illinois running for the White House in 2007, Barack Obama sponsored a resolution to prohibit President George W. Bush's administration from taking military action against Iran unless it was explicitly authorized by Congress.
Powered by WorldNow
Untitled

WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
5151 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20016
Main Number: (202) 244-5151
Newsroom: (202) 895-3000
fox5tips@wttg.com

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices