News / USA

Lawmakers React to Obama's Request for Border Funds

House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 9, 2014.
House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, July 9, 2014.
Cindy Saine

President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to deal with the humanitarian crisis of an influx of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border with Mexico is dominating discussion on Capitol Hill.

Democrats are calling for immediate action to fulfill his request, while most Republicans are blaming the Democratic president for the crisis and asking why he is not heading to the border.

House Speaker John Boehner met with members of his Republican caucus Wednesday to discuss the president’s request for emergency supplemental funds to deal with the child immigrant situation on the southwest border.

Sources inside the closed meeting say Boehner told members the House needs to act on the request before leaving for a long August recess.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Boehner said a group of Republicans who have been focusing on immigration issues and the House Appropriations Committee are reviewing the request, and that he will wait for their input. But he also again called for tougher action on border security:

“If we don’t secure the border, nothing is going to change," he said. "If you look at the president’s request, it is all about continuing to deal with the problem. We have got to do something about sealing the border and ending this problem so that we can begin to move on with the bigger question of immigration reform.”

House Democrats held a separate meeting, and their leaders came out calling for immediate action to comply with the president’s request.

“Yes, we need to pass this supplemental so that we can address the humanitarian crisis of children — these are children — who are coming across as refugees because of the violence they are facing in their homelands,” said Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY).

Homeland Security officials say the vast majority of an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied children who have crossed the border into the U.S. this year come from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where drug-related violence has escalated.

President Obama is visiting Texas for talks on the border issue Wednesday, but is not planning on traveling to the border.

A number of Republican senators condemned the president for this on the Senate floor, including John Cornyn of Texas.

“How can you have a humanitarian crisis, as the White House has called this, and not want to go see it for yourself? Maybe you will actually learn something?" he asked.

Obama administration officials say a number of top-level officials have recently visited border facilities housing the children, and that the president is well informed on conditions there.

The president has said he will take executive action on the larger issue of immigration reform because the Republican-led House of Representatives has not allowed a vote on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

The U.S. Senate passed immigration reform legislation one year ago.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Juan Chavez from: Massachusetts
July 13, 2014 11:52 PM
We need to send a message that illegal immigration is not going to be tolerated. We need to send these illegals back.

by: michelle from: chapman
July 09, 2014 6:45 PM
There is no issue bigger than the well being of 52,000 children. I don't care where they come from. They are here requesting our help.
In Response

by: 1worldnow from: Earth
July 10, 2014 3:30 AM
Thank you Michelle. Nice to hear a comment with common sense. People want us to spend the money to deport them. Then I say, kill 2 birds with 1 stone! Rounding up 52,000 illegals with criminal records, send them packing and help these kids!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisisi
X
March 06, 2015 12:28 AM
There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Winter Weather Strikes Eastern US...Again!

A new wintry blast has hit more than 20 states in the U.S. Midwest and Mid-Atlantic region, adding more snow to the piles from previous storms. Tired of shoveling snow, breaking the ice and dealing with accidents, flight delays and property damage, most Americans hope this is the last bout of cold for the season. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Myanmar's Traditional Fashion Choices Endure

The sartorial choices of Myanmar’s men and women quickly catch the eye of any visitor to the tropical Southeast Asian country. But at a time when Myanmar’s political and economic opening is bringing affordable western fashions to the masses, will the country’s unique fashion trends endure? VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Yangon explores that question.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More