News / USA

Obama Says He Will Act Alone on US Border Crisis, Slams Congress

President Barack Obama speaks about lack of action in Congress, Aug. 1, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama speaks about lack of action in Congress, Aug. 1, 2014, in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington.
Cindy Saine

As House Republicans leaders scrambled to toughen up their border bills to win the support of their most conservative members, Democratic President Barack Obama blasted Congress for failing to send him an emergency funding measure to sign before lawmakers leave for a five-week August recess. 

House Republicans began Friday with a closed meeting in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, one day after a failed effort to pass a supplemental funding bill in response to an influx of children from Central America.  Even the most conservative members emerged optimistic that the two border bills would now be changed to win the 218 votes needed to pass.  Republican lawmaker Michele Bachmann said the bills now do what a core group of conservative Republicans wants:

“Stopping the invasion of illegal foreign nationals into our country,” she said.

No action in Senate

The Democratic-run Senate left town without passing a border bill.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid blasted House Republicans for adding to the agenda a second border bill that would end an Obama administration policy of allowing hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children years ago to stay.

“House Republicans will vote to deport children who have been living in the United States their entire lives, all in a pathetic attempt to appease the Tea Party,” he said.

President Obama criticized House members for crafting border legislation they know will never be taken up in the Senate and that he has said he would veto.

“House Republicans, as we speak, are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable versions of a bill that they already know is going nowhere,” he said.

The president said Congress is leaving him no choice but to act on his own.

“I am going to have to act alone because we don’t have resources.  We have already been very clear, we have run out of money,” he said.

Watch related video report by VOA's Celia Mendoza and Ramon Taylor

Border Patrol Members Discuss Dangers Facing Migrantsi
Ramon Taylor, Celia Mendoza
August 08, 2014 7:38 PM
As young, undocumented immigrants from Central America continue to come across the U.S.-Mexican border - in many cases fleeing poverty, crime and gang violence in their home countries - the men and women of the U.S. Border Patrol are on the front lines of the effort to deal with the situation. VOA's Celia Mendoza and Ramon Taylor recently rode along with members of the Border Patrol in Texas' Rio Grande Valley to talk about the dangers migrants encounter when attempting to cross the border.

Stopping the flow

Republican lawmakers blame the president for contributing to the influx of 57,000 children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras this year, saying his rhetoric about immigration reform has caused confusion, which criminal trafficking gangs have exploited. Republican Congressman Tom Cole said the right thing to do is to send a clear signal to deter children from making the dangerous journey to America.

“So we need to stop this flow.  We need to do in a humane and appropriate way,” he said.

House Democrats took to the floor in large numbers to oppose the border bills, calling them harsh and mean-spirited towards desperate children.  Democratic Congressman Luis Gutierrez said Hispanic voters would remember the way Republicans treated the Central American children for many elections to come:

“Because the way you treat one of us today is the way you have treated all of us, and we will remember that,” he said.

Analysts say the president will likely have to shift funds to provide food and shelter for the children at the border, and that members of Congress will likely face the border issue again when they return in September. 



You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Charles from: Fort Worth Tx
August 03, 2014 11:52 AM
What about the Americans who lost their unemployment benefits and now they don't have bus fare or gas money to go to interviews. I guess they don't count, you have to be an illegal immigrant in order for this countries support. So So Sad!
In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 04, 2014 11:46 PM
Absolutely True!

by: Nguyen Van Ry from: Viet Nam
August 03, 2014 9:51 AM
Ukraina: My view is unchanged on the Ukrainian file. I add some ideas for it now :
- I respect status of the long standing power of Rusia and i do not like hurting it.
- Sooner or later, Rusia will have to joint in to new custom of the new world. However, unchanged principles of Rusia may create some disadvantages for Rusia itself. I like creating sincere chances for Rusia to help them avoid a late train, but i myself can not do it alone. I hope The United States, European Union, Ukraina, Japan... and Rusia cooperate sincerely with eachother to end the Ukrainain file as soon as possible. However, Rusia should make a positve step as soon as possible to avoid blooding more. And oposite side should also not make more ties to isolate Rusia.
I appreciate idea for the national - unified conference in Lybie. I hope it will be come a successful conference. All the sides should take part in that conference unconditionally . The extremists should see that conference with a sociable spirit. i will mention it later.
Nguyen Van Ry - Viet Nam
In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 05, 2014 10:30 AM
Yes, I agree with you that there should be a peaceful settlement in the Ukraine with equal treatment of all citizens, whether pure Ukrainians or those of Russian ancestry who live near the eastern border. The U.S. should stay OUT of the Ukraine and not give it any military aid or any aid of any kind as long as the new laws exist that only pure Ukrainians can hold civil service jobs and Jewish people must now fill out a form and register with the government that they are Jewish! In fact, as long as the Svoboda Party that" flies in the face of all democratic principles" (presently holds KEY positions in the Ukrainian parliament), has any representation in the Ukrainian government, its country is in danger of facing an ethnic cleansing led by said party!

by: Nguyen van Ry from: Viet nam
August 03, 2014 9:28 AM
to mr Obama. mr Puotine. mr al Sissi, mr Francois Hollande:
I quite know the United states can not adopt a legal status for Hamas - islamic movement now. However, to facilitate for an enduring friend between Israel and Palestine , The United States may contact Hamas in a reasonable method to tune thier relationship. I under take that i respect Palestinian people and Hamas is one part of Palestine. , but i have also similiar responsibility to ensure peaceful lives for Israel people.
Hamas should minimize thier tensions on confrontation to Israel, should be the first side to respect ceasefire constantly. Israel should have also similiar responsibility. Thier differences can not be mellow in a short term. I repeat that there is no way than the way that they must co - exit ! I have been very interested in the hot international files but i can not do more in this Viet nam. I am always worry about security of the members of my family. many my relatives had been harmed under diguised artifices, they have been kept as hostages by secret plans for a long time and i could not protect them. Both of Israel and Hamas should know my anxieties. I can not take a journey out the world to search practical world because what things will i crop exept for unforgetable losses of my family ?

by: Patrick from: Ca
August 02, 2014 12:28 PM
At least there is some decency left in this country! We need to work with our neighbors to the south, it is beautiful, but was destroyed by the Reagan bush years! Time to start fixing the messes that the CIA created!
In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 3:12 PM
We do not have a dictatorship here in the United States. This is not Cuba. Pres. Obama needs to stop acting in his own, come in line with our Constitution and laws, and yield to the checks and balances, mainly of the legislative branch, whom we, the people elected, and our Founding Fathers created, to prevent tyranny of any form, especially an executive branch that is presently making decisions on its own!
In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 02, 2014 8:27 PM
GOD HELP US.... Obama acted alone without Congress in attacking Libya and killing Qaddafi in 2011, and everybody in the world knows how that turned out, don't they?.... (nobody in the world is safe in Libya from being killed, if they're a Libyan or a foreigner)..

And Obama bragged on the good job he'd done in attacking Libya and in helping kill Qaddafi when he "quote" said;... "We've protected thousands of people in Libya; We have not seen a single US casualty; There's no risk of additional escalation.. This operation is limited in time and in scope."...... How naïve Obama was and is, and because of him, Libya descended into unbelievable violence, killings, destruction and militia wars, and helped make it a failed state like Somalia..... (and now), Obama is going to fix the US border crisis on his own without Congress, (and naively believes), he can do anything worthwhile?..... like Libya?... God help us?

by: Phil Davis
August 02, 2014 9:55 AM
I hope Obama offers immunity to them all. Come this Fall there won't be a Democrat elected to any office in this land and those who are elected will be in a position to invalidate every commandment coming from this man who has an exaggerated sense of self importance.

by: Dianne
August 02, 2014 9:35 AM
If we can't even take care of legal Americans how are we to take care of sick and criminal illegals

by: meanbill from: USA
August 02, 2014 9:06 AM
Since the US border states can't stop the illegal immigrants from crossing into their states, (the remedy could be), build big dirt roads going north to the blue states, with food and free medical treatment and tents along the way..... (Lets see then), how fast the blue states join the red states and build the fence to stop illegals from crossing the border?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs