News / USA

Obama Seeks New Immigrant Deportation Authority

FILE - A Border Patrol agent stands at a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in southern Texas brush country north of Laredo.
FILE - A Border Patrol agent stands at a ranch fence line with children taken into custody in southern Texas brush country north of Laredo.
VOA News

U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress for new authority to deport Central American children who are illegally immigrating to the United States by the thousands.

“We have an urgent humanitarian challenge on the border,” the president said Monday, complaining that immigration reforms are languishing in Congress.

“America cannot wait forever for them to act. And that's why today I'm beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own without Congress.”

Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Obama said the U.S. has the "legal and moral obligation" to care for the 52,000 unaccompanied children and 39,000 women with children who have crossed into the United States along its southwestern border with Mexico since October.

But he asked Congress for new funding that could total $2 billion for a new "aggressive deterrence strategy" to carry out the deportations and curb the migration, mostly of immigrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

The recent influx has overwhelmed U.S. immigration officials, but under U.S. law the immigrants cannot be immediately sent back to their home countries.  Some of the children may be reunited with parents already living in the United States.

“Children aren’t slipping through, they’re being apprehended,” the president said, describing the phenomenon of youngsters presenting themselves to, rather than eluding, U.S. authorities at the southwestern border. 

“Our system … is so unclear that folks don’t know what the rules are,” he added.

Vice President Joe Biden visited Guatemala on June 20, discussing immigration policy and root causes of the violence that has sent some youngsters and women to seek refuge in the United States.

Obama said Secretary of State John Kerry would travel to the region this week.  Reuters news service said the Spanish EFE news agency reported that Kerry – traveling to Panama for Tuesday’s scheduled inagauration of President-elect Juan Carlos Varela  – also would meet with representatives of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to discuss resolutions to the crisis.

VOA's Luis Ramirez contributed to this story.

Watch related video from VOA's Zlatica Hoke:

Obama to Use Executive Action to Secure Southern US Borderi
July 01, 2014 4:12 AM
President Barack Obama has called the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children on the southwestern border of the United States a humanitarian crisis caused for the most part by the country's broken immigration system. The president has blamed Republican lawmakers for blocking his efforts to reform the immigration law, and said he will use an executive action to protect U.S. borders. Zlatica Hoke has more.

You May Like

Pakistan Among Developing Counties Hit Hard by Global Warming

Pakistani officials hope developed nations agree to scale back emissions, offer help in dealing with climate change

Video Speed, Social Media Shape Counterterrorism Probes

Speed is critical in effort to prevent subsequent attacks; demographics of extremists lend themselves to communicating, establishing profiles on digital platforms

Islamic State Oil Trade Seduces Friends, Foes Alike

Terrorist group rakes in up to $500 million a year in sales to customers such as Syrian government, US-supported rebels and Turkey

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigationsi
Katherine Gypson
December 01, 2015 10:06 PM
In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Social Media Aids Counter-Terrorism Investigations

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, officials carried out waves of raids and arrests to break up terror cells. As VOA's Katherine Gypson reports, social media can be a key tool for investigators.

Video Russia Marks World AIDS Day With Grim News

While HIV infection rates have steadied or even declined in many European countries, the caseload has grown rapidly in Russia, as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow. Over half of the new infections were transmitted through injection drug use.

Video Pakistan Hit Hard by Global Warming

As world leaders meet in Paris to craft a new global agreement aimed at cutting climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions, many developing countries are watching closely for the final results. While most developing nations contribute much less to global warming than developed countries, they often feel the effects to a disproportionate degree. As Saud Zafar reports from Karachi, one such nation is Pakistan. Aisha Khalid narrates his report.

Video With HIV, Can We Get to Zero?

The theme of this year's World AIDS Day is "Getting to Zero." The U.N. says new HIV infections have been reduced by 35 percent since 2000 and AIDS-related deaths are down by 42 percent since the peak in 2004. VOA's Carol Pearson takes a look at what it might take to actually have an AIDS-free generation.

Video Political Motives Seen Behind Cancelled Cambodian Water Festival

For the fourth time in the five years since more than 350 people were killed in a stampede at Cambodia’s annual water festival, authorities canceled the event this year. Officials blamed environmental reasons as the cause, but many see it as fallout from rising political tensions with a fresh wave of ruling party intimidation against the opposition. David Boyle and Kimlong Meng report from Phnom Penh.

Video African Circus Gives At-Risk Youth a 2nd Chance

Ethiopia hosted the first African Circus Arts Festival this past weekend with performers from seven different African countries. Most of the performers are youngsters coming form challenging backgrounds who say the circus gave them a second chance.

Video US Lawmakers Brace for End-of-Year Battles

U.S. lawmakers are returning to Washington for Congress’ final working weeks of the year. And, as VOA's Michael Bowman reports, a full slate of legislative business awaits them, from keeping the federal government open to resolving a battle with the White House over the admittance of Syrian refugees.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video After Terrorist Attacks, Support for Refugees Fades

The terrorists who killed and injured almost 500 people around Paris this month are mostly French or Belgian nationals. But at least two apparently took advantage of Europe’s migrant crisis to sneak into the region. The discovery has hardened views about legitimate refugees, including those fleeing the same extremist violence that hit the French capital. Lisa Bryant has this report for VOA from the Paris suburb of Cergy-Pontoise

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

As Thailand takes in the annual Loy Krathong festival, many ponder the country’s future and security. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

VOA Blogs