News / USA

White House: Most Children at Border to Be Sent Home

FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo shows children detainees sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas.
FILE - This June 18, 2014, file photo shows children detainees sleeping in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas.
Reuters

The White House said on Monday that most unaccompanied minors flooding into the United States from Central America will not be allowed to stay as the Obama administration prepares to ask Congress for $2 billion to address the border crisis.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said most of the border-crossers would not qualify to stay in the United States.

Those who possibly could get asylum are children who have been victims of domestic abuse. Minors who fled because of gang-related violence could have a harder time qualifying, according to immigration experts.

The strong warning came as the White House is expected to lay out on Tuesday what it wants in emergency funding from the U.S. Congress to deal with the flood of children.

The money would go toward more detention facilities to house the children and additional immigration judges and asylum officials to expedite hearings. A Justice Department official told Reuters the aim is to hire 30 more immigration judges to help tackle the case load.

The spending bill could face some rough going in Congress, however.

Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, the senior Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee, told reporters any measure should be paid for with cuts to other government programs.

“Absolutely it ought to be offset,” Shelby said, adding that money could be taken from Obama's landmark healthcare law, a move that likely would be opposed by the White House and congressional Democrats.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras have been caught trying to sneak over the U.S.-Mexico border since October, double the number from the same period the year before. Thousands more have been apprehended with parents or other adults.

Many are fleeing extreme poverty, gangs and drug violence, as well as responding to rumors spread by smugglers that children who reach the U.S. border will be allowed to stay.

Separately, the administration plans to ask Congress to alter a 2008 law on human trafficking to speed up deportations. Some of President Barack Obama's Latino allies oppose this because they see the children as victims.

Obama is due to visit Texas this week to raise money for Democratic candidates running in November congressional elections, but the White House said he would not visit the border, a sign that officials do not see a political upside.

While White House officials anticipate some Republican criticism over the request, one senior House Republican aide, who asked not to be identified, said the measure could attract less opposition than some previous appeals.

“There is a feeling that it's clear more resources are needed” to deal with as many as 150,000 unaccompanied minors, who could arrive during the current fiscal year, the aide said.

A senior Senate Republican aide, however, said party support for an emergency spending bill would not be known until senators see details.

The House and Senate can alter Obama's request before sending him any legislation to be signed into law.   

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

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