Barack Obama ready to act alone over border crisis funding

Last Updated: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 05:35

Washington: President Barack Obama said on Friday he would seek to redeploy existing resources to tackle the child migrant crisis on the US border after Congress failed to approve additional funds to deal with the problem.

"I`m going to have to act alone, because we don`t have enough resources," Obama said. "We`ve run out of money."
Obama reiterated that the government required an urgent injection of funding to carry out basic functions at the border, which has been overwhelmed by the tide of young immigrants seeking to enter the United States illegally.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has warned that Immigration and Customs Enforcement could run out of money by mid-August, leaving Border Patrol cash-strapped by September as a result.

On July 8, Obama called on Congress to release an additional $3.7 billion to increase border security and hire additional immigration court judges.

Republican lawmakers opposed the move, however, while a $2.7 billion package proposed by Democrats in the Senate also failed.
House Republicans also failed to agree on a $659 million emergency plan, which was successfully stymied by ultra-conservative Tea Party Republicans.

"They say we need more resources, we need tougher border security in this area, where these unaccompanied children are showing up. We agree," said Obama.

"We put forward a supplemental to give us the additional resources in funding to do exactly what they say we should be doing. And they can`t pass the bill."

Since October, more than 57,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended crossing the US-Mexico border, about three-quarters of them from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras -- Central American countries where youths are fleeing poverty and gang violence.

AFP

First Published: Saturday, August 2, 2014 - 05:35

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