Border Money Request Won't Include Immigration Policy Change - KMSP-TV

Border Money Request Won't Include Immigration Policy Change

Posted: Updated:
Washington, D.C. -

(FOX 11 / AP) President Barack Obama is preparing to ask Congress for emergency spending of more than $2 billion to deal with the crisis of unaccompanied kids at the Southern border, but for now he won't seek legal changes to send the children back home more quickly.

That decision comes after immigration advocates objected strongly to administration proposals to speed thousands of unaccompanied minors back home to El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where many face gang violence.

The White House insists the kids must be returned. Administration officials say they are still working on ways to do it faster, but say that the request for specific legislative changes will move on a separate track than the emergency spending request Obama is sending to Congress on Tuesday.

Obama plans to discuss the crisis with faith and local leaders during a political fundraising visit to Texas Wednesday, but he is resisting calls to visit the border for a firsthand look. The White House has invited Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who is among those urging Obama to get to the border while he's in the state, to Wednesday's meeting in Dallas.

Decoupling the spending request from the contentious policy changes, which faced pushback from Obama's own political party, may give the emergency money a better chance of getting through Congress.

The money Obama is seeking would be for immigration judges, detention facilities, legal aid and other items that could address the situation on the border, which the administration has termed a humanitarian crisis.

The decision to submit the spending request apart from the policy changes was confirmed Monday by two Capitol Hill aides who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan by name ahead of the formal announcement.

An administration official said the White House has already advised the congressional leadership that it wants expanded authority and said it is still seeking those policy changes. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the request before it is announced, said the administration always intended to send the request for money separately.

The developments underscore the delicate position the administration finds itself in as it risks alienating allies by pursuing changes to turn the migrant kids around more quickly. More than 50,000 have arrived since October, in many cases fleeing violence at home, but also drawn by rumors that they can stay in the U.S.

Congressional Republicans blame Obama policies for the confusion; Obama administration officials dispute that.

As lawmakers return to Washington this week from a weeklong July 4th recess, Obama's spending request is set to be a focus, with the Senate Appropriations Committee scheduling a hearing to examine it. It's not yet clear how lawmakers will react to the request, although aides seem optimistic it will get through the Democratic-controlled Senate in the coming weeks.

The issue has become a political problem for Obama that looks likely to follow him this week to Texas, where he is traveling primarily to raise money for congressional Democrats. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated Monday that Obama had no plans to visit the border, but Obama faced renewed criticism from Republicans over that decision.

"President Obama needs a wakeup call - and visiting the border and seeing firsthand the severity of this ongoing crisis is that wakeup call," Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said in remarks prepared for delivery on the Senate floor.

The developments all come as Obama has declared comprehensive immigration legislation dead in Congress and announced plans to proceed on his own by executive action to make whatever fixes he can to the nation's dysfunctional immigration system. That could put Obama in the seemingly contradictory position of shielding millions of people from deportation while at the same time trying to hurry deportations for the unaccompanied children.

The White House told Congress last week that it would seek "additional authority" for the Homeland Security secretary to quickly return the minors back home. Immigration advocates understood this to mean that the children, who currently have the right to a hearing before an immigration judge, would lose that right and instead would have to make it through an initial screening with a Border Patrol agent.

The immigrant advocacy community responded angrily, with more than 200 groups signing onto a letter last week calling on Obama to reconsider the changes.

"It would take away their right to counsel, right to proper screening. ...It would undermine completely due process," Leslie Holman, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said in an interview Monday.

The White House says the plan is to speed up the processing of Central American border crossers without taking away their due process.

"The president believes it's important for those due process rights to be respected; at the same time we should have a process that is efficient and that reflects the state of U.S. law," Earnest said Monday.

Now the White House and the Homeland Security Department will spend more time developing the proposals, along with plans to increase penalties on smugglers.

  • Political NewsMore>>

  • Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption case goes to jury

    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell's corruption case goes to jury

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 6:02 PM EDT2014-09-02 22:02:25 GMT
    The corruption case that could send former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife to federal prison was in the hands Tuesday of jurors who must decide whether the couple sold the influence of the office to a wealthy vitamin executive seeking legitimacy for his company's signature product.
    The corruption case that could send former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his wife to federal prison was in the hands Tuesday of jurors who must decide whether the couple sold the influence of the office to a wealthy vitamin executive seeking legitimacy for his company's signature product.
  • Ex-Va. Gov says he knows in heart he's innocent

    Ex-Va. Gov says he knows in heart he's innocent

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:33 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:33:08 GMT
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he's innocent of the federal corruption charges he's facing.
    Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell says he knows in his heart he's innocent of the federal corruption charges he's facing.
  • Rolex passed among jurors in ex-Va. gov trial

    Rolex passed among jurors in ex-Va. gov trial

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:08 PM EDT2014-07-31 23:08:18 GMT
    The requests for lavish gifts were frequent. Jonnie Williams — the star witness in a corruption trial against the former Virginia governor and his wife — was being asked for everything from a joy ride in his Ferrari to stock in the company he led.
    The requests for lavish gifts were frequent. Jonnie Williams — the star witness in a corruption trial against the former Virginia governor and his wife — was being asked for everything from a joy ride in his Ferrari to stock in the company he led.
  • PoliticsMore>>

  • Can President Obama Wage War Without Consent Of Congress?

    Can President Obama Wage War Without Consent Of Congress?

    Friday, September 12 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-09-12 14:38:11 GMT
    As a U.S. senator from Illinois running for the White House in 2007, Barack Obama sponsored a resolution to prohibit President George W. Bush's administration from taking military action against Iran unless it was explicitly authorized by Congress.
    As a U.S. senator from Illinois running for the White House in 2007, Barack Obama sponsored a resolution to prohibit President George W. Bush's administration from taking military action against Iran unless it was explicitly authorized by Congress.
  • 9/11 Commemoration, Observances

    9/11 Commemoration, Observances

    Thursday, September 11 2014 11:20 PM EDT2014-09-12 03:20:28 GMT

    With the solemn toll of a bell and a moment of silence, the nation paused Thursday to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at the hallowed site just hours after President Barack Obama promised to root out and destroy a new group of terrorists threatening the U.S.

    With the solemn toll of a bell and a moment of silence, the nation paused Thursday to mark the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks at the hallowed site just hours after President Barack Obama promised to root out and destroy a new group of terrorists threatening the U.S.

  • Obama Outlines Mission To Fight Islamic Militants In Iraq, Syria

    Obama Outlines Mission To Fight Islamic Militants In Iraq, Syria

    Thursday, September 11 2014 10:21 AM EDT2014-09-11 14:21:40 GMT

    For a president criticized as overly cautious and reluctant to lead, Barack Obama is taking a huge risk. He is thrusting U.S. fighting forces into a growing military operation with clear dangers, unknown costs, an indefinite length and unpredictable consequences.

    For a president criticized as overly cautious and reluctant to lead, Barack Obama is taking a huge risk. He is thrusting U.S. fighting forces into a growing military operation with clear dangers, unknown costs, an indefinite length and unpredictable consequences.

Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices