Obama urges Congress to tackle immigrant crisis

Updated: 2014-07-10 11:24


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HOUSTON - US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ratcheted up pressure on Congress to authorize some 3.7 billion US dollars in fund to deal with the recent influx of undocumented child immigrants from Central America.

Obama urges Congress to tackle immigrant crisis
US President Barack Obama (R) is greeted by Texas Governor Rick Perry upon Obama's arrival in Dallas to discuss a surge of Latin American young people crossing the US-Mexico border July 9, 2014. [Photo/Agencies]

Obama made the remarks during his fund-raising tour to the city of Dallas, Texas, saying he was willing to consider dispatching National Guard troops to the southwest border, though it would only be a temporary solution.

Obama called on the Congress to move quickly to approve his fund request so as to "have the problem fixed in the longer term" and pass more meaningful immigration reform to prevent another crisis like this from happening.

"There's a very simple question here. Congress needs to just pass the supplemental," he said after meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry and other local leaders.

The White House on Tuesday formally requested the money in emergency funding from Congress to deal with the crisis. But the proposal was quickly met with pushback from Republicans.

Obama asked Perry, a long critic of him and a potential aspirant for the Republicans' 2016 presidential nomination, to use his sway with fellow Texas Republicans to get the legislation moving quickly.

More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been apprehended for illegally crossing into the United States through its southwest border since last October, statistics showed.

The vast majority of them are from Central American countries including El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

The undocumented immigrant children have overwhelmed the capacity of US immigrant detention centers, sparking contentions among the public and in Washington concerning how to deal with them.

Also on Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden said the fund will help handle the situation on the border in a timely and efficient way, adding that it includes 300 million dollars to be used in helping governments repatriate and reintegrate migrants.