U.S. authorities estimate that between 60,000 to 80,000 children without parents will cross the Mexican border this year in what the White House called an “immediate humanitarian crisis“.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama has blamed the Republicans for inaction on immigration reform. Obama said the top House Republican — Speaker John Boehner — told him last week that the chamber’s GOP majority will continue blocking a vote on a Senate-passed immigration bill.
In response, Obama said he was starting “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress. … If Congress will not do their job, at least we can do ours,” he said, adding he expected the recommendations by the end of summer and would act on them without delay. “The crisis at our southern border reminds us all of the critical importance of fixing our broken immigration system.”
The President sent Congress a letter asking that legislators work with him on providing additional money and leeway to deal with the situation on the southern border. An administration official told CNN the money — which could exceed $2 billion — would go to securing appropriate space for the detention of children but also stemming the tide of immigrants.