WASHINGTON, June 30 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday called on the Congress to supply "new tools and resources" for the government to deal with "humanitarian crisis".
"While we are working across all of these channels, to execute a fully effective Government-wide strategy as the influx of migrants continues, we are eager to work with the Congress to ensure that we have the legal authorities to maximize the impact of our efforts," Obama wrote to House Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, calling the situation a " humanitarian crisis."
In the letter, Obama enumerated what his administration is doing to deal with the flood of minors, including an aggressive deterrence strategy, a sustained border security surge, a significant increase in immigration judges, a stepped up effort to work with Central American partners of U.S., and the resources necessary to appropriately detain, process, and care for children and adults.
Obama told the Congress leaders that they may be requested to provide the Department of Homeland Security Secretary "additional authority to exercise discretion in processing the return and removal of unaccompanied minor children from non-contiguous countries" as well as increasing the penalties for human smugglers.
Moreover, while not asking for a specific dollar amount in his letter, Obama highlighted five areas where his administration will request additional appropriations to deal with the influx.
Obama wrote that his administration will submit a more detailed request for funding and authority when Congress returns from recess.
On Monday afternoon, Obama delivered a speech at the White House, saying he plans to take executive action to sign an immigration bill.
The President said he has waited for more than a year to give Boehner space to act, but the House Speaker informed him last week that the House won't vote on immigration this year.
"America cannot wait forever for them to act," Obama said from the Rose Garden. He said he's launching a new effort to "fix as much of our immigration system as I can, on my own, without Congress."
The thousands of unaccompanied children showing up on the border underscore the need to drop the politics and act on immigration, he said.
Statistics showed that since October last year, more than 52, 000 unaccompanied immigrants have been apprehended crossing illegally into the United States through the southwest border. The vast majority of the illegal immigrants are from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
The issue has triggered disputes between the Democrats and Republicans. While Democrats argue the reason for the flood of unaccompanied minors is largely due to bad conditions in the children's home countries, Republicans point to Obama administration policies and lax enforcement as the primary pull factor.
According to a local media report over the weekend, Obama's request for dealing with the border issue will top 2 billion dollars.