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Obama urges congressional Republicans to respond to immigration issue

English.news.cn   2014-08-02 05:47:05

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday called for efforts from congressional Republicans to craft a workable response to the border crisis before leaving Washington for their summer recess, setting the stage for executive actions to address the surge in child migrants from Central America.

"House Republicans, as we speak, are trying to pass the most extreme and unworkable version of a bill that they already know is going nowhere, that can't pass the Senate," Obama said at the White House press briefing room.

If Congress doesn't pass additional funding to deal with the influx of child migrants and families from Central America, Obama said, "I'm going to have to act alone because we don't have enough resources."

"Without additional resources and help from Congress we're just not going to have the resources to fully solve the problem. While they're out on vacation, I'm going to have to make some tough choices to meet the challenge," said the president.

Obama's public remarks came as House Republicans scrambled Friday to produce a largely-symbolic border bill, after abandoning a previous version of the legislation Thursday just before it was to come to a vote.

"Just a few days earlier, they voted to sue me for acting on my own. Then, when they couldn't pass a bill yesterday, they said I should act on my own because they couldn't pass a bill," Obama said.

The White House said if Congress passes the immigration bill, involving 3.7 billion dollar emergency funding, the federal government will have resources to handle the situation on the border in a timely and efficient way.

Statistics showed that since October last year, more than 57, 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 blame bad conditions in the children' s home countries for the flood of unaccompanied minors, Republicans point to Obama administration policies and lax enforcement as the primary pull factor.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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