A White House official said that Obama is requesting more than $2 billion to respond to the flood of immigrants illegally entering the U.S. through the Rio Grande Valley area of Texas and ask for new ‘powers’ to deal with returning immigrant children apprehended while traveling without their parents, a White House official said Saturday.
The Daily News reported that Obama will send Congress a letter on Monday requesting the funds. Details of the emergency appropriation, including the exact amount and how it will be spent, will come after lawmakers return from their holiday recess on July 7, said the official, who was not authorized to speak by name and discussed the requests on condition of anonymity.
Obama will also ask that the Homeland Security Department be granted the authority to apply “fast track” procedures to the screening and deportation of all immigrant children traveling without their parents and that stiffer penalties be applied to those who smuggle children across the border, the official said. Obama’s requests were first reported by The New York Times.
Republicans have criticized Obama’s immigration policies, arguing they’ve left the impression that women and children from Central America will be allowed to stay in the United States. The administration has worked to send a clear message in recent weeks that new arrivals will be targeted for deportation. But immigrants arriving from those countries say they are fleeing pervasive gang violence and crushing poverty.
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