President Barack Obama’s request for nearly $4 billion in emergency funds to address the immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border is being met with skepticism from many Republicans in Congress, and some lawmakers are instead offering some ideas of their own. Washington bureau reporter Geoff Bennett filed the following report for NY1.
Top congressional Republicans are dismissing President Barack Obama's spending request, aimed at securing the southwest border.
That's where thousands of children have crossed into the country illegally, and in many cases, alone. Since October, more than 40,000 children from Central America have turned themselves in at the border.
The lawmakers used the Sunday morning political shows to stake out their positions—and offer alternatives.
Republican Senator John McCain wants to repeal the 2008 law that prevents the U.S. from deporting undocumented children from Central America until immigration hearings take place.
“It's not acceptable. Every nation has the requirement to secure its borders. Our borders are not secure, no matter what they say," McCain said.
“Immigration laws are being enforced, though we are faced with an extraordinary situation,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The White House is asking for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help pay for increased security along the border, speed up deportations and care for the children being held in detention centers.
Republicans lawmakers say it comes with too high a price tag.
“Well, our view I think as House Republicans, is, look, we're not going to write a blank check for $4 billion. It's going to be a more targeted approach, probably through the end of the fiscal year,” said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul.
Republicans are also calling for tougher immigration legislation as part of the spending bill.
The White House says that’s a political move.
“You have our opponents on the other side of this issue who are crawling all over each other to try to get in front of a television camera like this so that they can pledge fealty to the notion of increasing border security; at the same time, they are blocking legislation that would actually put border patrol officers on the border to secure the border,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
The Obama administration warns that if its request is not approved, border security agencies will run out of money this summer.