WASHINGTON: U.S. President Barack Obama has appealed to the Republican leadership of the Congress to pass the comprehensive immigration reform to address successfully in future problems like the current humanitarian crisis on the country's Southern border with Mexico.
"The Senate passed a common-sense, bipartisan bill more than a year ago. It would have strengthened the border, added an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents. It would have strengthened our backlogged immigration courts. It would have put us in a stronger position to deal with this surge and, in fact, prevent it," Obama said.
He also urged the Congress to act on the letter he wrote to it asking to increase penalties on smugglers and to give his administration the flexibility to move migrants through the system faster.
In his letter, he sought approval of $4 billion meant to address the influx of child migrants crossing the southwestern border.
"Yesterday, I asked Congress to fund these efforts. About half of the resources would go to border security, enforcement, and expedited removal of people who don't qualify for a humanitarian claim.
"About half would go to make sure we're treating children humanely. We'd also make investments to further tackle the root problems in Central America," Obama said.