U.S. President Obama urged Congress to pass his request for $3.7 billion in funds to address influx of migrant children from Central America crossing the U.S. border. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala have been caught trying to sneak over the U.S. border since October -- that's double the number from the same period the year before. U.S. President Barack Obama is now calling on Central American parents not to send children on a journey with no likely happy ending. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "While we intend to do the right thing by these children, Their parents need to know that this is an incredibly dangerous situation and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay. " Obama is calling on Congress to sign on to a 3.7 billion dollar request to combat the problem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "The challenge is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done. Another way of putting this, and I said this directly to the governor, are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem." Obama, who met with former rival the Republican governor of Texas Rick Perry was asked why he himself has not gone to the border. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "This isn't theater. This is a problem. I am not interested in photo ops, I am interested in solving a problem. And, those who say I should visit the border, when you ask them what we should be doing, they are giving us suggestions that are embodied in legislation I have already sent to Congress." The crisis is putting strains on the U.S. budget because of the cost of providing shelter and food for many children now held in detention centers, while authorities evaluate whether and how to deport them.