House Speaker John Boehner appealed once again to President Obama today to deploy the National Guard to relieve the border patrol and send additional personnel to process and remove the children who entered the country illegally.
The speaker was also non-committal on the president’s request this week for $3.7 billion to deal with the surge in undocumented immigrants.
Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a news conference in the Capitol today, “It’s time for us to take a serious look at what needs to happen. If we don’t secure the border, nothing’s going to change.”
He urged Obama to send the National Guard to the border.
“The National Guard is uniquely qualified to respond to such humanitarian crises,” Boehner wrote June 20 in a letter to Obama. “They are able to help deal with both the needs of these children and families as well as relieve the border patrol to focus on their primary duty of securing our border.”
Boehner emphasized that the president’s $3.7 billion supplemental request, which lawmakers received Tuesday, must be reviewed by House appropriators and a GOP immigration working group before he decides what to do next. Boehner refused to say whether he believes the supplemental request is a “blank check” or should be offset by spending cuts.
“I’m going to look for the recommendations from [House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers] and the border working group in terms of how we address this,” Boehner said.
Boehner also implored Obama in his letter to direct the State Department to begin discussions with Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras – where many of the children are coming from – “to ensure that apprehended migrants can be promptly and efficiently returned to their home countries.”