Obama to Ask Congress for $3.7 Billion to Tackle Immigration Crisis

President's plan would work to care for the flood of unaccompanied minors crossing the border and to prevent more from coming in.
10:37 | 07/08/14

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Transcript for Obama to Ask Congress for $3.7 Billion to Tackle Immigration Crisis
President Obama and the three point seven billion dollar question. How much he will be asking congress for to deal with the Central American immigrants and crisis on the US border. In Texas on Michelle Franzen in New York the president tackling that humanitarian crisis on the Texas border -- needs a lot of money from congress with. More on what the Obama administration plans on doing and how they will use the money let's go live to ABC's chief White House correspondent John Karl in Washington. John there are four main points to this plan how will that money be spent in dealing with the immigration issue let's break it down. Well Michelle the big picture here is it's a mix between money to care for. The illegal children that are here in this country in kind of a state of limbo in detention waiting their hearings. And money to prevent more from coming into the country so. About half of the money about one point eight billion dollars is to expand those detention facilities provide more beds. More money to care for this flawed of of of children that have come over the border. And right now they simply don't have the facilities. To house them -- to care for them so that's -- the big -- for the money goes. And you have additional money for law enforcement you have money to surge in more judges so they can speed up the hearings because every one of those children. From Central America. Are entitled to a hearing to determine whether or not they are to be deported or whether or not they can happen asylum status in the United States right now -- -- a huge backlog. Because they simply don't have the they did the judicial resources to deal with this flood of of a live legal immigrants. So now you'll see if this gets passed a surge of about forty new judges to address all and John what obstacles that the president face getting this money approved by congress. Well you certainly. Skeptical Republicans. -- aren't going to be looking at this they think the president is mishandled the situation. He saw a speaker of the house John Boehner called for actually sending in the National Guard. To improve enforcement. On the border that is not part of this proposal he'll still continue to talk about that. But I imagine that there will be some some support for this there's bipartisan recognition this is a humanitarian crisis. The issue needs to be I dealt with -- interesting question will be Democrats. You know one thing that Democrats throughout the debate over immigration have said including the White House by the way is -- there would not be. Any immigration measures that don't also include. A path to citizenship a path -- legalization to legalization for those that are in the country. Whereas Republicans have been talking about enforcement first well in reality with this bill is now it's smaller it's enforcement. It's you know it's more enforcement on the border. And it doesn't have anything to do with the broader questions of immigration reform so some on the left. Are already upset that the president. Has put too much of an emphasis on getting these children that have come over illegally back to their home countries and less on the broader questions of immigration reform. And all of this of course coming to a head just before the president heads to Texas tomorrow -- -- to governor Rick Perry's request to meet with him. -- president's schedule include. -- that this is this has been an interesting little political. Fight for them for -- white house on this the president had long planned to go to Texas he's doing a series of fundraisers in Austin and Dallas. Admitted that the White House announced that he would be going to Texas of course people are asking the question please -- to be in Texas is he -- visit the border so we can see first hand. What is going on with -- this crisis this is a request that came from Republicans. But also off from some Democrats -- congressman Cuellar of Texas a Democrat. At said he was worried that the president went to Texas without losing the border this could be -- Katrina moment if -- member after Hurricane Katrina. President Bush flew over the that the hurricane damage and looked out the window of Air Force One but didn't visit until sometime later. Subjected sent congress -- arms and the president really needs to go there and see firsthand what's happening. Well that is not gonna happen but he is going to meet with he did offer to meet with the Governor Perry have a substantive meeting. On this question. And Governor Perry. That he did. Status except to data mean that they both say they invited the other but the bottom line is there will be a meeting between Obama and Perry in Dallas. And he's also -- -- something of a they. -- roundtable with what they're calling faith leaders. Into the community leaders in Dallas to talk about this crisis but the present it will not be going to the border. We'll not be going to the border and of course looking for solutions at all of this ABC's John Karl in Washington thanks for that live report. Thank you -- and now we want to bring in senior Washington correspondent Jeff felony -- the deportation of miners has actually fallen. During the Obama administration compared to previous administration and some lawmakers say that that has become a calling card. Four children from Latin American countries to make their way to the US border will be an increase -- the deportations of minors following. This money request. Wolf find out about that Michelle -- mean that is exactly the point here are some Republicans. We saw Governor Perry. -- -- last week down in Texas at a field committee hearing that he believes the Obama administration has been too. In essentially a welcoming to that's amenities -- young migrants are coming across the border but. I think there's no question. With this three point seven billion dollar funding packages John was just saying. So much about enforcement and it is going to be very difficult for Republicans here on Capitol Hill to not support it now. I'm not surprised at all that the Appropriations Committee -- chairs particularly. In the house the Republican chairs are saying look we're going to look at this will come up with our own specific number but. After all this complaining in criticism they'd be very hard pressed not support. At least something that looks very much like this. Give us an idea of what is going on there at the border we see a lot of children being detained from -- Central American companies -- countries El Salvador Guatemala Honduras. But not many from Mexico can you explain the difference in the lawful or Border Patrol. Sure this is actually a very interesting piece of law it was one of the last laws signed. Signed into a lot during the Bush Administration. A during the very final weeks of the George W Bush Administration he signed a lot. That essentially allowed migrants young children to come in from any countries except Mexico -- Canada. It was designed to be on sort of a I'm -- -- victims of human. Crime. -- another. Third in harm's way to the US so. Mexico and Canada aren't included in this but to those -- Central American children are so this is not a law that was signed in. To ally during the Obama administration is actually during the final days of the Bush Administration supported by Republicans and Democrats overall it was. And received it's. Strong bipartisan support but now it is sort of a creating and a new problem and the White House and Republicans and Democrats -- on Capitol Hill realized that they have to close the loophole if you will. And it creates some much harder enforcement measures is there something that they can do to change -- -- in the immediate future. Senator Dianne Feinstein. The -- Democrat of of California who is a very strong supporter of this a lot of the times he says the administration is able to change this without getting a new law others aren't so sure but. The the White House is taking a first step here by asking for three point seven billion dollars and then they may as seek a follow up legislation that faith. Feel that they have to -- and have some other laws in place but. But it's a strong enforcement that there really is -- central picture here having those judges on hand. The more judges who can send people back the White House believes that -- that will prob. It's all the -- and Jon Karl talked about that bad luck backlog some 50000 children who cross the border already. Is that money going to be enough to dress to address this will not will be too much to some people see that congress may block this request -- I think it's -- I would be very surprised if congress blocked his request altogether initially we heard from the White House that they wanted. A two billion dollars -- is almost twice as much as that. We'll see exactly how much they get but I cannot. -- some Republicans. Voting against. -- giving -- more money for enforcement dots that they've been asking for all along as John was saying before some Democrats may have. I'm more a problem with this because it is doing a more four and enforcement then. Some of the other provisions but I expect that this is something that congress will approve -- approve fairly quickly. Our -- all of this is taking place at the border what does this mean then for immigration reform debate. As a whole is -- a chance that President Obama and speaker Boehner might strike a deal anytime soon. I think that is really hard to imagine just given how hot of a political issue this has become we heard the president last week say that if he is almost. And he's at the end of the line here in terms of I'm holding out hope that the -- house could. Move forward on an immigration bill so I think any type of broad immigration reform is definitely not going to happen he says he's going to do some executive actions. And that of course is the subject to the whole discussion of the lawsuit that speaker Boehner house Republicans. One to -- file against this so White House for doing too many executive actions but. What this is doing is putting immigration back in the forefront here so. It is say. -- a critical issue for both sides to address if it's through liberation reform in. Some sweeping measures -- -- some sweeping measures are summing smaller this is something that that have to get done but don't look for broad sweeping immigration reform to happen this year it's just too intense during this a political year -- And we will keep an eye on how that funding turns out ABC senior Washington correspondent -- -- many on Capitol Hill thank you for that thanks so. -- keep up with the story in real time by downloading the ABC news out and starring in this story -- -- -- updates on the go. For now I'm Michelle Franzen in New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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