McConnell: Obama wants ‘blank check’ for border crisis

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Republicans are looking at President Obama’s $3.7 billion proposal to address the influx of unaccompanied child immigrants, but they won’t give him a “blank check.”

“This is a real crisis. So we’re taking a hard look at the proposal the president sent over,” McConnell said on the Senate floor Thursday. “What he appears to be asking for is a blank check — one that would allow him to sustain his current failed policy.”

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Lawmakers have grown increasingly concerned about the thousands of unaccompanied minors from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala that have been detained by the border patrol along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The ongoing humanitarian crisis at the border seems to be getting worse by the day,” McConnell said. “Large numbers of foreign nationals are unlawfully entering our country, and it’s mainly due to the administration’s failure to enforce immigration laws and secure the border.”

Republicans have blamed the increase in minors crossing the border on Obama’s executive order to defer the deportation of illegal immigrant children who were brought to the United States by their parents, known as Dreamers. New children entering the country would not be eligible for deferred action and the White House has said most of them will be deported.

Earlier this week, the White House asked Congress for $3.7 billion to temporarily house and return the children to their countries.

On Wednesday night, Obama was in Texas but said he wouldn’t visit the border for a “photo op.” He called on Congress to act quickly.