Under fire from Republicans for failing to stem the recent flood of young immigrants, President
"Our message absolutely is don't send your children unaccompanied, on trains or through a bunch of smugglers," Obama told
"Do not send your children to the borders," Obama said. "If they do make it, they'll get sent back. More importantly, they may not make it."
The administration says an estimated 52,000 unaccompanied minors have been detained since October, driven from their homes by violence and false rumors that they'll be allowed to stay.
Republicans argue that the Obama administration's lax deportation policies and gaps in security at the border have fueled the rumors. Some have called on Obama to send the National Guard to address the crisis. Others have urged him to issue a public warning.
The situation is threatening to become a political liability for the president, who is pushing for an overhaul to the immigration system and has promised to take executive action to ease deportations if lawmakers don't act by the end of July. Obama's advisors have slowed that timeline, as they consider whether the problems — and the images of crowded detention facilities and courts — stir up opposition ahead of the November election.
Meanwhile, some are labeling the situation a "refugee crisis" and calling on the
"Why are we not allowing organizations such as the
Falco questioned whether there had been a "lack of transparency" at the temporary centers where the children are being housed while they wait to be processed. He said the administration was "limiting any access beyond coordinated tours and approved footage and photos, adding to the concerns about the conditions in these centers."
The Obama administration has enlisted the