Most unescorted migrants face ouster

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WASHINGTON — The White House said Mon­day that most un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors flood­ing into the United States from Cen­tral Amer­ica will not be al­lowed to stay, as the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion pre­pares to ask Con­gress for $2 bil­lion to ad­dress the bor­der cri­sis.

White House spokes­man Josh Ear­nest said most of the bor­der-cross­ers would not qual­ify to re­main in this coun­try. Those who pos­si­bly could get U.S. asy­lum are chil­dren who have been vic­tims of do­mes­tic abuse. Minors who fled be­cause of gang-re­lated vi­o­lence could have a harder time qual­i­fy­ing, ac­cord­ing to im­mi­gra­tion ex­perts.

The strong warn­ing came as the White House is ex­pected to­day to lay out what it wants in emer­gency fund­ing from the U.S. Con­gress to deal with the flood of chil­dren. The money would go to­ward more de­ten­tion fa­cil­i­ties to house the chil­dren and ad­di­tional im­mi­gra­tion judges and asy­lum of­fi­cials to ex­pe­dite hear­ings. A Justice Depart­ment of­fi­cial said the aim is to hire 30 more im­mi­gra­tion judges to help tackle the case load.

The spend­ing bill could face some rough go­ing in Con­gress, how­ever. Ala­bama Sen. Rich­ard Shelby, se­nior Re­pub­li­can on the Ap­pro­pri­a­tions Com­mit­tee, told re­port­ers that any mea­sure should be paid for with cuts to other gov­ern­ment pro­grams. “Ab­so­lutely, it ought to be off­set,” he said, add­ing that money could be taken from the fund­ing for Pres­i­dent Barack Obama's land­mark health care law, a move that likely would be op­posed by the White House and con­gres­sio­nal Dem­o­crats.

More than 52,000 un­ac­com­pa­nied mi­nors from Guate­mala, El Sal­va­dor and Hon­duras have been caught try­ing to sneak over the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der since Oc­to­ber, dou­ble the num­ber from the same pe­riod the year be­fore. Thou­sands more have been ap­pre­hended with par­ents or other adults. Many are flee­ing ex­treme pov­erty, gangs and drug vi­o­lence, as well as re­spond­ing to ru­mors spread by smug­glers that chil­dren who reach the U.S. bor­der will be al­lowed to stay.

Sep­a­rately, the ad­min­is­tra­tion plans to ask Con­gress to al­ter a 2008 law on hu­man traf­fick­ing to speed up de­por­ta­tions. Some of Mr. Obama's La­tino al­lies op­pose this be­cause they see the chil­dren as vic­tims.

Mr. Obama is due to visit Texas this week to raise money for Demo­cratic can­di­dates run­ning in No­vem­ber con­gres­sio­nal elec­tions, but the White House said he would not visit the bor­der — a sign that of­fi­cials do not see a po­lit­i­cal up­side.

While White House of­fi­cials an­tic­i­pate some Re­pub­li­can crit­i­cism over the re­quest, one se­nior House GOP aide, who asked not to be iden­ti­fied, said the mea­sure could at­tract less op­po­si­tion than some pre­vi­ous ap­peals.?


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