'Welcome migrants to the US': Obama says change is 'central to our way of life'

 

As tens of thousands of migrant children continue to stream across the US-Mexican border into Texas, President Barack Obama said that welcoming new immigrants to the US is “central to our way of life.” Speaking at the White House at an Independence Day ceremony, honouring 25 servicemen and women who had achieved US citizenship after joining the country’s military, Mr Obama reiterated his calls for reform of US immigration policy, saying: “We have to fix our immigration system, which is broken.”

Some 240,000 illegal migrants from Central America, including more than 50,000 unaccompanied children, have crossed the Rio Grande Valley into Texas in recent months. Most are thought to be fleeing poverty and gang violence in their own countries, including Guatemala and Honduras. State and federal authorities have struggled to deal with the influx, and Republicans have accused the Obama administration of failing to properly address the problem. The President has said that most of the recent migrants will eventually be sent home.

With Texas’s own Border Patrol facilities overwhelmed, federal officials have begun transporting the migrants to facilities in other states for processing. But when three busloads of women and children arrived in Murrieta in Southern California earlier this week, they were turned away by protesters wielding American flags and yelling “go home” to the new arrivals. The buses drove on instead to San Diego to avoid further confrontation.

At a town hall meeting, Murrieta residents reportedly expressed fears that the migrants might bring diseases and crime to the community, and “overrun” local schools. According to the New York Times, the town’s Mayor Alan Long told the meeting, “We didn’t ask for this problem, it was just dumped at our doorstep”. Mr Long also said he intended to send a “fat bill” to Mr Obama.

The President has promised instead to enact some changes to immigration policy using his executive authority, after his efforts to introduce sweeping reform were thwarted. The Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner, last month informed Mr Obama that he and his GOP colleagues in Congress would refuse to hold a vote on the issue.

Mr Obama is expected to travel to Texas next week to help raise funds for Democrat’s running in the state’s congressional races this November. However White House spokesman Josh Earnest told Reuters the President would not visit the border during his trip.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower