(NBC News) - Congress is getting ready for a showdown over the immigration crisis, and today, the battle lines are growing sharper. Republicans and Democrats are trying to find bipartisan compromise on a plan that will tighten up border security, but care for underage immigrants while they’re on this side of the border.
They have to do it before the end of the month, before lawmakers leave on their summer break.
President Obama submitted a request for $3.7 billion dollars, but it appears unlikely he’ll get everything he wants.
House Republicans today are calling for a surge of National Guard troops and streamlined deportations to battle the immigration crisis at the southern border. “And hopefully by the end of the week, we might have a better idea on how we move ahead,” said House Speaker John Boehner, (R) Ohio.
Democrats want to care for underage immigrants until they’re sent home. “How does an eight-year-old make a credible case without the assistance of an attorney, without getting the documentation necessary to make a case before a judge?” asked Senator Robert Menendez, (D) New Jersey.
Lawmakers have the next two weeks to find middle ground.
There is one bipartisan plan being pushed by two Texans – Democratic Congressman Henry Cuellar and Republican Senator John Cornyn. “The concern is it’s going to double again next year unless we deal with this,” said Senator John Cornyn, (R) Texas.
“What we have seen is that when Congress wants to do something, they can act pretty quickly to get it done,” said Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary. Far from the Capital, the immigration issue has divided a small Arizona community.
Some welcoming a few dozen underage immigrants set to be detained there – some not. “What if one of them is bad? We don’t know,” said protester Keith Miller.
But both sides are looking to Washington for action. While Republicans haven’t yet released their plan, it appears they’re hoping for more policy change than Democrats and the White House may be willing to give.