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Lawmakers: Obama doesn't need Congressional action to order return of children crossing border

By Alicia A. Caldwell

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, July 13 2014 1:22 p.m. MDT

In this Aug. 9, 2012 file photo, people eat a modest dinner at a well known immigrant shelter in Nogales, Mexico.

Ross D. Franklin, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

WASHINGTON — Two key lawmakers say President Barack Obama can alleviate a growing humanitarian crisis involving tens of thousands of child immigrants without waiting for Congress to act.

Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan both say Obama does not need to wait for changes in a 2008 human trafficking law before ordering the return of some children to their native countries.

The law requires immigration judges to decide the fate of young border crossers from countries that don't border the United States. The Obama administration has expressed some interest in changing the law.

Feinstein wrote the legislation at issue, while Rogers is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

More than 57,000 children, mostly from Central America, have crossed the border with Mexico since Oct. 1.

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