Obama urges Congress to pass migrant funding request quickly

DALLAS Wed Jul 9, 2014 7:31pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the border crisis after his meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry (not seen) in Dallas July 9, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement on the border crisis after his meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry (not seen) in Dallas July 9, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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DALLAS (Reuters) - President Barack Obama urged Congress on Wednesday to pass his request quickly for $3.7 billion in funds to address the influx of unaccompanied migrant children from Central America crossing the U.S. border.

After meeting with Texas Governor Rick Perry, Obama said he would consider deploying the National Guard to the border as Perry and other Republicans have requested.

Obama told reporters he urged Perry to press Texas lawmakers in the U.S. Congress to support the White House's funding request.

The president also rejected criticism that he did not visit the border during his Texas visit.

"This isn't theater. This is a problem," Obama said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland in Dallas and Jeff Mason in Washington; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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