House Republicans pass $694m border bill

House Rules Committee meeting, 1 August 2014 House members worked on the first day of their summer holiday to bring the measures to a vote

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A bill to strengthen the US border with Mexico amid a surge in arrivals from Central America has been passed by the House of Representatives.

The $694m (£412m) bill would deploy National Guard troops at the southern border and speed up deportations.

President Barack Obama, who asked for $3.7bn, described the Republican package as "extreme" and "unworkable".

The bill will not go before the Senate, which was unable to agree a bill itself and is in recess until September.

That leaves what many have described as a national crisis unaddressed over the summer months.

About 57,000 Central American children have crossed the border since October, many unaccompanied.

Who are the Central American children fleeing to the US border?

The children, mostly from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, are fleeing gang violence and extreme poverty in their home countries.

The House Republicans stayed in Washington on the first day of their holidays after they abandoned a scheduled vote on Thursday in the face of opposition from conservatives within their own party.

The new bill had tougher language and gave an additional $35m for the National Guard to be based at the southern border.

It would also speed up the deportation and repatriation of the children by stripping them of anti-human trafficking protections written into a 2008 law.

And it would reverse Barack Obama's policy of deferring action against minors brought to the US illegally by their parents, which brought a scathing response from the White House.

A statement said: "The legislation put forward tonight by House Republicans does not responsibly address the problem of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, and could result in the deportation of hundreds of thousands of... young people who were brought to this country as children and are Americans in every way but on paper. "

In a press briefing earlier, the president said he would have to make tough choices himself, hinting at executive actions he can make without Congress.

He accused the Republicans of not trying to genuinely solve the problem.

A Salvadorian family waits at a bus station after being released from immigration detention In Texas, a Salvadorian family waits for a bus after being released from detention near the border

In the Senate, meanwhile, Democrats failed to pass their own $2.7bn border fix after centrist Democrats and Republicans opposed its cost and its failure to change immigration policy to make it easier to deport the children.

The House and Senate's failure to address what is universally viewed as a crisis at the border will only exacerbate the US public's disgust and dissatisfaction with Congress, congressmen and analysts said.

A bar graph of child migrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

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