Congressman Adrian Smith says he supported the immigration bill pulled by House Speaker John Boehner.
Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, pulled his own bill when support fell short of the votes needed for passage.
Smith, a Republican, says though the bill didn’t contain everything he wanted, he would have voted for it.
“I want to do something about this. Now, that doesn’t mean just do anything, but I do want to pursue some solutions here and I think acting in the best interest of children to allow us the opportunity to reunite families when it’s appropriate, rather than just kind of treat everyone the same, I think our bill would allow a process,” Smith tells Nebraska reporters during a conference call.
The bill would have provided $659 million to address the crisis of unaccompanied minors from Central America coming to the United States; a much smaller amount that the $3.7 billion requested by President Barack Obama.
Nearly 60,000 minors from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala have crossed the southern border illegally. Approximately 200 have been placed with families or organizations in Nebraska.
Smith acknowledges that time is running out for anything to be done before the five-week August recess.
“The timeframe for this situation is unique given the fact that we’re not scheduled to be in session tomorrow for a while, but I think it’s our job to work for solutions and I want to work in that nature,” according to Smith.