Obama also called on Congress to stop playing politics and to work with him to pass his request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to deal with the building immigration crisis.
"Parents need to know this is an incredibly dangerous situation, and it is unlikely that their children will be able to stay," Obama said, referring to a flow of 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America who have crossed the southwestern US frontier since October.
"I've asked parents across Central America not to put their children in harm's way in this fashion."
Obama was speaking in Dallas, Texas, after a meeting with Texas's Republican governor Rick Perry, local officials and faith leaders to discuss the crisis.
The president also demanded that Congress quickly pass the emergency funding bill to tighten border surveillance and enforcement and to surge customs and legal resources to the border area to speed up deportations of illegal immigrants and to consider asylum cases.
"Is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama said.
"Are folks more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem?
"If the preference is for politics, then it won't be solved," said Obama.
The president's request for more money has not gone down well with Republicans in Congress, who say that his plan is more geared to dealing with illegal minors already in the country rather than stopping the flow of new illegal entries.a
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