Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus emphatically stated Friday their opposition to the deportation of immigrant children and asked President Barack Obama to safeguard their rights.

At a press conference in the CHC office in Washington, Rep Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) declared himself in favor of the supplementary funds requested by Obama to address the influx of unaccompanied minors from Central America, but only as long as "we do not short-circuit justice for the children."

The White House is asking for legal changes that would shorten the process for deporting the immigrant youngsters arriving massively in this country, most of them from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

A law passed in 2008 with bipartisan support bars summary repatriation of undocumented migrants from countries that do not share borders with the United States.

"Let me make it absolutely clear: I'm not voting for a supplemental bill that includes changes and abrogates the rights of children as established (under that law)," Gutierrez said Friday.

Obama is asking Congress for an additional $3.7 billion in supplemental funds to deal with the humanitarian crisis created by the arrival of tens of thousands of undocumented Central American children.

The money will be used to broaden the resources available at the centers where the minors are being housed and to send more immigration judges to the border, among other things, the White House said.

About the blocking of immigration reform by Republicans in the House of Representatives, Gutierrez said that Obama is now alone and must act accordingly.

Since taking office in January 2009, the Obama administration has deported more than 2 million immigrants, an unprecedented number. EFE