The 2008 law, passed under the President George W. Bush administration, says that children detained in the United States from countries not bordering the homeland will not be sent home. Instead, according to the law, those children will be placed with parents or additional family members. If no family members are available, the U.S. will take care of them.
Congressional Republicans are demanding changes be made to that law before they tackle the president's request for $3.7 billion in funding to address the crisis at the border. This move is something the White House has hinted it'd be open to discussing. However, congressional Democrats have remained hesitant to the proposal. Instead, they are pushing to shore up the border and then address the 2008 law if still needed.