[T]he proposal was quickly met with broad skepticism among Republican lawmakers, who were doubtful that the package would be approved quickly -- if at all. But GOP leaders, who have called on Obama to take stronger action, said they were reluctant to give the administration a "blank check" without more-detailed plans to ensure that the money would help stem the crisis at the border.... Asked if he thought lawmakers would approve the proposal, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, "No, given the mood here in Washington, I don't have confidence it will happen."
It was one of the final pieces of legislation signed into law by President George W. Bush, a measure that passed without controversy, along with a pension bill and another one calling for national parks to be commemorated on quarters. [...] Now the legislation, enacted quietly during the transition to the Obama administration, is at the root of the potentially calamitous flow of unaccompanied minors to the nation's southern border. Originally pushed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as well as by evangelical groups to combat sex trafficking, the bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin.