President Obama will send Congress a letter Monday asking for $2 billion in funding to deal with the crisis that has seen thousands of unaccompanied children, mostly from Central America, illegally surge across the U.S.-Mexico border, according to news reports.
“We will be requesting additional resources and added flexibility to deal with the significant rise in apprehensions of children and individuals from Central America who are crossing into the United States in the Rio Grande Valley areas of the Southwest border,” a White House official said of the letter, according to NBC.
According to The New York Times, which first reported the story, Mr. Obama will also ask Congress to give Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson authorization to expedite the screening and deportation of migrant youths not from Mexico.
“This is an urgent humanitarian situation,” Cecilia Muñoz, director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, told The New York Times Saturday. “We are dealing with smuggling networks that are exploiting people and with the humanitarian treatment of migrants while also applying the law as appropriate.”
More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central America, have illegally crossed into the U.S. since October, severely straining the Border Patrol resources.
A May 30 draft memo from Deputy Border Patrol Chief Ronald D. Vitiello, obtained by The Washington Times earlier this month, estimates that agents and officers will apprehend more than 90,000 unaccompanied children on the border this year, rising to 142,000 in 2015. By contrast, there were fewer than 40,000 caught last year.
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