Money for investigations of smuggling networks helping bring droves of children to the U.S. border will run out soon, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday.
“At the current burn rate, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will run out of money in mid-August. Doing nothing is not an option,” Johnson said at a news conference at ICE headquarters.
The Obama administration has asked Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the crisis, including money for such investigations.
Johnson said the 60-person investigative team sent to south Texas to dismantle criminal organizations smuggling people into the U.S. has led to 192 arrests, seizures of 28 vehicles and the interdiction of $625,000 of money for smuggling.
He also reaffirmed that the numbers of unaccompanied children and apprehensions have been dropping, as reported earlier by NBC News. President Barack Obama is scheduled to meet on Friday with the presidents of Honduras. Guatemala and El Salvador, the countries of about three-fourths of the more than 57,000 children who have arrived since October.
– Suzanne Gamboa
First published July 22 2014, 1:55 PM
Suzanne Gamboa is a senior writer for NBCNews.com. She started in January 2014. Gamboa is responsible for editing, reporting and writing stories about Latinos and how the population's expansion is reshaping the U.S. Gamboa joined NBCNews.com from NBC Latino, where she was political editor, responsible for writing, editing and assigning political coverage.
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Prior to her role at NBC Latino, Gamboa had worked 13 years in the Washington, D.C. bureau of The Associated Press, where she covered politics, immigration and border and U.S.-Mexico issues, veterans, the Texas congressional delegation and most recently race and ethnicity, a beat she helped build. She also worked at the AP in Texas and at the Austin American-Statesman.
Gamboa lives in Washington, D.C.