The Obama administration is formally asking for $3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress to address the flood of unaccompanied minor children coming illegally into the United States -- more than the White House previously signaled it would request.
The funds include $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, $433 million to Customs and Border Protection, $64 million for the Department of Justice, $300 million to the State Department and $1.8 billion to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The administration previously indicated that it would request about $2 billion but would wait to release the details until Congress returned from a week-long break.
The White House says the money is necessary to cover costs like increased man-hours for border patrol agents and aerial surveillance teams, legal services for children in immigration proceedings, the hiring of 40 additional teams of immigration judges, and care for unaccompanied children while they are in the country. Almost $300 million would go towards efforts to “repatriate and reintegrate migrants to Central America” and address the underlying economic and security causes of the spike in child migrants.
It’s not clear how the GOP-led House will approach the funding request, which must pass both Houses of Congress.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said: "The Appropriations Committee and other Members, including the working group on the border crisis led by Rep. Kay Granger, will review the White House proposal. The Speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas - which this proposal does not address."
- Carrie Dann
First published July 8 2014, 8:27 AM