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Obama administration officials pleaded their case to a key Senate panel Thursday for nearly $4 billion in aid to address the ongoing migrant crisis at the nation’s southern border, warning that nearly 100,000 unaccompanied minors could cross the border by the end of the summer.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson called the funds an “absolute necessity to address this situation” during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee to consider the aid request.

Johnson said that as many as 90,000 unaccompanied children could cross the border by September. Without the additional funds for the surge of undocumented migrants entering the country, he said – at the rate of current spending -- U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will run out of funding by next month and that Customs and Border Protection would soon follow.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell also testified, calling the issue “an urgent humanitarian situation that calls for a robust response.”

Some lawmakers – particularly Republicans – say they're worried that the $3.7 billion aid package proposed by the White House would not address the root causes of the influx of the undocumented immigrants.



- Carrie Dann