President Barack Obama will ask Congress for $2 billion in emergency funds to address the child immigration crisis.
President Barack Obama will ask Congress for more than $2 billion to address the crisis of thousands of unaccompanied children who have been flooding across the southern borders of the United States from Central America, reports Reuters.
The president will submit a letter to Congress on Monday, requesting the legislative body provide emergency funding when it returns from holiday recess July 7, said a White House official on Sunday.
The request is a major step in the process of bringing the humanitarian, political and financial crises under control at the Mexico – U.S. border, where tens of thousands of children have crossed into America without their parents.
Gangs, grinding poverty in Central America and a sudden spike in violence explain why parents are sending their children away from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to the United States, reports Fox News Latino.
The children are often smuggled into the U.S. by profiteers called “coyotes.” Obama will ask for increased penalties against the smugglers. President Obama will also request “sustained border security surge through enhanced domestic enforcement,” and more immigration judges for a more swift adjudication of recent border crossing cases.
President Obama will accelerate efforts with Central American countries to repatriate migrants who are returned to their home countries and address the root causes of migration. He will seek “the resources necessary to appropriately detain, process and care for children and adults,” said the official.
U. S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Central America this week for events including the inauguration of Panama’s new president, Juan Carlos Varela on Tuesday, July 1. Kerry is expected to attend meetings in Panama on Tuesday with the leaders of El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala to discuss the immigration crisis.
Congressional Republicans have accused the Obama administration of letting the children into the country to pile pressure on Congress to approve a long-stalled immigration overhaul, and have expressed outrage over the handling of the crisis.
More than 52,000 children have crossed the border since last October.