How the White House Wants to Spend $3.7 Billion on the Border Crisis

The White House announced a new plan Tuesday to help deal with the massive number of unaccompanied minors at the U.S. border.

Outside the US Border Patrol facility in Murrieta, California on July 3, 2014,
National Journal
Rachel Roubein
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Rachel Roubein
July 8, 2014, 8:13 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama is call­ing on Con­gress to ap­pro­pri­ate $3.7 bil­lion to stem what has been called a hu­man­it­ari­an crisis of fam­il­ies and un­ac­com­pan­ied minors il­leg­ally cross­ing the South­w­est bor­der.

Fam­il­ies and chil­dren are flee­ing es­cal­at­ing vi­ol­ence plaguing Cent­ral Amer­ica’s North­ern Tri­angle, and the funds, if net­ted, will go to­ward tak­ing an “ag­gress­ive ap­proach on both sides of the bor­der,” ac­cord­ing to a White House of­fi­cial.

That’s $3.7 bil­lion the ad­min­is­tra­tion hopes will de­ter fam­il­ies from liv­ing in the shad­ows, speed up the re­mov­al pro­cess, ad­dress the crisis’s root causes, in­crease pro­sec­u­tion of crim­in­al net­works smug­gling chil­dren across the bor­der, and more. It’s a mul­ti­pronged ap­proach that would send fund­ing to the vari­ous de­part­ments — such as Home­land Se­cur­ity, Justice, Health and Hu­man Ser­vices, and State — and oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al pro­grams.

Here’s a by-the-num­bers break­down of the emer­gency sup­ple­ment­al re­quest to curb the crisis.

$1.1 BIL­LION FOR IM­MIG­RA­TION AND CUS­TOMS EN­FORCE­MENT: This would help pay for trans­port­a­tion costs as­so­ci­ated with ap­pre­hend­ing un­ac­com­pan­ied chil­dren, to the tune of $116 mil­lion. It would also help de­tain and and re­move un­doc­u­mented adults with chil­dren; ex­pand al­tern­at­ives to de­ten­tion pro­grams, such as ankle brace­lets; and provide ad­di­tion­al im­mig­ra­tion and cus­toms-en­force­ment ef­forts and ex­pand ICE’s in­vest­ig­at­ory pro­grams.

$433 MIL­LION FOR CUS­TOMS AND BOR­DER PRO­TEC­TION: Crews could log 16,526 more flight hours for aer­i­al sur­veil­lance of the bor­der — an ex­pan­sion that has a $39.4 mil­lion price tag. A large por­tion of the $433 mil­lion would pay for costs as­so­ci­ated with ap­pre­hend­ing more chil­dren and fam­il­ies at the bor­der, such as over­time and tem­por­ary pay for Bor­der Patrol agents and the care of chil­dren placed in CBP pro­tec­tion.

$64 MIL­LION FOR DOJ: About 40 more im­mig­ra­tion judge teams would be hired. Ad­di­tion­ally, the num­ber of im­mig­ra­tion lit­ig­a­tion at­tor­neys and leg­al rep­res­ent­at­ives for chil­dren would in­crease.

$300 MIL­LION FOR STATE DE­PART­MENT AND IN­TER­NA­TION­AL PRO­GRAMS: The ad­min­is­tra­tion hopes to coun­ter­act smug­glers’ mis­in­form­a­tion that mi­grants will be al­lowed to stay in the United States. About $5 mil­lion would sup­port me­dia cam­paigns in Cent­ral Amer­ica em­phas­iz­ing the dangers of the jour­ney to cross the bor­der. The oth­er $295 mil­lion will go to­ward re­in­teg­rat­ing mi­grants in­to their home coun­try and ad­dress­ing the eco­nom­ic and so­cial dis­par­it­ies caus­ing fam­il­ies and chil­dren to cross the bor­der.

$1.8 BIL­LION FOR HEALTH AND HU­MAN SER­VICES: Cent­ral Amer­ic­an chil­dren are placed in HHS hands after they cross the bor­der, and these funds will go to­ward provid­ing ap­pro­pri­ate care for the kids.

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