Politics

Immigrant Children Focus Of Obama's $3.7 Billion Request

The White House requested nearly $4 billion from Congress to handle the influx of undocumented immigrants and care for unaccompanied children.

Immigrant Children Focus Of Obama's $3.7 Billion Request
MSNBC

The White House requested nearly $4 billion in emergency funds from Congress Tuesday to handle the ongoing immigration crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border. (Via Flickr / Jonathan McIntosh)

And a lot of that money will help care for and send back many of the child immigrants who have flooded the area in recent weeks. (Via MSNBC)

In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, President Obama called the crisis an "urgent humanitarian situation" as an influx of undocumented Central American immigrants make their way to the U.S. Obama said the $3.7 billion will go toward immigration judges, beefing up border patrol, air surveillance, transportation and detention facilities. (Via The White House)

But almost half of the requested funding — $1.8 billion — will go to Health and Human Services to care for the unaccompanied children. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol say they've apprehended 52,000 children from October of last year through mid-June of this year and that's put a strain on some southern states.

Brooke Baldwin: "The flow of children has forced the government to house thousands of kids in facilities all along the border. ... Military bases, emergency shelters and potentially unused and empty school buildings." (Via CNN)

CNN cites White House officials who say the main purpose of the funding is to quickly process young immigrants and send those who don't have legal status back to their home countries.

But the $3.7-billion proposal costs twice as much as what was originally put forward and the president's critics say his plan to handle the situation at the border doesn't go far enough stave off the wave of undocumented immigrants, which presents something of a political crisis.

Boehner's spokesman Michael Steel said lawmakers will review the proposal, but "The Speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas - which this proposal does not address."

That's very reserved rhetoric compared to what Texas Governor Rick Perry has said about the situation: (Via Getty Images)

Rick Perry: "The president has sent powerful messages time after time ... that it is okay to come to the United States, and you can come across and you'll be accepted in open arms.

Ed Henry: "He believes the president wanted the crisis to happen, make the situation worse ... and force Republicans' hands on immigration reform." (Via ABCFox News)

An immigration reform bill was passed in the Senate last year, but Boehner hasn't brought the bill to the House floor and has also blamed Obama's executive orders for the current crisis. (Via The White House)

Despite Perry's disagreement with Obama, the two are scheduled to meet with state, local and religious leaders in Dallas Wednesday to discuss the border crisis.