White House announces funding in effort to deal with immigrant surge

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (2nd L) and Guatemala's President Otto Perez Molina (C) talk during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City June 20, 2014. Credit: Reuters
U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden (2nd L) and Guatemala’s President Otto Perez Molina (C) talk during a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Guatemala City June 20, 2014.
Credit: Reuters

The White House on Friday announced tens of millions of dollars of new funding and expanded enforcement facilities to step up efforts to deal with the surge of children arriving illegally from Central America.

The United States said it would launch a $40 million program to improve security in Guatemala to reduce pressures forcing flight to the United States and a $25 million program to provide services to youth in El Salvador who are vulnerable to organized crime pressure, the White House said in a statement.

The Obama administration also said it would provide a “surge” in immigration judges, lawyers and asylum officers to quickly decide what happens to people apprehended at the border.

Washington has mobilized to address a flood of children arriving illegally at the southwest border in what President Barack Obama has called an urgent humanitarian crisis. The president spoke about the problem on Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and Vice President Joe Biden was in Guatemala on Friday to discuss the issue with Central American leaders.

“The administration remains greatly concerned by the rise in unaccompanied children from Central America,” the White House said in a statement.

Cecilia Munoz, the White House domestic policy director, said in a conference call that Friday’s measures were designed to help Central American countries stem the migration.

They also aim to “deal with the misinformation that is being deliberately planted by criminal organizations, by smuggling networks, about what people can expect when they come to the United States,” she told reporters.

The administration also announced $9.6 million in additional support to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to help them receive and reintegrate people who are sent back.

Alejandro Mayorkas, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said the additional resources would allow the government to increase its capacity to detain people and to handle immigration court hearings. He said the extra staff will allow U.S. authorities to return unlawful migrants from Central America to their home countries more quickly. He did not provide numbers or say who would pay for them.

From October to June 15, 52,000 unaccompanied children arrived on the U.S. border with Mexico, Mayorkas said. DHS is looking for more facilities to house the minors, he said.

Republicans blame the influx of children on Obama’s 2012 decision to give temporary relief from deportation to some young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner urged Obama on Friday to deploy the National Guard to handle the children and relieve the taxed Border Patrol. The White House’s Earnest rejected that idea, saying there are already “significant enforcement resources” deployed along the border.

Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez criticized the National Guard idea as “a naïve and aggressive knee-jerk reaction that is completely inappropriate in these circumstances.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Local

VIDEO: NYPD seeks shooter in East New York…

Cops are on the lookout for an unknown shooter who aimed and missed hitting a man on a bicycle, instead nearly striking a nearby officer in East New York.

Local

NYS state forces thrift shops comply with ban…

Nine New York City thrift shops were reprimanded by the state attorney general for selling children's clothes with drawstrings around the neck and waist.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 11,…

Caleb's not a ghost. Spencer might still be an attempted murderer. And Hanna's going to die next week. In other words, we actually got some…

Movies

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

Marvel Entertainment's Stan Lee is adding outposts to his creative empire to interest a new generation of children in super heroes of all shapes and sizes.

Television

Mira Sorvino explores immortality on 'Intruders'

Mira Sorvino's new show "Intruders" centers around a secret society that achieves immortality by taking over the bodies of other people.

Television

5 things you need to know about new…

"Doctor Who" returns Saturday with a new star, Peter Capaldi. Here's some things to know about him (mainly his turn as sweary spin doctor Malcolm Tucker).

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

MLB Power Rankings: Angels supplant A's, Nationals climb

NFL

David Wilson returns to triple jump, sets sights…

Giants fans know David Wilson can jump. They are just more used to seeing him go for backflips, not distance.

Style

11 timeless gifts for registries or just because

Gifts to prove you're a style maven once and for all.

Parenting

How everyday moments can inspire kids' creativity

"The Artist's Way for Parents" author Julia Cameron gives advice on how parents and children can be creative together.

Tech

How to stay safe online

Stop worrying about keeping your online passwords safe, and start worrying about keeping your username a secret. Actually, worry about both. According to Shaun Murphy…

Tech

OpenTable now lets you pay your bill via…

The restaurant app OpenTable added the ability to pay your bill (and tip) with your phone, thus cutting back on a few dining annoyances.