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

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

GAMES Hudson Common Open Aug. 21, 7 p.m. Hudson Common 356 W. 58 St. Free, www.hudsoncommonnyc.com The U.S. Open begins on Monday, but most of…

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

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)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…