The Trump administration recently asked Congress for an additional $4.5 billion in emergency funds for the U.S.-Mexico border — Department of Homeland Security officials said they would likely run out of money without the extra funds, a humanitarian crisis that scales beyond the height of any wall has now been created for Americans and their families to shoulder.
Asylum seekers need to be prohibited like all migrants from entering our country and should not be allowed to remain in detention centers for months while they wait for their cases to be decided. Taxpayers can no longer subsidize the costs associated with the burden of illegal immigration.
During the 2018 fiscal year, there were more than 521,090 border apprehensions and out of that number, 161,005 people or about 32 percent claimed asylum. Migrants have a year to make a claim and about 20 percent of those who request asylum in the U.S. are granted it, but the rates vary by country of origin.
The number of families and children arriving alone at the border is now outpacing the number of single adults, putting new strains on the immigration system. The U.S. is on track to have as many as 1 million cross this year, the highest number since the early 2000s.
Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) continue to confront the ongoing surge of Central American migrant families seeking refuge in the U.S. Their resources have been overwhelmed by the number of family members and unaccompanied minors seeking asylum.
Media reports flooded the public’s consciousness of CPB agents who apprehended 424 migrants attempting to cross the southern border near the border town of Sunland Park, N.M., is the “largest” collective arrest in the agency’s history.
The 2019 fiscal year budget already contained $415 million for humanitarian assistance at the border, including $28 million in medical care.
Now, the White House wants an extra $3.3 billion to increase shelter capacity to about 23,600 total beds for unaccompanied migrant children who arrive alone or are separated from their parents by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) under certain circumstances.
Officials state the new money would also be used for care of families, plus transportation and processing centers. It would not be used for border barriers and the funds were different from those Trump accessed through his declaration of a national emergency.
CPB has encountered 50,036 unaccompanied children during the last budget year, and so far to date, there have been 35,898 children. Their average length of stay in a government shelter is 66 days, up from 59 during fiscal year 2018.
$1.1 billion would go toward operational support, including personnel expenses, detention beds, transportation and investigative work on smuggling. The remaining $178 million would be used for mission support, including technology upgrades.
It’s unclear how Congress will grapple with the rising tide of Central American migrant families seeking refuge in the U.S. or if they approve the extra money — the truth remains for both Democrats and Republicans have epically failed to solve the border issue as they continue to make voters pay for their hard line mistakes.