That amount is more than four times the $433 million carved out for U.S. Border Patrol to help strengthen border security.
According to a breakdown by the White House, $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars – around half the total emergency funding – will go directly to the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the detention conditions for unaccompanied minors and family units with children, many of whom are currently being held in overcrowded makeshift shelters along the U.S. border.
“This proposal would provide an additional $1.8 billion for HHS to provide the appropriate care for unaccompanied children, consistent with Federal law, while maintaining services for refugees,” the proposal reads.
The Department of Homeland Security reports more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have entered the United States illegally since October, with thousands more family units with children flooding overcrowded Border Patrol stations daily.
While some illegal immigrants are being transported to additional facilities in Texas, Arizona, California and Oklahoma, Border Patrol stations along the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas are still struggling under an influx of more than 1,200 illegal aliens crossing the border every day. Many claim they are fleeing gang violence and extreme poverty in their home countries.
Many Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), have complained the breakdown of the $3.7 Obama requested doesn’t go far enough toward securing the border and deporting the thousands of illegal aliens already being detained in the United States.
“The president wants $3.7 billion,” McCain told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “If this keeps up he’ll ask for another $3.7 billion next year.”
“There has to be a halt to this,” he continued. “That's what we want, and the best way to do that is for planeloads of these young people to be returning to their country of origin and their families, who have spent as much as a year's salary paying these coyotes, who are also in the business of $85 billion a year drug business, will not be able to get their money and send their kids north.
“As soon as they see their money is not effective in getting their kids to this country, it will stop, and not before. And as tragic and as terrible as this situation is, we cannot have an unending flow of children from all over the world, much less Central America, into our country,” McCain added.
The report shows $433 million would be given to Customs and Border Protection to help pay for increasing operational costs and overtime for Border Patrol agents, as well as medical and transportation services for illegal aliens in CBP custody and facility costs for illegal minors. Another $40 million would increase Border Patrol's air surveillance capabilities, while an additional $29 million would go toward the joint task force with local law enforcement.
Another $1.1 billion will go to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, if Congress approves the funding. About $116 million of this would help pay for transportation costs for unaccompanied children, while $109 million would be allocated for immigration and customs enforcement. Another $879 million will help pay for detaining and removing illegal aliens with children, as well as the “expansion of alternatives to detention programs.”
About $295 million will be spent helping Central American governments address their own border security and help them assess the “root causes” for the mass migration out of nations like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. These funds would also help repatriate illegal aliens from the U.S. back to their home countries.
Another $5 million will be spent on campaigns throughout Central America to help deter potential illegal immigrants from crossing the U.S. border illegally.
The Department of Justice will be given $64 million out of the emergency fund bucket. More than $45 million will go toward hiring more immigration judges and expanding the immigration judicial system to handle an additional 55,000 to 75,000 annual immigration cases.
Another $2.5 million will be spent on legal orientation for adults with children; $15 million will help provide legal services for illegal minors, and an additional $1.1 million will be used to hire more immigration attorneys.