Donald Trump requests $4.5 billion for 'humanitarian crisis' at border | News Coverage from USA

Donald Trump requests $4.5 billion for ‘humanitarian crisis’ at border

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump has asked Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency funds to address what he has described as a “humanitarian crisis” at the U.S.-Mexico border, setting up another showdown with lawmakers over immigration. 

The money would be used to handle an influx of migrants, not Trump’s proposed border wall, according to administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss details of the proposal. The request is likely to run into opposition from Democrats concerned with the administration’s overall approach to immigration. 

“The situation becomes more dire each day,” Russell T. Vought, the acting director of the Office of Management and Budget wrote congressional leaders in the White House request. “The migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis is rapidly overwhelming the ability of the Federal Government to respond.”

The money, if approved, would represent a major increase in funding for the border. Trump had sought $5.7 billion for the border wall during the fight that led to the partial government shutdown this year, and wound up receiving $1.375 billion for border fencing. The White House has said it will free up $8 billion through the national emergency Trump declared on the border in February.  

Administration officials said the funding would be used to build facilities to house immigrants, medical treatment, food, diapers and similar needs. The Department of Homeland Security has been repeatedly criticized for conditions at the border.  

The funding would include $3.3 billion for humanitarian assistance, $1.1 billion for border operations, and $178 million for “mission support,” the White House said. 

Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 92,000 immigrants trying to cross the border illegally in March, a 12-year high, officials said last month. The administration is also dealing with a surge of migrant families fleeing violence in Central America and attempting to claim asylum. The White House proposed sweeping new rules this week that would make the asylum process more difficult and more expensive.

Trump has been carrying out a major shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security, including by removing former secretary Kirstjen Nielsen last month.  

 

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