Jul 8, 2014 12:08 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - As he tackles what he has called a humanitarian crisis, President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion to deal with the minors from Central American who are illegally crossing the U.S. southern border.
The flood of migrants has strained immigration resources, and it's caused a political firestorm in Washington.
The White House says the money would help increase the detention, care and transportation of unaccompanied children. It would also help speed up the removal of adults with children by increasing the capacity of immigration courts. And it would boost the prosecution of smuggling networks.
Money would also go toward increased surveillance at the border, and toward helping Central American countries repatriate people who are sent back.
White House officials say they still hope to work with Congress to increase the administration's authority to deport minors who cross the border.
Obama plans to discuss the crisis with faith and local leaders during a political fundraising visit to Texas tomorrow, but he is resisting calls to visit the border for a firsthand look.