The Guardian: "White House seeks $3.7bn in extra funding to address child migrant crisis"

by Joseph McKeown

The White House is seeking $3.7 billion in additional funding in response to the nearly 52,000 children who have arrived at the southern US border since last October. The funds for this "urgent humanitarian situation" would be used for providing care for the unaccompanied children as they await detention (including detention alternatives such as ankle bracelets), speeding up cases through the system, expanding law enforcement collaboration, and foreign campaigns to address root causes of migration, including funds for Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras to "support youth programs and develop skills and leadership among potential migrants."

It's not exactly clear how these "youth programs" will fare against brutal gangs and drug cartels who kill and/or threaten to kill--which this Daily Beast report cited as a cause of the migrant surge. In addition, interviews conducted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of over 400 of these migrant children from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico found that the "majority of the children were trying to escape violence and/or abuse in their home countries." Some disagree, however, arguing that President Obama's policies have contributed to the crisis on the border.

The White House is also seeking to change child anti-trafficking laws passed under George W. Bush (with bipartisan support) designed to protect at-risk and abused children. Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee says: "'A massive deportation policy for children is not a humane thing to do.'"