The White House requested $4.5 billion in emergency funds from Congress Wednesday to deal with the crisis at the nation’s southern border, including $3.3 billion in humanitarian assistance and $1.1 billion for law-enforcement operations.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement and other programs are at risk of running out of funding by the beginning of the summer, the White House Budget Office warned.
“DHS projects it will exhaust resources well before the end of the fiscal year,” according to the letter formally requesting the emergency funds. “Without additional resources, the safety and well-being of law enforcement personnel and migrants are at substantial risk.”
“This crisis is threatening lives on both sides of the border and is unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” the letter continued. “If Congress fails to provide HHS this additional funding, the expected continuation of current trends may require HHS to divert significant resources from other programs that serve vulnerable populations – such as refugees and victims of trafficking and torture.”
The letter comes a day after Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents arrested a group of 424 mostly Central American migrants in what was the largest raid of its kind on record.