The White House is seeking $4.5 billion in emergency border funding as the crisis at the border has reached a critical stage. Most of the money would go to aid Central American migrant families seeking asylum from poverty and violence in their home countries.

These emergency funds would not go towards building the wall on the southern border with Mexico.

The Trump administration asked Congress on May 1 for the funds as it copes with the crisis that officials say has overwhelmed federal resources and capacity.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan told Congress, “Simply put, our system is full, and we are well beyond our capacity.”

He said any new waves of vulnerable populations arriving are only exacerbating an already urgent humanitarian crisis at the border. “We don’t have the room to hold them, we don’t have the authority to remove them, and they are not likely to be allowed to remain in the country at the end of their immigration proceedings.”

Addressing the Crisis

Consequently, the Trump administration is seeking the funding to take care of the crisis in the most humane way, to give shelter, food, medical aid, and other help to those in real need, and to quickly remove those who do not qualify for asylum.

Security officials are in agreement with President Donald Trump in not wanting to release high-risk individuals into the country and instead remove them expeditiously. 

The 2019 fiscal year budget has allotted $415 million for humanitarian assistance at the border, including $28 million in medical care, senior administration officials said Wednesday.

However, the White House is now asking for an extra $3.3 billion to increase shelter capacity for unaccompanied migrant children and for the feeding and care of families, plus transportation and processing centers.

Of the new request, $1.1 billion would go toward operational support, including personnel expenses, detention beds, transportation, and investigative work on drug smuggling. The remaining $178 million would be used for mission support, including technology upgrades.

Time to Act Now

On April 30, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in New Mexico reported they apprehended 424 illegal immigrants in Sunland, New Mexico, just after midnight, and less than two hours later apprehended 230 more in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

According to CBP, that is the largest group they have ever caught within a 24-hour period.

Furthermore, the Department of Justice has labeled 16 of 33 counties in the state of New Mexico as High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), largely attributed to drugs smuggled from Mexico into the U.S.

Border Patrol agents apprehended the largest group of 424 illegal immigrants just after midnight this morning in Sunland Park, NM. (Photo: Twitter/CBP)

Former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez knows the border situation well, as New Mexico is a state with significant territory along the southern border with Mexico.

“It’s time to act right now and start dealing with the security issues and the humanitarian issues,” she told FoxNews Alert on May 2.

“We have to secure our borders. We can no longer be expecting 1.2 million people to come across that border and go throughout the country. Because they’re not going to stay on the southern border.

“They’re going to Oklahoma, they’re going to New York, California, Kansas—they’re going all over the country, if they’re given that ability, to leave the processing center and not to be detained because they’re overwhelmed.”

Martinez emphasized that many of those entering through the border of Mexico are not even from Mexico or from Central and South America, and that more security needs to be in place “to determine whether they are true asylum seekers or whether they are just coming here to work and live.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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