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White House announces steps to address illegal children in the country


BY MARK FELSENTHAL

GUATEMALA-USA-PEREZ MOLINA-BIDEN

(Reuters) - The White House on Friday stepped up efforts to slow the flow of illegal children into the country, expanding the government's ability to process and deport people and announcing new funding to boost security in crime-plagued Central American countries.

The Obama administration said it would boost the ranks of immigration judges, lawyers and asylum officers to quickly decide what happens to people apprehended at the border and to return them to their home countries.

"We are surging resources to increase our capacity to detain individuals and adults with children, and to handle immigration court hearings," Homeland Security Deputy Director Alejandro Mayorkas told reporters.

"This will allow Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - to return unlawful migrants from Central America who are ordered removed to their home countries more quickly," he said.

Officials further announced $9.6 million in additional support to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to help them receive and reintegrate people who are sent back.

In an effort to address the causes of flight from Central America, the administration said it would launch a $40 million program to improve security in Guatemala and a $25 million program to provide services to youth in El Salvador who are vulnerable to organized crime.

Washington has scrambled to address a flood of children arriving illegally at the border causing President Barack Obama has called an urgent humanitarian crisis. The president took the issue up on Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, while Vice President Joe Biden was in Guatemala on Friday to discuss the problem with Central American leaders.

"You're clearly not going to send a child back to a circumstance where there is no one there for them," Biden said. "But we do intend, and everyone agreed, it is necessary to put them back in the hands of a parent in the country from which they came."

Border Patrol Union Mocks Immigrant Children On Twitter

Cecilia Munoz, the White House domestic policy director, said that some of Friday's measures were designed to help Central American countries stem the migration.

Efforts aim to "deal with the misinformation that is being deliberately planted by criminal organizations, by smuggling networks, about what people can expect when they come to the United States," she told reporters.

From October to June 15, 52,000 unaccompanied children arrived on the U.S. border with Mexico, Mayorkas said. DHS is looking for more facilities to house the minors, he said.

Republicans blame the influx of children on Obama's 2012 decision to give temporary relief from deportation to some young people brought to the United States illegally by their parents.

House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner urged Obama on Friday to deploy the National Guard to handle the children and relieve the taxed Border Patrol. The White House's Earnest rejected that idea, saying there are already "significant enforcement resources" deployed along the border.

Democratic Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez further criticized the National Guard idea as "a naïve and aggressive knee-jerk reaction that is completely inappropriate in these circumstances."

(Additional reporting by Doina Chiacu, Roberta Rampton and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Doina Chiacu, Jonathan Oatis and Bernard Orr)

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ahrcshaw June 21 2014 at 8:48 AM

Yes, throw more money to Central America to increase the fraud is like throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks. Secure the Borders, eliminate the Dream Act, restore the laws already in the books, speed up the return process, and address the issues at hand. No simple Amnesty just because our so called representatives do not believe in the rule of law. Freedom is not Free it has to be earned or it means nothing.

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11 replies
dejhendric June 21 2014 at 8:39 AM

We need a President and Congress who are on a level of the normal citizen and will do their job for which they were elected. Take care of America....first and always. If the "citizens of the world" paid U.S. taxes, we should help them. However, they don't, so the money should go strictly for the U.S. citizens benefits. I'm sick of a gov't who is so impressed with itself, everything is to the advantage of everyone else. Every time I get a raise, my increase goes towards taxes...what a waste!!

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17 replies
soccer_sucks June 21 2014 at 8:57 AM

JUST GET THEM THE HELL OUT

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6 replies
jgesselberty June 21 2014 at 8:26 AM

So, just why are we giving money to these countries to help them take back their own people? Do you think that money will actually be used for that purpose? Send them back and let their own country worry about the cost. I am tired of this administration wasting my money.

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21 replies
RANDYTHOMAS711 June 21 2014 at 8:31 AM

This Country is the greatest in the world...unless you are here, LEGALLY!

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15 replies
Kk Scatko June 21 2014 at 8:12 AM

Isn't it amazing what the US Government provides for undocumented and illegal aliens, in the form of health care, legal aid, housing and food! American citizens aren't entitled to those amazing benefits, children starve, are beaten, abused and sold everyday in the US of A. Let's just continue to pretend it doesn't happen and refocus on aliens, not citizens. Just be quiet and do without citizen, immigrants get heavy benefits and don't miss a meal. My mother, myself, my daughter, have all be diagnosed with malnutrition by M.D. We can't afford food and don't get food stamps.

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39 replies
Richard June 21 2014 at 10:06 AM

Cecilia Munoz the former head of the radical La Raza most likely had a big part in this whole sordid affair. With her hatred of the evil gringo’s she and her fellow America hater Obama worked a plan to flood the nation.
Meanwhile Mexico still has Marine Sgt.Tahmooressi rotting in a hell hole while these law beakers get three hot’s and a cot and medical attention.
Great work Mr President.
Impeach him Now

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14 replies
libsfault June 21 2014 at 8:23 AM

Stop the influx then we can talk immigration reform.......It's pretty odd that these kids made it here without getting kidnapped or molested. Seems to me that these kids are getting help from the Mexican Gov. or the Cartels. The citizens of the USA are tired of supporting these law breakers. Ship them back where they came from.

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14 replies
muddymoriverrat June 21 2014 at 8:40 AM

We let this become our problem. For the sake of the children we need to do something. That "something" should include sealing the borders. We have so many illegals here, now, because (via word of mouth) they have heard how easy it is to sneak into the U.S. and how to obtain benefits once they are here. Do you think they don't get food stamps, aid for dependent children and free breakfast and lunch at schools? Think again -- they do.

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11 replies
keithj77441 June 21 2014 at 8:29 AM

Mejjjico needs to set up housing and pay the bills. They need to find the parents, make them pay the government and be spayed/neutered since they cannot control their children.

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4 replies
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