The U.S. government is preparing for a new surge of unaccompanied children migrating up to the southern border this year and is asking Congress for help.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) asked the House Appropriations Committee to fund resources for an estimated 75,000 children, whom the agency believes may arrive at the ports of entry this year.
Already the number of minors arriving at the border from Central American countries is growing. CBP Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske told members of Congress that in the first five months of this fiscal year, 20,000 children were apprehended at the border. In the same time frame last year 10,000 were apprehended.
"This program increase will allow CBP personnel to continue focusing on border strategies and provide for the health and safety of higher volumes of (unaccompanied children) crossing the Southwest border," Kerlikowske wrote in the funding request to the House subcommittee.
In its funding request, CBP also asked for an extra $60 million to replace 10 percent of its fleet of Border Patrol vehicles.