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White House asks Congress for $4.5B for aid, security at border

By Nicholas Sakelaris
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White House asks Congress for $4.5B for aid, security at border
Migrants are held for processing beneath the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso, Texas, on March 27. Photo by Justin Hamel/UPI | License Photo

May 1 (UPI) -- The White House on Wednesday sent a request to Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency funds to cover humanitarian assistance and beef up security at the U.S.-Mexico border, where it says Central American migrants are crossing in record numbers.

The request asks for $3.3 billion in humanitarian funding and another $1.1 billion for border operations. It also calls for $377 million for the Defense Department and National Guard for patrols along the southern border.

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"The situation becomes more dire each day. The migration flow and the resulting humanitarian crisis is rapidly overwhelming the ability of the Federal Government to respond," acting White House budget director Russ Vought wrote in the request.

The $4.5 billion would be in addition to the $8 billion President Donald Trump has already asked for in his budget, and on top of $6 billion he shuffled around after declaring the border situation a national emergency. He declared the emergency as part of a strategy to get around Congress after lawmakers refused to grant him money to build a wall along the border.

Vought said in the request the Health and Human Services Department is running out of money, and if it does it'll be forced to reallocate funds from other programs.

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