$23 million needed to cope with border crisis

Around 75,000 undocumented immigrants are expected to surge over the border between Mexico and the United States this year, and an extra $23 million will be needed to deal with the crisis, according to US Customs and Border Protection. The Washington Reporter is reporting that R Gil Kerlikowske, the customs Commissioner, has told appropriators in the House of Representatives that the funding is necessary for his agency to be able to respond to the expected surge in the number of undocumented immigrants attempting to enter the United States.

Kerlikowske has also asked the House of Representatives for a further $12 million in funding in order to cope with the thousands of immigrant families and unaccompanied minors who have already entered the United States. However, KRGV-TV is reporting that border funding is actually drying up in a number of areas, with fewer agents being deployed by the federal government to patrol the border by fiscal year 2017.

The Department of Homeland Security has released a proposed budget that allocates 300 fewer agents for 2017, providing the agency with a total of around 21,000 next year. The news has worried some border patrol officers, with Chris Cabrera, the Vice President of National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 saying that with undocumented immigrants turning themselves in at record rates and the flow of money, drugs and guns going both north and south across the border, cutting jobs is “a recipe for disaster”.