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Obama Requests $3.7 Billion In Emergency Funds To Address Border Crisis

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President Barack Obama sent a letter to Congress on Tuesday requesting $3.7 billion in emergency funding to address the ongoing crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Obama said the additional funding would be used to comprehensively address the urgent humanitarian situation stemming from a surge of unaccompanied children attempting to enter the country illegally.

The proposal would provide $1.8 billion for the Health and Human Services Department, $1.1 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, $433 million for Customs and Border Protection, $300 million for the State Department and $64 million for the Justice Department.

The letter from Obama said the funding would be used for a number of purposes, including improving border security, building additional detention facilities, and sending more immigration judges to speed up deportation proceedings.

In the letter, Obama also requested $615 million for emergency wildfire suppression activities for fiscal 2014 and a new discretionary cap adjustment for wildfire suppression operations starting in fiscal 2015.

Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said the House Appropriations Committee and other members, including the working group on the border crisis, will review the White House proposal.

"The speaker still supports deploying the National Guard to provide humanitarian support in the affected areas — which this proposal does not address," Steel added.

The $3.7 billion in emergency funding is well above the $2 billion that previous reports indicated the president would request.

Last Monday, Obama pledged to take executive action to help fix the broken immigration system amid signs that the Republican-controlled House does not plan to vote on an immigration bill this year.

Obama said the first step he will take is to direct Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and Attorney General Eric Holder to move available and appropriate resources from the nation's interior to the border.

The president said he's also asked Johnson and Holder to identify additional actions the administration can take within existing legal authorities to fix as much of the immigration system as possible.

Obama is scheduled to travel to Texas this week to discuss the crisis but has drawn criticism for his decision not to visit the border region during his trip.

The White House has noted that several top administration officials have already visited the border, with Johnson due to make his sixth trip to the region on Friday.

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