President Donald Trump on Wednesday asked Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency aid to deal with the surge of Central American immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.
The funding request is the first key move from the White House to react to what it calls a”humanitarian catastrophe” in the Southern boundary and intensifies an continuing funding battle over border security, just four months following the issue led to a paralyzing 35-day government shutdown.
“As we have been saying for months and months, the problem in the border gets more and more dire daily,” a senior government official told reporters on Wednesday. “The bottom line here is that the migration flow and the subsequent humanitarian crisis is quickly overwhelming the federal government’s capability to respond.”
not one of the $4.5 billion would be utilized to build a boundary wall, the official confirmed.
The Trump government is seeking $3.3 billion in humanitarian assistance — one region that has attracted bipartisan support.
However, Trump also wants $1.1 billion to border operations like detention beds. The government’s request includes funds for an additional 23,600 beds — a big issue for House Democrats and a sticking point at the shutdown battle.