Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Plans to stop a surge of unaccompanied young Latinos appearing in the southern U.S. border emerged on Friday as a Virginia town refused to shelter 500 immigrant minors.
More judges, lawyers and asylum specialists will be hired to handle immigrants at the border and detention facilities will be expanded to handle the increased number of immigrants, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.
The administration will also counter a misinformation drive by Central American syndicates that children who show up in the U.S. border would be allowed to stay in the country. Further, the administration is providing the governments of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala an additional $9.6 million to help them repatriate citizens who are sent home from the U.S.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have gotten in touch with Central American leaders to discuss the influx of minors in the U.S. border that threatens to blow up into a humanitarian crisis.
House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested deploying the National Guard to the southern borders. Boehner said National Guardsmen would allow the border patrol to focus on their primary duty of securing the border as they can deal with the needs of immigrant children and families.
About 39,000 adults with children have been apprehended along the southwest border as of end of May while 52,000 unaccompanied children were rescued as of June 15, said Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Tens of thousands were released in recent months at public bus terminals across Texas and into Arizona because Immigration and Customs and Enforcement officials lack detention beds for families.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) dropped plans to open a shelter for young refugees at the Saint Paul’s College campus in Lawrenceville, Virginia amid opposition by locals.
HHS plans to temporarily care for unaccompanied children at the closed school but failed to inform Lawrenceville officials.
HHS officials told 1,000 residents at a public hearing in the auditorium of Brunswick High School in Lawrrenceville on Thursday that they will look for other sites to house the children.
Virginia Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) said the failure of HHS to inform of the plan to house the children was disrespectful to local officials and residents. Residents at the hearing also questioned federal spending on alien children rather than poor local children.