Readout of the Administration’s Call With Governors on the Situation at the Border
This afternoon, White House and Senior Administration Officials including DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Acting OMB Director Brian Deese, CBP Commissioner Kerlikowske, and CBP Deputy Chief Vitiello, as well as representatives from ICE, FEMA and DOD held a call with governors from across the country to discuss the Administration’s comprehensive response to the humanitarian situation at the border. The Administration is focused on addressing the immediate and pressing challenges to make sure we are responding in an efficient and timely way, ramping up prosecution efforts against criminal smuggling networks and confronting the root of the problem with top-level diplomatic efforts in Central America.
As part of the President’s whole-of-government approach, the Administration is working with states and local communities as they identify temporary sheltering capacity for unaccompanied minors. Officials noted on the call that preliminary data show that average daily apprehensions of unaccompanied children by the Customs and Border Patrol have dropped by about half from June to July. Administration officials underscored the importance of continuing this progress and working with Governors to provide appropriate care for those apprehended at the border. To bolster the Administration’s and the Governor’s efforts, officials reiterated the need for Congress to fully fund our supplemental request because if Congress doesn’t act soon our hardworking border patrol agents and immigration courts won’t have the resources they need to do their jobs and care for and process these children. Officials also addressed several questions about the notification process for Governors when unaccompanied minors are placed in their states. No action replaces long lasting solutions provided by comprehensive immigration reform and the Administration again called on Congress to fix our broken immigration system through common sense reform.