Border officials are expecting another huge surge of 75,000 illegal youths to surge across the border this year, the second time in three years, and they want $23 million to handle the crisis.
President Obama's border boss told House appropriators that he wants a "contingency fund of up to $23 million to support up to 75,000 children to insure that we can respond to that potential surge."
And, added, R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of United States Customs and Border Protection, he wants another $12.5 million to handle the unaccompanied illegal children and families that have come over the border.
"We remain concerned about seasonal increases later this year," he said at the Tuesday hearing.
The border experienced a similar historic surge in 2014, though there were less last year. Border officials have blamed the lack of a tough anti-immigration policy for the surge and said that the word in Latin America is that once illegal immigrants get in, they are essentially allowed to go free.
At the hearing, Kerlikowske also shrugged off pushes for more border fencing, like GOP presidential candidate has sought.
There are currently 650 miles of fencing installed on the 1,900-mile U.S.-Mexico line.
"There are lots of locations in which fencing and walls would not be able to be built, would not work and would not be able to withstand -- and even with the fencing we have, we spend considerable resources repairing and keeping that fencing in line," he told a House Appropriations Committee hearing.
"We think it's the combination of all the other things that we do, tactical aerostats, patrols, infrared, fixed towers, ground sensors, on and on and on that make for a more secure border," added Kerlikowske.
Instead of buying more fencing, he called for more agents.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org