President Barack Obama will request more than $3.7 billion in emergency funds to handle the influx of unaccompanied minors along the U.S.-Mexico border that has led to the release of undocumented immigrants on the streets of downtown San Diego, NBC News reports.
On Monday, another plane of undocumented women and children arrived at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field, bringing more than 100 immigrants from Central America for processing at local U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities.
The money President Obama is seeking would be for immigration judges, detention facilities, legal aid and other items that could address the situation on the border, which the administration has termed a humanitarian crisis.
An additional $625 million will be requested to help crews fighting wildfires in Western states, the Associated Press reports.
The San Diego sector of CBP has managed the arrival and processing of close to 400 immigrants in less than a week.
Wendy Orellana, 27, is one of them. She traveled from Honduras with her two young sons. Orellana was released from federal custody Monday and quickly taken away by a cousin who met them outside the federal courthouse downtown.
Two other families – one from Honduras and one from Guatemala – were also reunited with family and friends Monday.
All told NBC 7 they had traveled by bus and train for nearly a month before turning themselves into U.S. CBP agents at the Texas border.
Orellana and the others must present themselves to an immigration officer in 15 days at a court near their final destination. The officer will make sure they're still living where they claim and will then set a date for them to appear in immigration court.
Immigration attorneys say that due to the influx of immigrants being processed from Central America, immigration court hearings that normally would be scheduled within days are now being scheduled months out.
The Obama administration's request for emergency funds is being handled separately from its request for additional authority for the Homeland Security secretary to quickly return the minors back home.
In 2013, more than 26,000 unaccompanied minors were apprehended on the southwestern border and just 1,669 were deported, according to NBC News.
NBC News reports some Democratic lawmakers are reluctant to give away even narrow changes to immigration law, given the fact that broader immigration reform is going nowhere.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said the White House can act within existing law to speed up the judicial process.
"The administration should use that flexibility to speed up the system while still treating these children humanely, with compassion and respect," she said.