04 May, 2019
Homeland Security officials have warned of "child recycling", cases where they say children allowed into the United States were smuggled back into Central America to be paired up again with other adults in fake families.
Since then, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement have had to turn over documents and evidence about why and how they conduct warrantless and suspicionless searches of electronic devices at the border.
"DHS projects it will exhaust resources well before the end of the fiscal year", reads the formal request letter to Congress, which was obtained by the AP.
The White House wants $3.3 billion for humanitarian aid to increase shelter capacity for unaccompanied migrant children and the feeding and care of families.
When the suit was filed against the government in 2017, DHS officials said US citizens and everyone else are subject to examination and search by customs officials, unless exempted by diplomatic status.
The information collected in the DNA test will not be stored or shared, the ICE official said.
President Trump requested $4.5 billion from Congress in emergency funding to address the large numbers of migrants attempting to cross the southern border into the US, a problem that Mr. Trump has frequently described as a "crisis".
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The funding would also help enhance operations and upgrade the government's information technology systems at the border to ensure officers are processing migrants accurately and quickly.
Almost 190,000 people entered the country in family units without immigration documents between October and March, according to Customs and Border Protection statistics. Department of Homeland Security officials said they would likely run out of money without the extra cash.
"As a country, we must do more to meet the needs of migrants - especially children and families - who are arriving in increasing numbers", she said. Lawyers now say that, through depositions of border agents, they have learned that the scope of the warrantless searches has expanded far beyond the mere enforcement of immigration and customs laws.
If U.S. authorities determine that a child is not with a biological parent, they typically separate them and refer the minor to the Department of Health and Human Services, which operates a network of shelters of "unaccompanied" migrant children.
Acting Director of Office of Management and Budget Russell Vought speaks during a news briefing at the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House on March 11, 2019.
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said Tuesday before a House subcommittee that his department was running out of money amid the spike in migrants crossing the southern border and he said there would be a supplemental request, but didn't give a number.
"We know the problem we are seeing, we know these are fraudulent family units", an official said on condition of anonymity.
In addition to the White House requesting additional funding to handle the situation, Trump signed a memorandum Monday to change asylum policies in an attempt to "protect the integrity of our asylum system and respond to the humanitarian and security crisis at our border".