White House announces funding to address immigrant surge

A man weeps and holds a U.S. flag at a May Day rally in Lafayette Square Park near the White House in WashingtonBy Mark Felsenthal WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House on Friday announced tens of millions of dollars of new funding and expanded enforcement facilities to step up efforts to deal with the surge of children arriving illegally from Central America. The United States said it would launch a $40 million program to improve security in Guatemala to reduce pressures forcing flight to the United States and a $25 million program to provide services to youth in El Salvador who are vulnerable to organized crime pressure, the White House said in a statement. Washington has mobilized to address a flood of children arriving illegally at the southwest border in what President Barack Obama has called an urgent humanitarian crisis. The president spoke about the problem on Thursday with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, and Vice President Joe Biden was in Guatemala on Friday to discuss the issue with Central American leaders.

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