Customs and Border Protection has a contingency plan in its 2016 budget request to spend up to $134.5 million “to provide the necessary support activities” in the event of a future influx of unaccompanied illegal immigrant youths.
In written testimony for a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on the CBP budget request, CBP Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske highlighted last year’s surge in apprehensions of unaccompanied minors and family units illegally entering the U.S.
“The surge peaked in June, with over 10,000 [unaccompanied children] encountered by the Border Patrol. By the end of FY 2014, the Border Patrol had encountered 68,631 UCs and 68,684 family units; a dramatic increase compared to FY 2013 when the Border Patrol encountered a total of 38,833 unaccompanied children and 15,056 family units nationwide,” he explained in testimony.
The 2014 surge, of largely Central American migrants, strained government resources, resulted in a multi-agency response and saw more than 53,500 undocumented youths released to sponsors in the U.S.