WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for increased powers to send unaccompanied children from Central American back from the U.S. border to the countries they're trying to flee illegally.
In a letter to congressional leaders Monday, Obama also is asking for increased penalties for persons who smuggle immigrants who are vulnerable, such as children.
The letter is the administration's latest response to what the White House has called a, quote, "humanitarian crisis" on the border.
The Border Patrol has apprehended more than 52,000 child immigrants traveling on their own since the start of the 2014 budget year in October.
Obama is also asking for emergency money that would, among other things, help conduct, quote, "an aggressive deterrence strategy focused on the removal and repatriation of recent border crossers."
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