President Barack Obama has been "on top of" the crisis along the southern U.S. border since the surge of illegal immigrants crossing into the country began, Cecilia Munoz, White House aide and director of the Domestic Policy Council, said on MSNBC.
When it became clear that the numbers of people crossing the border illegally were "going to be very, very different from previous years," Munoz said Obama "called out the entire federal government to respond."
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"This is a humanitarian situation that we have been on top of from the very beginning," Munoz told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Wednesday. Obama "asked FEMA to coordinate. So, we've engaged DHS, HHS, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, to help us open shelters for the kids, to surge our resources at the border."
An onslaught of children, many unaccompanied by parents, has overwhelmed the border as federal and local officials work to manage the situation. An estimated 66,000 children, most fleeing from Central America, are expected to cross illegally
Munoz said Obama is focusing his attention on "what's going to have the most impact in getting in front of" what she referred to as an "urgent humanitarian situation." She said smugglers responsible for transporting the children were "lying to parents" by telling them if they were able to get their children across the border they would "be able to stay" in the United States.
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