White House says number of children crossing the border is dropping

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The number of unaccompanied minors crossing the border in recent weeks appears to be dropping substantially, the White House said Monday.

While an average of 355 unaccompanied children crossed the Rio Grande every day in June, an average of 150 migrant children per day were apprehended crossing the border over the first two weeks of July, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.

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Earnest said it was unclear why the numbers had dropped, though he said the White House believes the administration’s “response and efforts to work with Central American leaders to publicize the dangers of the journey,” and efforts to tell immigrants they’d be sent back to their home countries, “have all played a part.”

President Obama will convene a meeting with his homeland security team — including top Cabinet secretaries and Vice President Biden — to discuss the “whole-of-government response that the president has directed be put in place,” Earnest said Monday.

Despite the decrease in migrant children captured across the border, the White House is still encouraging Congress to pass the $3.7 billion supplemental immigration request it unveiled earlier this month.

Earnest said “efforts to support deterrence, address the root causes of migration and build our capacity to provide the appropriate care for unaccompanied children and adults traveling with children” remained “critical to managing the situation.”

Earlier Monday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) announced that he planed to deploy 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the border in a bid to address the crisis. 

“The people of Texas expect us, and I think people of this country expect us, to secure the border. And we will,” Perry told Iowa TV station KIMT.

Earnest said he was “not sure what the long term impact” of Perry's announcement would be, but he hoped the governor's move would be “coordinated and integrated with the ongoing response there.” Earnest also suggested Perry's move might be primarily designed to generate “headlines.”

“What we're focused on is making sure we have the necessary resources at the border,” Earnest said.