photo credit: danielfela // Shutterstock
In the wake of hurricane season, it seems that the Trump administration took money out of the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) accounts to put into more ICE immigrant detention centers. The department denies the money came from the disaster relief funding, only from the agency’s budget for travel, training, public engagement and information technology work. According to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, the money came from the “response and recovery” to fund additional detention camps.
According to CNN, the transfer from FEMA to ICE is less than 1% of FEMA’s overall budget. FEMA’s budget originally was $1.03 billion, and the amount transferred was about $9.755 million. The documents do confirm that the money will be spent on ICE’s detention facilities.
Without the funds, ICE could be required to “release any new book-ins and illegal border violators,” and would prevent them from deporting those who have violated immigration laws, according to the documents.
“Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts,” Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton said on Twitter. “This is a sorry attempt to push a false agenda at a time when the administration is focused on assisting millions on the East Coast facing a catastrophic disaster.”
As #HurricaneFlorence bears down, I discovered today that the Trump Administration is taking money away from @FEMA so that they can pay to put more asylum seekers in detention centers. This is a scandal. pic.twitter.com/XRj928RIaD
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) September 12, 2018
Written by Clarke Jones