Trump Administration Transferred $9.8 Million From FEMA To ICE

FEMA Says It’s Ready for Hurricane Florence, Defends 2017 Response

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) reportedly asked for an additional $1 billion in order to help the agency meet deportation requirements under the Trump administration, according to a budget document obtained by The Washington Post.

Money was also taken from other agencies, including millions from the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Coast Guard, to help ICE, the document states.

He added, "The money in question - transferred to ICE from FEMA's routine operating expenses - could not have been used for hurricane response due to appropriation limitations".

"Under no circumstances was any disaster relief funding transferred from @fema to immigration enforcement efforts", Houlton wrote.

Merkley posted a Transfer/Reprogramming document from DHS that shows $9,755,303 from FEMA to ICE out of FEMA's almost $1 billion operating budget.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported that claim on Tuesday and the story was picked up by many other left-wing media outlets as fact, even as a spokesman from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - the agency over FEMA - said the report was inaccurate.

FEMA, which coordinates the government's response to disasters, was bracing for Hurricane Florence to make landfall on Friday as the storm approached the Carolinas, threatening to bring days of pounding surf, torrential rain and severe flooding.

Merkley says the money was for an expansion including "more detention centers". Leahy, vice chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said no Democrats supported the transfers.

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"It wasn't enough to rip thousands of children out of the arms of their parents", Merkley said in a statement Tuesday night. Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton also stated that DHS did not shift disaster relief funding away from FEMA.

The head of the government's disaster relief agency said Thursday he never intentionally misused federal vehicles, following a report he was under investigation by the Homeland Security Department's internal watchdog.

According to a 2017 House statement about DHS funding, "The lack of fiscal discipline and cavalier management of funding for detention operations, evidenced by inaccurate budget formulation and uneven execution, seems to be the result of a perception that [ICE's enforcement and removal operations are] funded by an indefinite appropriation".

Congress sets funding levels for all parts of government through the appropriations process, but funding reprogramming requests like this one are authorized under the law for relatively small amounts of money within agencies.

Merkley's office said he found the reallocation concerning given last season's hurricane response, when the agency was criticized for its handling of Hurricane Maria.

No need to wonder what this administration really cares about.

Congressional Democrats said that a meeting with FEMA that took a year to schedule. was canceled because of Hurricane Florence, reported Mother Jones.

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