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Trump seeks boost in emergency funds for migrant surge

Trump seeks boost in emergency funds for migrant surge

Trump seeks boost in emergency funds for migrant surge
May 02
15:55 2019

The money would come on top of the funding President Donald Trump has redirected to make good on a central pledge of his 2016 election campaign – to build a border wall to stop illegal immigrants – ahead of his looming 2020 presidential race.

Trump’s top aides also are quietly courting members of Congress to get behind legislation being drafted to toughen the treatment of young undocumented immigrants detained at the U.S. border with Mexico, while also placing new limits on immigrants who could apply for asylum in the United States.

The emergency funding request would represent a 44 percent increase in spending for programs that house, feed, transport and oversee record numbers of Central American families seeking asylum and straining capacity at migrant shelters in border cities such as El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“The situation has become more dire,” a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Agencies are literally running out of funds.”

Trump earlier this year declared the immigration influx a national emergency, which allowed him to circumvent Congress to redirect more than $6 billion in funding to start building his border wall. His move has been challenged in courts.

Asked why the administration did not redirect wall funding to the pressing humanitarian issues at the border, a second official told reporters that would not be allowed under budget rules.

The money would come on top of the funding President Donald Trump has redirected to make good on a central pledge of his 2016 election campaign – to build a border wall to stop illegal immigrants – ahead of his looming 2020 presidential race.

Trump’s top aides also are quietly courting members of Congress to get behind legislation being drafted to toughen the treatment of young undocumented immigrants detained at the U.S. border with Mexico, while also placing new limits on immigrants who could apply for asylum in the United States.

The emergency funding request would represent a 44% increase in spending for programs that house, feed, transport and oversee record numbers of Central American families seeking asylum and straining capacity at migrant shelters in border cities such as El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“The situation has become more dire,” a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Agencies are literally running out of funds.”

Trump earlier this year declared the immigration influx a national emergency, which allowed him to circumvent Congress to redirect more than $6 billion in funding to start building his border wall. His move has been challenged in courts.

Asked why the administration did not redirect wall funding to the pressing humanitarian issues at the border, a second official told reporters that would not be allowed under budget rules.

Trump threatened to shut down the border last month to stop the surge of migrants, and later raised the specter of a tariff on car imports from Mexico, but later backed off the threats.

He fired several top Department of Homeland Security officials, including Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

 

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