The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill to allocate $4.6 billion in emergency funding to address the ongoing migration crisis.
According to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) the additional funding includes $2.88 for the Office of Refugee Resettlement and $1.3 billion improve conditions at Customs and Border Patrol facilities.
The document goes on to list constraints placed on the administration as well as several other specific funding allocations:
Oversight And Constraining The Trump Administration:
- NO Funding For Trump’s Wall And NO Funding For Ice Detention Beds.
- PROHIBITS DHS Transfers Of ANY Funding In This Bill To ANY Other Purpose.
- PROHIBITS Information Obtained From Potential Sponsors Of Unaccompanied Children From Being Used In Immigration Enforcement Actions.
- ENSURES Congressional Oversight Visits To ORR Facilities Within 48 Hours’ Notice.
- Temporary Facilities In Operation For More Than Six Months MUST Meet New Minimum Standards, And All New CBP Processing Facilities MUST Meet National Standards On Transport, Escort, Detention And Search.
- REQUIRES Monthly Public Reporting On Children Being Separated From Their Families.
The Supplemental Includes:
- $979 Million In New Funding For Migrant Care, Processing Facilities, Food, Medical Services, And Safe Transportation.
- 30 New Immigration Judge Teams To Address The Immigration Backlog.
- $20 Million In Funding To Expand Alternatives To Detention Programs By An Estimated 13,500 People.
- $30 Million In Grants For Nonprofits Who Care For Migrant Families Released From CBP Custody.
- $10 Million For The Legal Orientation Program To Educate Migrants About Their Rights And The Legal Process At The Border.
- $9 Million To Speed Up Placement Of Unaccompanied Children With Sponsors And Manage Their Cases.
Neither of Arizona’s senators sits on the Appropriations Committee.
So far only one member of the Arizona congressional delegation has weighed in on the proposed legislation. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ05) released the following statement:
After months of ignoring the dire crisis at our southern border, Senate Democrats have finally admitted that there are significant issues that Congress must confront. This is progress, but the American people deserve better.
The reported deal does little to assist our overflowing ICE facilities, nor does it give Border Patrol agents the resources they require to concentrate on their law enforcement duties. The legislation only establishes 30 new immigration judge teams – far below the required number necessary to efficiently adjudicate the cases of illegal aliens pouring across our border. It adds layers of bureaucracy to the agents and agencies on the front lines of this crisis, forcing them to focus on regulations rather than responsibilities. Finally, this new funding stands to further incentivize aliens to cross illegally.
We have achieved a minor victory this week: the situation at the border is no longer a ‘manufactured crisis,’ and it is apparently worthy of ‘some’ financial assistance. However, Washington is far from solving this crisis or demonstrating any proof of competence to deal with these matters. Members of Congress shouldn’t just throw money at this crisis, nor should we tie political strings to the additional funding. We must listen to the agents on the ground and give them the resources they require to efficiently enforce our laws and keep Americans safe. This Senate deal will do little to help us regain control of our southern border. I call on my colleagues to listen to the agents on the ground and the American people and pass meaningful funding to solve this humanitarian and national security crisis at the border.
Biggs is an immigration hawk and has been a staunch supporter of the administration’s hardline policies. His focus on increased funding towards immigration authorities and greater deference towards the executive branch is in line with his past stances. However, the support of Republican senators and far-right members of Congress like Biggs does suggest that a broader bill focused on immigration could potentially receive support in this Congress and from the president.