DHS Budget: No money to build the wall, but plenty of cash for migrant services and fighting climate change

WASHINGTON, DC – The latest iteration of the Department of Homeland Security’s budget request was announced on April 9th, which is reportedly requesting $52 billion for the agency to operate from October 2021 until September 2022.

While the details are somewhat short with respect to what this money would be used for when operating the agency, it seems as though that DHS is not requesting additional funds to complete construction of the border wall and is asking for unused funds that are “unobligated” by the end of 2021 to be cancelled.

According to the announced budget request from Congress, the following is noted regarding border wall construction:

“The discretionary request includes no additional funding for border wall construction and proposes the cancellation of prior-year balances that are unobligated at the end of 2021.”

While the budget is apparently not requesting additional funding for additional agents to work the border in the midst of the ongoing crisis, but the budget request did manage to ask for some money to be allocated toward investigating Border Patrol agents that may be secret white supremacists:

“This funding level also provides $470 million, an additional $84 million over the 2021 enacted level, for the Offices of Professional Responsibility at Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to ensure that DHS workforce complaints, including those related to white supremacy or ideological and non-ideological beliefs, are investigated expeditiously.”

Apparently, DHS also needs some funding to support civil rights and civil liberties protections, so is to expediently look into complaints lodged against the agencies that fall under DHS:

“The discretionary request proposes increasing funding for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to address the press of complaints the office has received, but has been unable to process because of staffing shortages.”

Furthermore, a cool $345 million is being requested by the agency so as to support the admission of up to 125,000 refugees by 2022:

“The discretionary request provides $345 million for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to address naturalization and asylum backlogs, support up to 125,000 refugee admissions in 2022, and allow for systems and operations modernization.”

“The discretionary request supports expanded access to the Alternatives to Detention program and provides enhanced case management services, particularly for families seeking asylum.”

Now of all the bizarre things for the Department of Homeland Security to request budgeting for, combatting “climate change” probably wouldn’t be on the list of things regular people would consider a priority for DHS.

Yet apparently the agency needs an additional $540 million to do so:

“The discretionary request expands DHS’s work with State and local communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change.”

“The discretionary request invests an additional $540 million above the 2021 enacted level to incorporate climate impacts into pre-disaster planning and resilience efforts. This funding level also supports a resilient infrastructure community grant program, which prioritizes climate resilience projects for vulnerable and historically underserved communities.”

Certainly some strange line items present within the budgetary request for DHS.

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Recently, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report on how DHS is planning on cracking down on “sanctuary cities”. Here’s that previous report. 

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WASHINGTON, DC — A member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet has seemingly changed his tune and is now suggesting the administration will start taking a harder stance on some issues pertaining to illegal immigration in order to deal with the ongoing crisis at the U.S. border.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas reaffirmed his support for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and has even revealed that he is planning to take action against sanctuary cities that refuse to work with the agency, according to an exclusive report by The Washington Times.

Mayorkas also indicated that more illegal immigrants should face criminal prosecution for crossing into the border, according to the report.

In addition, the secretary also rejected the notion that ICE should be abolished or split up, going against what some in Biden’s political base have previously called for.

Mayorkas’ comments were gleaned from a virtual forum with ICE employees that took place last week.

When The Washington Times reached out to DHS for a comment on Mayorkas’ statements, the department declined, citing “internal discussions with our personnel, including those that are deliberative and law enforcement sensitive.”

The Washington Times reviewed the notes of the secretary’s conversation with employees from ICE’s branches of Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).

ERO handles deportations; HIS focuses on human trafficking, child pornography and gang activity; and OPLA litigates cases in immigration courts.

The Washington Times reported that Mayorkas said he is working on a new set of deportation guidelines to govern how and when officers can arrest and attempt to deport illegal immigrants.

When ICE employees expressed concern about the public’s resistance to them and their work, Mayorkas reportedly said the agency has a “noble mission.” The report further explained that Mayorkas also told ICE employees:

“I’m 100 percent opposed to the abolition of ICE. It is the opposite of what I think needs to occur. I think we need to strengthen our policies and practices and communicate more effectively what we do and why we do it.”

In addition, Mayorkas indicated he thought more illegal immigrants should be prosecuted criminally. The Washington Times reported:

“In perhaps his most striking comments, Mr. Mayorkas said he thought more illegal immigrants should be prosecuted criminally. Generally, illegal immigrants are handled under administrative law, with the punishment removal.

“But entering the U.S. without permission is a misdemeanor under Title 8 Section 1325, and reentering the country after being ousted is a felony under Title 8 Section 1326.

“‘I see cases now where we apprehend and remove individuals that I think need to be prosecuted criminally,’ he said.

“At another point he said: ‘Quite frankly, I’m going to have to understand why some of these individuals are not subject to a Title 8 USC 1326 case, and I intend to work with the DOJ in that regard.’

“That is likely to irk immigrant-rights advocates who complain that the immigration system is already too tilted toward criminalizing illegal immigration.”

In March, a group of professors at the UCLA School of Law filed a brief with the Supreme Court arguing that Section 1326 is racist in its origin. One of those professors, Ahilan Arulananthem, told The Washington Times:

“My view is that no one should be advocating for more 1326 prosecutions without first reckoning with its history. I don’t know whether Secretary Mayorkas is aware of Section 1326’s origins — I’m sure many people who have prosecuted cases under it (and defended them, as I did for several years) are not.”

When The Washington Times shared Mayorkas’ comments with several current and former DHS officials, those same individuals said some of the secretary’s words might sound good to ICE’s workforce, but they doubted his willingness or ability to see them come to fruition.

One of those officials, Jon Feere, a former top ICE employee who now is at the Center for Immigration Studies, said Mayorkas’ promise to tackle sanctuary cities rings hollow because his deportation policy is going to be so narrow that it will free many of the same illegal immigrants the sanctuaries want to protect, according to the newspaper’s report.

Feere told The Washington Times:

“Mayorkas likely understands that some sanctuary policies are so ridiculous that even murderers might be released. But anything he does will still be contained within the Biden administration’s own narrow enforcement scheme.

“Biden’s DHS is allowing thousands of criminal aliens to run free via its own policies.”

Another official, who was not named, told the newspaper that Mayorkas was using the right-sounding words when speaking to ICE employees, but doubted he would follow through with concrete actions:

“I’ve seen this administration say a lot of things that I feel like they’re disingenuous about, and they know they can’t deliver on, but they pretend and leave their audience to believe they can deliver on. That’s what I see here.”

During last week’s forum, employees from each of ICE’s branches pleaded for a firmer hand amid the current migrant surge, according to The Washington Times:

“One employee said the department was treating illegal immigrants at the border more leniently for COVID-19 purposes than American citizens. Several employees questioned the Biden administration’s border policy changes, saying what the Trump team had been doing seemed to have worked.

“One employee complained of ‘notoriously low morale’ and blamed lack of support from Washington. Another employee demanded action on ‘racism, xenophobia, intolerance and the inflammatory rhetoric’ in ICE field offices.

“A number of questions asked whether ICE, stitched together in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, should be split up, with Homeland Security Investigations separate from Enforcement and Removal Operations.

“One HSI employee said sanctuary cities refuse to work with ICE because of its deportation mission, but as collateral damage they won’t cooperate on other criminal investigations.”

Mayorkas then reportedly pledged to tackle the issue of sanctuary cities that refuse to cooperate with ICE, saying:

“I know the jurisdictions, and that is going to be one of my significant priorities. I think we have a lot of education to do and I think we have a lot of educating to do not only with city officials in terms of what we do and how we do it. But I think we have a lot of educating to do of the American public.”

The Washington Times noted that the Trump administration, while chiefly targeting illegal immigrants with criminal records, allowed agents and officers to pursue deportation against anyone in the country illegally.

However, with the Biden administration, ICE has been given much stricter rules, including a set of priorities that have cut ICE book-ins by 62 percent, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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