Trump Budget, Congressional Hearings Emphasize Enforcement, at Great Cost
May 23, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The White House continues its singular focus on immigration enforcement in its budget request today, with hearings in Congress taking the same inadequate approach.
The proposed budget would enable a vast expansion in deportation efforts with its focus on immigration detention, the hiring of immigration agents, and border security. It includes $44.1 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, a $2.8 billion increase.
The request includes an additional $1.5 billion to detain, transport and remove immigrants who lack authorization. Another $300 million would pay for 500 new border patrol agents and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. And the administration seeks $1.6 billion to replace or build new border barriers and $1 billion for border security technology.
Meanwhile, members of Congress are discussing harsh and ineffective immigration enforcement and border measures in hearings today, even before budget hearings commence later this week.
“There are smart enforcement and border policies, and then there is the budget and today’s hearings,” said Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum. “All enforcement, all the time is not an effective approach. Mass deportations are not what Americans want or need.
“Focusing resources on immigrants who are contributing peacefully to their communities hurts businesses and separates families. Congress and the Trump adminstration must spend American taxpayers’ dollars on balanced proposals that prioritize safety threats, actually help American workers and are consistent with our values.”