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    Trump Asks Congress for $4.5 Billion in Emergency Border Funds

    © Bloomberg Birds sit on top of a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday, May 19, 2018. "We won't care about threats of a wall," National Regeneration Movement Presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced assuring another rally crowd in Zacatecas, one of the states that sends the most migrants to the U.S., that with him in power, they'll achieve equal footing with their neighbors to the north.(Bloomberg) --

    President Donald Trump’s administration will ask Congress for $4.5 billion in emergency border funds, a request the Democratic House may treat skeptically after a dispute over the president’s decision to seize other federal money for his border wall.

    The request doesn’t seek more funding for the wall, according to a document obtained by Bloomberg News. The White House says that the Department of Homeland Security is in danger of running out of funds needed to deal with a surge in migration before the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.
    The request includes $3.3 billion to shelter migrants and to process their arrival, $1.1 billion for operations including detention beds and personnel, and $178 million for information technology system upgrades and law enforcement pay adjustments.
    "This crisis is threatening lives on both sides of the border and is unlike anything we’ve ever seen. Front-line professionals need additional resources to address this emergency and to continue providing humanitarian protections and care to families and children in United States custody," a fact sheet on the request states.
    Trump earlier this year declared an emergency to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funding to build a border wall, following a 35-day partial government shutdown. Congress agreed to provide only $1.4 billion for 55 miles of new construction, far short of the $5.7 billion the president said he needed.
    Democrats sued the president over the move and included a provision in next year’s military construction bill to bar such transfers. They have signaled they will treat additional requests skeptically.
    Nita Lowey, chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, criticized parts of request while vowing to work with the White House to improve conditions for migrants.
    "The Trump administration appears to want much of this $4.5 billion emergency supplemental request to double down on cruel and ill-conceived policies," said Lowey of New York. "We will carefully review the request in its totality and, where possible, work with the Senate and the White House to make conditions at the border more humane.”
    A key Senate Republican said she expects Democrats to object. “It’s going to be tough,” said West Virginia Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito, who chairs the DHS spending subcommittee.
    The administration can’t use money diverted as part of the emergency declaration to address the humanitarian crisis, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters about the proposal on the condition of anonymity. That’s because the Defense Department funding authorities can be stretched to allow military construction but couldn’t legally be used to support refugee children, the official said.
    The U.S. might have to scale back services offered to refugees or reallocate funding for refugees and victims of conflict if Congress is unwilling to approve the additional emergency spending, the official added.

    Last edited by tonyklo; 05-01-2019 at 09:18 PM.

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    US President Donald Trump walks to speak with supporters after arriving on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach, FL, on April 18, 2019. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    Trump Seeks $4.5 Billion to Help With Surge in Migration at Southern Border

    May 2, 2019 Updated: May 2, 2019Share

    The Trump administration on May 1 asked Congress for $4.5 billion in immediate emergency funding to help address a surge in migration at the southern border, saying the situation has overwhelmed government resources.
    President Donald Trump earlier this year designated the immigration influx a national emergency, a declaration that empowered him to redirect more than $6 billion in government spending toward building a wall on the border, a central pledge of his 2016 presidential campaign.
    The new request for another $4.5 billion is necessitated by record numbers of Central American families seeking asylum in the United States, straining capacity at migrant shelters in border cities such as El Paso, Texas, and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
    “Agencies are literally running out of funds,” a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call.
    The request includes $3.3 billion for shelter, food and other requirements for migrants in custody, $1.1 billion for personnel, and $178 million for information technology and other needs, officials said.

    Asked why the administration did not use wall funding to help pay for the humanitarian needs of migrants, an official told reporters that would not be allowed under budget authorities.
    Democrats claim the Trump administration has exacerbated the situation with its hard-line immigration policies, while Trump has accused Democrats of failing to staunch the migrant flow, in part by not funding his long-sought border wall.
    Trump also has called on the military to support the efforts of Border Patrol officials, and said recently that he would need to increase troops at the border.
    The Pentagon said last week that it’s expected to send about 300 additional troops to the border with Mexico, including roughly 100 cooks who would hand out meals, in a break with its past policy to avoid troops coming into contact with migrants.
    Reporting by Roberta Rampton

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