The Trump administration is funneling at least $155 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund towards immigration enforcement despite the start of hurricane season.
The Department of Homeland Security notified Congress that it will shift $271 million in funds for other departments, including FEMA, to support its immigration enforcement agencies, CNN reports, even as Trump warns of Tropical Storm Dorian nearing hurricane strength as it moves toward Puerto Rico.
DHS plans to transfer $116 million of the funds for ICE detention beds after the administration announced it would scrap a longstanding court settlement that limited family detention to 20 days.
DHS also plans to transfer nearly $24 million from TSA for immigration enforcement, according to CNN.
The move comes as Trump complains that another hurricane may be headed toward Puerto Rico.
“We are tracking closely tropical storm Dorian as it heads, as usual, to Puerto Rico,” Trump tweeted Wednesday. “FEMA and all others are ready, and will do a great job. When they do, let them know it, and give them a big Thank You - Not like last time. That includes from the incompetent Mayor of San Juan!”
“Puerto Rico is one of the most corrupt places on earth,” he added, calling their politicians “incompetent or corrupt.” “And by the way, I’m the best thing that’s ever happened to Puerto Rico!” he wrote.
Admin previously shifted funds to border:
“Last year, the department was also sharply criticized for shifting around $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's operating budget to fund immigration detention and deportations,” CNN reported. “The administration also quietly redirected $200 million from multiple parts of DHS to ICE last summer, according to a congressional document released last fall. The latest shift in funds will also pull more money from FEMA -- $3.4 million for detention efforts. Additionally, $4.3 million will be transferred from DHS' cyber agency.”
Dems blast plan:
Democratic Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, the chair of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, sent a letter to acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan expressing "significant concerns about the intended use of funds,” CNN reported.
House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson added in a statement that the administration was "flouting the law and Congressional intent to fund its extremist indefinite detention immigration policies."
"Taking money away from TSA and from FEMA in the middle of hurricane season could have deadly consequences. Congress should work to undo the damage this Administration is continually doing to our homeland security infrastructure," he added.