Earlier this month, President Trump asked for more funding from Congress in order to combat undocumented immigration at the nation’s southwest border. $1.1 billion has been earmarked for the purpose, but if it’s not approved by Congress, NBC News reports that the money could come from TSA’s budget.
At the beginning of May, President Trump requested $4.5 billion in funding from Congress in order to combat what NBC News describes as “undocumented immigrants crossing the southwest border.” Out of this figure, the outlet reports that $1.1 billion was earmarked for what is being described as “border operations.”
This, according to documentation seen by the outlet, would encompass a variety of points, including, “personnel expenses, additional detention beds, and operations combating human smuggling and trafficking.”
But should Congress not agree to this $1.1 billion in funding, it is reported that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is asking for $232 million from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The outlet reports that it has also been requested that other component agencies of the DHS give over some of their budgets to fund this $1.1 billion.
A range of documents seen by the outlet – including internal e-mails and a PowerPoint – explain how this money could fund what is essentially seen as a kind of tax levied by the DHS. The major concern is that the funds, as the outlet reports, could be diverted from the TSA and a range of its initiatives, including the procurement of screening equipment and a compensation fund for employees.
An internal email also stated that funds for TSA officers who conduct screening in airports are “in play.”
Offering his comments on finding a solution to this issue, Tyler Houlton, a spokesman for DHS said, “We will continue to work with our workforce to find dynamic solutions and funding to address this very serious problem. As part of this effort, it is our responsibility to explore fiscal mechanisms that will ensure the safety and welfare of both our workforce and the migrant population, which is also reflected in the supplemental request submitted to Congress.”
According to a PowerPoint document seen by the outlet, DHS would need to self-fund this $1.1 billion if it is not approved by Congress.
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