Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Replies to ICE Reprogramming Request
Today, Homeland Security Subcommittee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) shared her significant concerns about the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to transfer and reprogram funds to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations, for the cost of expanding detention bed capacity beyond the level supported by FY 2019 appropriations, and for the cost of immigration court space related to Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) operations.
“I strongly disagree with DHS’s decision to transfer and reprogram funds to pay for more ICE detention beds and for hearing facilities to support the Administration’s inhumane Migrant Protection Protocols program,” said Chairwoman Roybal-Allard. “Once again, DHS has ignored the negotiated agreement with Congress by vastly exceeding the amount appropriated for immigration enforcement and removal operations. Furthermore, the Department’s transfer and reprogramming authority is permitted only ‘in extraordinary circumstances that imminently threaten the safety of human life or the protection of property.’ The department has not shown that these ‘extraordinary circumstances’ exist.
“The Department of Homeland Security has urgent funding needs across its agencies, ranging from the procurement of Coast Guard assets to the improvement of the National Cybersecurity Protection System,” she continued. “I am greatly concerned that during the course of this administration, there has been a growing disconnect between the will of Congress, as represented by ICE funding levels in enacted appropriations bills signed by the President, and the implementation of the Department’s immigration enforcement operations, which often ignore those negotiated agreements and lack transparency and justification. I urge Acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan to work with me and my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee to restore the partnership we once had in support of the Department’s many important missions.”
Chairwoman Roybal-Allard shared her concerns in further detail in a letter to Acting Secretary McAleenan. That letter can be read here.