Analysis of the Supplemental Budget Request

Center for Immigration Studies, July 10, 2014

The Obama administration’s proposed emergency budget request for $3.7 billion puts into question their claim that they are working to stop the surge of illegal immigrants flowing across the United States’ southern border and to ensure speedy removals. The Center for Immigration Studies’ analysis reveals the budget’s emphasis lays more in resettlement than in removal.

Resettlement, not enforcement, dominates the proposed budget. The administration proposes that $1.8 billion, about 49 percent of the entire budget request, be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for resettlement of illegal minors as well as entire family units, including adult men and women. The accommodations appear to be intended for long term use as opposed to temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization “for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities.”

The “enforcement” portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, the monies go towards temporary detention and transport of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. According to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.

View the full report here.

“The White House and its allies in Congress accuse some members of the House of ‘wanting it both ways’ for not immediately acquiescing to the terms of the emergency supplemental,” said Cadman, a research fellow at the Center and author of the report. “But an examination of the details in the supplemental shows clearly that it is the administration which wants it both ways.  The supplemental request represents an illusion of progress, while taking no concrete steps either to remove the recent arrivals or to effectively dissuade future arrivals.”

The request disregards the will of Congress in several ways. There is a “general provision” in the request which gives the administration the right to move as much as 30 percent of the monies around as they choose. Reprogramming is usually limited to 10 percent of appropriated funds, unless specifically approved by Congress. In addition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be given $15 million to hire attorneys to defend the unaccompanied alien children against deportation in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. An additional $1.1 million would be given to DOJ for “immigration litigation attorneys” who, presumably, would assist alien adults in their proceedings. It is clear that such litigation attorneys are not prosecutors, who are called “trial attorneys” and work for DHS, not DOJ. In essence, Congress is being asked to approve the executive branch’s violation of the law. Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically prohibits representation of aliens in immigration proceedings at government expense.

The Obama administration created this crisis by ignoring of our immigration laws and refusing to make enforcement efforts unless linked to an amnesty. Now the administration’s solution, based on the proposed emergency budget request, appears to be a continuation of this failed policy.

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