House Dems: Here's $4.6 Billion For The Border Crisis But We Have Demands

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Posted: Jun 22, 2019 8:40 AM
House Dems: Here's $4.6 Billion For The Border Crisis But We Have Demands

Source: AP Photo/Marco Ugarte

Congress is scrambling to do something about the massive influx of illegal immigration that's taking place. Border Patrol and ICE resources are severely drained because of the number of people illegally crossing our southern border. 

"We're going to run out of money in July because the numbers are just so high," Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on Friday. "This is not about gamesmanship. This is not about politics. This is not about immigration policy. This is a humanitarian relief package. And it has got to pass. It's got to pass immediately. We are out of money and we are out of capacity."

House Democrats on Friday unveiled a $4.5 billion bill to address the immigration crisis along America's southern border. Their bill, however, is much different than the legislation the Senate passed earlier this week. 

Instead of including funding for President Trump's proposed border wall, House Democrats want the majority of the emergency funding to go to "legal assistance, food, water, and medical services, support services for unaccompanied children, alternatives to detention, and refugee services."

Here's how Democrats proposed funding would be broken down:

• $934.5 million for processing facilities, food, water, sanitary items, blankets, medical services, and safe transportation;

• $866 million to reduce reliance on influx shelters to house children;

• $200 million for an integrated, multi-agency processing center pilot program for families and unaccompanied children, with participation by non-profit organizations;

• $100 million for legal services for unaccompanied children, child advocates, and post-release services;

• $60 million to assist jurisdictions experiencing a significant influx of migrants and non-profit organizations serving those communities;

• $20 million for Alternatives to Detention;

• $15 million for the Legal Orientation Program to educate migrants about their rights and legal proceedings; and

• $9 million to speed up placement of children with sponsors and manage their cases.

According to multiple Republican sources, Democrats are focused on adding riders to the bill that protect illegal aliens and nullify federal immigration law.

“The actual texts of the proposals they’ve sent have contained provisions that would functionally nullify federal immigration law,” a source told Fox News, calling the proposals "very extreme and very radical.”

From Fox News:

Another rider allegedly includes language that would require the federal government to prospectively notify illegal immigrants that if they bring an unaccompanied child into the country and sponsor them, their illegal status would in no way be used against them, a source said, and that the child will be delivered to them without any reservation.

“So we’d not only be protecting the child smuggling loop, we’d be advertising the child smuggling loop to illegal aliens throughout the United States who would in turn then be able to have confidence they could pay a smuggler in a transnational criminal organization to smuggle a child into the country that we would then tell them we would deliver to them regardless of the law breaking involved,” the source said.

According to House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) stipulations are absolutely necessary.

“There are serious humanitarian needs at the border, and we all recognize the clear need to act,” Lowey said in a statement. “This legislation would address the humanitarian crisis in a way that balances the needs at the border with the imperative to hold the administration accountable. Just as important, it would provide robust humanitarian funding and necessary oversight protections to protect the rights and dignity of migrants. This legislation is a critical step to meeting the urgent needs of migrant families and children at the border, and I urge the Senate to consider it without delay.”

• No funding for a border wall or barriers, or for ICE detention beds;

• Prohibits the use of funds for any purpose not specifically described;

• Places strict conditions on influx shelters to house children by mandating compliance with requirements set forth in the Flores settlement;

• Protects sponsors and potential sponsors from DHS immigration enforcement based on information collected by HHS during the sponsor vetting process;

• Ensures congressional oversight visits to facilities caring for unaccompanied children without a requirement for prior notice;

• Requires monthly reporting on unaccompanied children separated from their families;

• Requires additional reporting about the deaths of children in government custody; and

• Ensures CBP facilities funded in the bill comply with the National Standards on Transport, Escort, Detention, and Search.

Republican lawmakers slammed the Democrats' political move.

“They spend a lot of time talking about how concerned they are with conditions at the border but have not been willing to actually vote on bills that we’ve provided that could actually improve the situation,” GOP Conference Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) told POLITICO.

“Democrats’ radical demands show that they are fundamentally unserious about addressing the crisis on our southern border,” Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) told IJR Red. “I hope the American people will see the sad truth: Republicans are ready to work on solutions, but Democrats continue standing in the way of progress.”

The House and Senate are expected to clash over how to handle funding for the border crisis. The Senate worked to pass its own bipartisan legislation earlier this week, with the expectation that a similar bill would pass the House.