Acting DHS Chief: Trump to ask for new border security money

ajc.com

With the White House already preparing a new legislative plan to make changes in U.S. immigration laws to better deal with illegal immigration, a top federal official told Congress on Tuesday that President Donald Trump could send lawmakers a request as early as this week for extra money to deal with a surge in immigrants at the southern border with Mexico.

"The status quo is not acceptable," said Kevin McAleenan, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, as he told a House spending panel that the White House would soon be asking for a supplemental plan to fund more border security efforts.

"Given the scale of what we are facing, we will exhaust our resources before the end of this fiscal year," McAleenan said on Tuesday morning, as he promised an extra request for money later this week, which will cover more than just work at the Department of Homeland Security.

"Our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services are also on the brink of running out of resources," he added, referring to the work done by HHS to hold and take care of unaccompanied immigrant children.

No money figure was offered by McAleenan during his testimony, as he also made reference to an ongoing effort by the Trump White House to produce a separate legislative package of proposed changes to U.S. immigration laws.

'The second request will be the administration's legislative proposal - which will be sent to the Congress shortly - to address to the key drivers of the humanitarian crisis," McAleenan added, noting a desire to speed up deportations.

In his testimony, McAleenan, who recently took over for Kirstjen Nielsen at DHS, said a breaking point had been reached at the border, especially in the sector around El Paso, Texas.

McAleenan said in March, over 100,000 migrants were apprehended, 'the most in one month for over a decade.'

On April 16, we had almost 5,000 people cross the border without authorization in a single day," the acting DHS chief added.

“Congress has to fix these horrible immigration laws,” President Trump said at a campaign rally last Saturday night in Wisconsin.

About the Author