The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent a $271M reprogramming notification to Congress on July 26. DHS cited the record surge in migrant arrivals at the U.S. Southern border and ensuing humanitarian crisis as the reason for needing to reprogram these funds. “Without additional resources, the safety and well-being of law enforcement personnel and migrants are at substantial risk.” While DHS has received supplemental funding to expand migrant processing centers, the administration contends that they need additional funding for detention beds, ground transportation, air transportation, transportation costs related to Migrant Protection Protocol, and the establishment and operation of temporary immigration hearing facilities on the southwest border.
House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Lucille Roybal-Allard responded to DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan in a letter this week in which she stated that she has, “significant concerns about the intended use of funds and, consequently, about the tradeoffs between that use and the activities that would otherwise be funded from the source accounts.” While the chairwoman objected to the reprogramming, she noted in her letter that it was a moot point as the Department has already incurred most of the obligations related to the notification and doesn’t need congressional approval to go ahead with the transfers. Roybal-Allard wrote, “the late submission of this notification undermines and ignores the time-tested mechanism for ensuring that the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations are in concurrence with proposed transfer and reprogramming actions.” She urged DHS to work with the Committee to “restore the partnership we once had in support of the Department’s many important missions.”
Department of Homeland Security FY 2019 Southwest Border Emergency Transfer and Reprogramming Notification
Chairwoman Roybal-Allard Letter to DHS Acting Secretary McAleenan
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Thompson Statement