Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) recently released documents which revealed the Trump administration quietly transferred $200 million from government agencies — including almost $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency — in order to pad the the budget of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Merkley said in a statement to Huffington Post, “This is a scandal.” At the start of hurricane season — when American citizens in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands are still suffering from FEMA’s inadequate recovery efforts — the administration transferred millions of dollars away from FEMA … And for what? To implement their profoundly misguided ‘zero tolerance’ policy.”
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, rebuked Trump’s new $20 million plan, and said the the foreign assistance funds had been earmarked by Congress to “lift up communities dealing with crime, corruption and so many other challenges,” as opposed to bankrolling an immigration crackdown.
Engel told the New York Times, “I want answers about why the State Department thinks it can ignore Congress and dump more cash into deportation efforts. Until then, I’ll do whatever I can to stop this.
Trump’s proposal to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border was a prominent pillar of his 2016 election platform, as was the ridiculous claim that Mexico would pay for it. He frequently repeats the claim, though his budget proposals have included funding for the wall with money from American taxpayers, not Mexico, which has repeatedly insisted that it won’t pay.
So it is indeed a strange turn of events that the Trump administration wants to pay the Mexican government to deport those who enter Mexico with the intention of entering the U.S. illegally.