While Customs and Border Protection officials are seeing migrants trying to enter the U.S. in numbers that have skyrocketed since last year, the House Appropriations Committee is looking to cut the agency’s net discretionary funding by nearly a billion dollars.
The committee’s newly released draft of their Homeland Security funding bill would provide $14.11 billion in net discretionary funding, down $927 million from fiscal year 2021.
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“President Biden’s border crisis is getting worse, and rather than address the problem, House Democrats’ answer is to cut resources from our immigration enforcement agencies,” a representative from House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said in a statement.
A summary of the bill issued by the committee advertises that the bill “[p]rovides no funding for additional Border Patrol Agents or border barriers” and “[r]escinds $2.06 billion from prior year appropriations for border barrier construction.”
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This comes as CBP released its latest statistics from May of this year. CBP said that officials have encountered 180,034 people trying to cross at the southwestern border, up 1% from April. Numbers of family units and unaccompanied minors from Northern Triangle countries have decreased since last month, at rates of 31% and 23%, respectively.
The bill’s funding amount for CBP is $456 million below what the White House requested. The committee did note, however, a number of provisions that were above that request, such as funding for border technology, port of entry technology, and services for CBP personnel such as tuition assistance, childcare service, and on-site mental health clinicians. The bill also provides for “migrant processing improvements,” aimed at better protecting migrants who are in custody.
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“I am proud that this bill respects their dignity by improving conditions in … short-term holding facilities, investing in alternatives to detention, making processing quicker and more efficient, and reducing backlogs of immigration, refugee, and asylum applications,” Appropriations Committee Chair Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said in a statement.