Published: Fri, September 14, 2018

FEMA: Funding transferred to ICE won't harm hurricane response

FEMA: Funding transferred to ICE won't harm hurricane response

Jeff Merkley's claim that the Trump administration diverted $10 million from FEMA to ICE for housing illegal immigrants caught up in the President Trump's zero tolerance policy at the border.

The document, which was released by the office of Senator Jeff Merkley, of OR, shows that the money would come from FEMA's operations and support budget and was transferred into accounts at ICE to pay for detention and removal operations.

The Department of Homeland Security asked for the money, according to a document made public this week by Oregon Sen.

It is estimated that Hurricane Harvey, a Category 4 storm, had total costs of $125 billion while Hurricane Irma had costs of $50 billion and Hurricane Maria cost $90 billion, according to The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

President Donald Trump's Homeland Security Department shifted almost $10 million from FEMA to the U.S.

Homeland Security press secretary Tyler Houlton denied that DHS shifted disaster relief funding away from FEMA.

"This is a scandal", Merkley, said in a statement Wednesday.


But FEMA Administrator Brock Long also said the agency was facing an unprecedented workload that included the three catastrophic hurricanes, historic wildfires in California and dozens of other disasters.

But while FEMA officials issued dire warnings about the days ahead, President Donald Trump insisted-despite what Merkley's documents show-that the White House is "sparing no expense" and is "totally prepared" for the storm.

"We have plenty of resources both monetary, staff and commodities to respond to the risky storm that is Hurricane Florence", said administrator Jeff Byard. Merkley, who is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, told Maddow that the document he released was "the notification document that would have come to the Appropriations Committee, specifically to the chair of [the subcommittee on] Homeland Security".

The Senate's appropriations subcommittee on Homeland Security has, less publicly, expressed similar concerns. "Other Democrats joined in the criticism, including Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Virginia), who serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform".

Small said the request was part of a broader problem, and accused ICE of "robbing" money for themselves to expand their deportation and detention capabilities even beyond what Congress intends. "Since his confirmation, the Administrator quickly earned the respect of the entire emergency management community, many in Congress and, most importantly, the FEMA workforce, during the most historic and challenging time in the agency's history", she said.

"As an overall, the meeting was long on excuses and on misrepresentations and short on information and solutions. one thing we do know, they are taking 1% of every DHS department and putting that towards family detention and family separation", Gallego said.

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