HOUSTON, Texas–The border crisis will cause Border Patrol agents and other officials to run out of money, if emergency funds are not allocated soon.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secretary Jeh Johnson told the Senate Appropriation Committee that the costliness of the crisis is the result of paying agents overtime, as well as providing thousands of illegal immigrants with housing, transportation, and other amenities.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Johnson said, “At the current burn rate, ICE is going to run out of money at mid-August and we project CBP will run out of money in mid-September.”
President Obama has requested $3.7 billion to deal with the situation. Johnson reportedly asserted that if the funds are not allocated, “we will have to go to a harsh form of reprogramming that will take money away from some vital homeland security programs I am sure members of this committee care a lot about.”
Most of the proposed funds, however, would go to Health and Human Services (HHS)–the agency responsible for caring for the migrants and reuniting them with family members.
The Times reported that half of Obama’s proposed funds, about $1.8 billion, would go towards HHS’ efforts. Currently, when the foreigners are apprehended at the border, instead of being turned away they receive a myriad of taxpayer subsidized benefits. This includes housing, food, education, vocational training, recreation, and even legal counsel.
Only $433 million would go to Customs and Border Protection, which is in charge of securing the border, according to the Times.
Breitbart Texas Contributing Editor and border security expert Sylvia Longmire said, “I find it unbelievable what Obama administration officials are willing to say in order to get approval for an astonishing $3.7 billion emergency fund to pay for a humanitarian crisis they partially created. Half of that is going towards helping unaccompanied children stay here, and only the paltry sum of $433 million is being earmarked for additional border security measures.”
She continued, “And to say that the Border Patrol, ICE, and CBP are going to run out of money starting next month is a cheap shot. It’s the administration’s fault for short-changing those agencies in the first place. But to say, ‘Oh no! CBP will run out of money in mid-September!’ when the new fiscal year–and a new round of funding–starts on October 1 is just playing on what they think is the American public’s ignorance. They are dangling the carrot of Here’s the border funding that you wanted! to Republicans so they can point the finger of blame when people start digging into the fine print and realize the measure isn’t about border security at all. $3.7 billion sounds like a much-needed windfall for the southwest border, but it’s looking more and more like it’s funding the administration’s political agenda and cheating border agents out of the real support they need.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.