Biden’s DHS Budget: More $$ for Migrants and Lawyers, No $$ for the Wall

Migrants are seen in custody at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing area under the Anzalduas International Bridge, Friday, March 19, 2021, in Mission, Texas. A surge of migrants on the Southwest border has the Biden administration on the defensive. The head of Homeland Security acknowledged the severity of …
AP File Photo/Julio Cortez

President Joe Biden’s first budget for border security would discard unspent funds for the border wall and then spend extra money to legalize more migrants and launch more investigations of immigration enforcement officers.

The pro-migration budget request to Congress was announced Friday by the administration, which said it wants $52 billion for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from October 2021 to September 2022.

The request is short on details, but it asks Congress to take back money appropriated in prior years for the construction of the border wall:

The discretionary request includes no additional funding for border wall construction and proposes the cancellation of prior-year balances that are unobligated at the end of 2021.

Biden’s deputies have halted the border wall’s construction, even though many of the gaps used by migrants could be closed by the unspent money that Congress allocated in 2019 and 2020 to the construction of the border wall. More than $1 billion of allocated funds has not been obligated to contractors.

The Biden budget does not ask for extra funds to hire more agents to block and deport the current surge of roughly one million migrants seeking access to Americans’ jobs, wages, and schools.

But the Biden request does ask for extra money to ensure that more border agents and enforcement officers can face threatened or real investigation of claimed crimes:

This funding level also provides $470 million, an additional $84 million over the 2021 enacted level, for the Offices of Professional Responsibility at Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, to ensure that DHS workforce complaints, including those related to white supremacy or ideological and non-ideological beliefs, are investigated expeditiously.

The discretionary request proposes increasing funding for the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to address the press of complaints the office has received, but has been unable to process because of staffing shortages.

The budget also wants funds to ensure DHS and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) welcome and accelerate the inflow of migrants into Americans’ blue-collar jobs, housing markets, and K-12 schools:

Restores America’s Promise to Refugees. The discretionary request provides $4.3 billion to the [HHS] Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). This funding level would rebuild the Nation’s refugee resettlement infrastructure and support the resettling of up to 125,000 refugees in 2022, which would represent the highest number of refugees admitted to the United States in 30 years.

Many imported refugees are hired for low-wage jobs in retail stores and slaughterhouses, so reducing the need for companies to hire Americans at higher wages or to transfer profits into the purchase of labor-saving machines.

The budget seeks taxpayer funds to hire lawyers who can guide younger migrants through the thickets of American immigration law, past the  immigration judges who would return them to their home countries, and into legal status:

The discretionary request for [HHS} ORR also reflects a commitment to ensuring unaccompanied immigrant children are unified with relatives and sponsors as safely and quickly as possible and to providing these children with care and services that align with child welfare best practices while they are in ORR’s custody. Such services would include expanded access to counsel [emphasis added] to help children navigate complex immigration court proceedings. In addition, the discretionary request redresses past wrongs by providing resources for critical supportive services—including trauma and mental health services—to children cruelly separated from their families under the previous administration.

DHS should also get more money to accelerate the movement of migrants into Americans’ jobs, according to the budget request:

The discretionary request provides $345 million for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to address naturalization and asylum backlogs [of migrants seeking green cards], support up to 125,000 refugee admissions in 2022, and allow for systems and operations modernization. The discretionary request supports expanded access to the Alternatives to Detention program and provides enhanced case management services, particularly for families seeking asylum.

The Department of Justice would get money to hire pro-migration judges who will often stop deportation cases, and rubber-stamp requests for asylum and green cards:

In order to address the nearly 1.3 million outstanding cases before the immigration courts, the discretionary request makes an investment of $891 million, an increase of $157 million or 21 percent over the 2021 enacted level, in the Executive Office for Immigration Review. This funding supports 100 new immigration judges, including support personnel, as well as other efficiency measures to reduce the backlog.

It is not clear if the GOP will work hard to block these cheap labor, pro-employer, anti-employee spending programs — or just stage a theatrical opposition in public while they shrug their shoulders in closed door budget meetings.

However, the business-backed Democrats have the advantage because they hold slight majorities in the House and Senate after GOP leaders helped lose two January elections for Senate seats in Georgia.

Also, Congress usually stages the budget fights so that all the critical decisions are packed into massive budget bills in October. That strategy leaves the public with little way to track their legislators’ opposition to damaging budget requests.

The Biden document declares that the budget request “supports the promise of a fair and equitable immigration system that welcomes immigrants and reflects the Nation’s values.”

That sentence is likely a suggestion that the United States is a “Nation of Immigrants” rather than a nation of Americans.

But polls show that the “Nation of Immigrants” agenda is shared by only a minority of Americans, such as immigration lawyers, CEOs, and investors who profit from a socially chaotic inflow of diverse, low-wage migrants. Careful polls show that the vast majority of Americans believe that their American children and neighbors should be first in line for jobs, wages, housing, education, and other opportunities.

The funding request would eliminate spending on the border wall — but drastically ramps up spending on Democrats’ pro-migration and other priorities, including “climate change.”

The request wants funding for “Confronts Climate Change and Other Disaster Challenges,” saying:

The discretionary request expands DHS’s work with State and local communities to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The discretionary request invests an additional $540 million above the 2021 enacted level to incorporate climate impacts into pre-disaster planning and resilience efforts. This funding level also supports a resilient infrastructure community grant program, which prioritizes climate resilience projects for vulnerable and historically underserved communities. In addition, the discretionary request continues investments in the incident response workforce to ensure sufficient personnel are trained and available for deployment to help communities respond to future disasters. The discretionary request would also increase the number of FEMA staff equipped to support communities in order to prepare and respond to disasters in an equitable manner.

Revitalizes Research and Development Capacity. The discretionary request proposes $599 million for investments in research, development, and innovation across the Department, to lay a strong foundation for securing the American public from future threats. These projects would focus primarily on climate resilience, cybersecurity data analytics, and transportation security technologies.

For many years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedintra-Democratic, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The deep public opposition is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money away from most Americans.

It moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.


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